It Could Have Been the Other Way Around

Updated on February 3, 2020
OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image

Studying the bible is always good. For years, I have been studying the bible and I found it wonderful

Introduction

Sometimes in our lives things happen as planned and at some other times things would happen contrary to our plans, such that we become surprised at the turn out of events.

This is also true of the events happening to people who have traversed this world before we were given birth to.

This phrase, “it could have been the other way around”, is a phrase suggestive of surprise from the speaker. This phrase shows that:

(a) The person wasn’t expecting what happened to happen,

(b) Why was the person not expecting the thing that happened to happen? This could be due to the experiences the person has had sequel to the occurrence of things that he has noticed.

This topic is drawn from what happened at the wedding Jesus Christ and his disciples attended when he was in the flesh as documented in the Gospel according to saint John chapter two from verse one through eleven. The followings shall be noticed of the development in the documentation.

1. Jesus and his Disciples Were Invited to the Wedding

Jesus’ ministry has not fully begun at this stage, but the people have been getting the wind of it because John the Baptist has told all that he, Jesus, is the Messiah they are expecting.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. (Joh 1:29 & 37)

Since the people have been getting the wind of his ministry, the couple and their families who may perhaps be related to Jesus since they invited Jesus’ mother to the program seemly found it fit to invite Jesus and his team to the wedding.

And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. (Joh 2:2)

2. Jesus Honored the Invitation

On the day of the wedding Jesus and his team went to the wedding. When we invite Jesus into our lives he would come into our lives, when we invite Jesus into our ministry, he will come into the ministry, but what we do not invite him to, he will likely not go there.

3. They did not get to the Wedding at Late Hour

Some people because of their position when they are invited to a place, they will not go there early but would go there when the program is about to finish. This wasn’t the case for Jesus here, he has several things that he could also attended to as a person who is just forming his ministry, but he sets aside those to be punctual at the wedding program.

Map of Kefr-Kenna

4. The Venue of the Wedding

The bible states the venue of the wedding and it was Cana of Galilee.

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: (Joh 2:1)

It was stated that there was controversy about the Genuity of this place before now. It is now discovered that there are ruins of a place called Khurbet-Cana, which is 12 miles North of Nazareth which has retained the name Kana-el-Jilil (Cana of Galilee) which scholars believed to the place referenced to by John in this writeup.

On another note there is another place called Kefr-Kenna which is situated on the westward slope of a hill, with copious and unfailing spring adjoining it on the southwest.

Barnes’ in his notes on the bible says the place is 15 miles northwest of Tiberias and 6 miles northeast of Nazareth now called Kerr Kenna, it’s under the government of Turkish officer with 300 inhabitants.

It should be noted that this place, Cana of Galilee is called the name by John the beloved to show that it is different from another Cana which is located among the tribe of Ephraim. (Jos 16:9) It is this Cana that is said to be the native place of Nathanael.

There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. (Joh 21:2)

MacLaren’s in his exposition of the bible says of this venue that it is 30 miles distant from where John was baptizing and 4 miles from Nazareth.

Having discovered this place and thence the cloudiness surrounding the existence of the place being removed, it is stated that people could still see the jars where they are, and they have made the place a sort of temple before it becomes deserted, however, it is yet preserved for tourism today.

5. Mary, Mother of Jesus was also Invited

It should be noticed that Mary the mother of Jesus was also at the venue of the wedding. It should be assumed that Mary has been there earlier even before Jesus and his disciples got there. It is logical to assume this of Mary too that the wedding has to do with a relative or close member, and she has been there early to help with the preparations before Jesus and his newly assembled team got there, that is why she could know what the wedding lacked at that time, for such lack is usually restricted to close people, members of the couple families and or friends.

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine. (Joh 2:3)

One other thing that would be noticed here is the absence of Joseph the husband of Mary. Thence it is logical to say that Joseph perhaps had been dead by the time this wedding takes place.

6. The Day of the Wedding

The wedding day is the third day which essentially shows that the story is a continuation from the earlier record in chapter one where Jesus was being baptized by John and some disciples of John following him.

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: (Joh 2:1)

This third day from calculations would be the fourth day of the week which was usually the day for virgin’s wedding in the land and the fifth day is for the widow and or divorce wedding.

Gill’s in his exposition of the bible says that, virgin marries on the 4th day of the week, while widows wed on the fifth day of the week. This is so because if there is question about virginity the hubby may approach the Sanhedrin and may be married out that (fifth) day.

It would interest the readers to know that marriage don’t take place on feast days either widow or virgin and this has been in place since the days of Ezra the high priest so that the joy would not be mixed with another. People wouldn’t not mix the joy of feasts with that of marriage and or leave one for the other.

It is thence assumed that this wedding takes place on the fourth day of the week, and Jesus was there with those earlier followers of his; Andrew, Simon, Philip and Nathanael. (Joh 1: 40ff)

7. Financial Status of the Families of the Couple Revealed

The status of the family of the couple could be deciphered from the incident that happened at the wedding because usually wedding in the oriental used to last for about a week and even more, but in the case of this wedding it does not exceed one day, and even the one day could have ended on a sour note as they ran out of wine when they wedding was at its peak. Biblestudytools.com says twilight feast at the home of the bridegroom could be prolonged, but here it wasn’t because of poverty.

The families of the couple, and the bridegroom have maintained a low key status for the wedding by perhaps not inviting many people to the wedding, because an author says, Jesus and his team were invited very late, but despite that people still thronged the wedding venue such that they had to run out of their estimated budget and preparations for the wedding as revealed in the wine that ran out.

On another note it may not mean that people thronged the wedding venue, but that people were consuming more than they thought they would consume at the venue of the wedding thus resulting in the wine running out.

Herein shall we see that sometimes when we cut our coats according to our materials things may still not work as we have planned and that is why it is imperative that we always carry along Jesus in whatsoever we are doing.

8. Mary Contacted Her Son Without Being Sent

As an author said that Jesus’ invitation got to him late because his mother, Mary had been there for a while and was thus actively involved in the preparations and other things of the wedding.

Now, at a juncture the wine ran out and they have maintained complete secrecy about this wine running out until demand becomes heightened for the wine, as the bible says,

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine. (Joh 2:3)

Wine is one of the things that would reveal what is ongoing there, it would bring them joy according to their custom and culture. However, as the people continue to revel, they were expecting wine to have been supplied but none was forthcoming and then it was becoming obvious for all that the wedding may not end on a wonderful note that they had anticipated for before getting to the wedding venue.

At this juncture, Mary had no option other than approaching her son, whom she had been looking forward to, to start showing his Messianic status, for she had kept all those words being spoken about his birth in her heart.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (Luk 2:19)

Women usually want their children’s success, women want their children to become famous and much so that there has been a covenant and a saying about Jesus to this effect, Mary also thought it is time he gets out of his cocoon and reveal himself.

9. She Gave Them a Key

After talking with her son, Jesus, she went to servants at the wedding place and told them that “… whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (Joh 2:5).

His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (Joh 2:5)

She did not wait for Jesus response on whether he will do what she covertly asked for, for the couple and their families as she left him and told the servants what is needful of them to do.

MacLaren’s Exposition says of this place that “let us tell Jesus our wants and leave him to deal with them as he knows how”.

She knew her son, others may not know him and thence she told them what they need to do after talking with him.

10. Gave the First Order

With the initial response of Jesus to her mother’s covert discussion or pleading with him one would think he would not take a step on the issue. However, he did give order on what the servants need to do when those servants went to him.

Jesus saith unto them, fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. (Joh 2:7)

11. Followed the Order

According to the Mosaic Law which has become their way of life, they had “six waterpots of stone” at the venue of the wedding place.

And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. (Joh 2:6)

Bible documentary says, those water-pots were said to be containing in between 8 gallons and 10 gallons each, and they were ordered to fill them to the brim. This the people did, filled it to the brim with water.

Assuming his mother did not give them the key of what to do, they may have been arguing with him, they may want to know the science behind what Jesus asks them to do, but since they have been given an insight, they did not attempt to reason out his command other than carrying it out.

Sometimes the word of God does not require reasoning out, what it requires is carrying it (or them) out.

12. The Second Order Issued

Without asking them to bring the water to him, neither asking them to taste of the contents of the water first, he told the servants that they should go and take out of the water and give it to the governor of the feast.

And he saith unto them, draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. (Joh 2:8)

Governor of the feast here is written as “ἀρχιτρίκλινος” in Greek and when Romanized it becomes architriklinos (pronounced as ar-khee-tree'-klee-nos) which means director of the entertainment. As it is in this part of the world it means someone directing the affairs, like an Emcee at the wedding reception.

I assume he asks him to go and give the Emcee because he was the one who has been shouting over the microphone that some people at the venue of the wedding are yet to receive wine. He asked them to go and give him so that he would again announce that the wine is now available for all and they should exercise patience it would soon get to them.

13. Governor Could not Hide His Feelings

After the servant served the governor the water turned to wine, and the ruler of the occasion tastes it, he couldn’t hide his feelings again.

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

And saith unto him, every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. (Joh 2:9-10)

He was surprised at what he tasted because he by provision and because of his position has tasted the one that ran out. Having been partaker of several wedding ceremonies having the knowledge of what used to happen by tradition at those places and perhaps from what others would have been discussing with him after wedding he could not but expressed his surprise at the taste of the new wine served him.

He does not know the source of the new wine, for that he has to pause the program and called out to the bridegroom that he has performed excellently, because such does not happen at other wedding events that he has been to, that people, couples, and their families to reserve the best wine till the last hours, by this that they have done they have performed brilliantly, their wedding is an exceptional one, the ruler says.

Bengel in his commentary of this place says, “the unawareness of the ruler proves the goodness of the wine; the knowledge of the servants, the authenticity of the miracle”. While Benson in his commentary says, Jesus has shown that he did not come to take away human society but to sanctify it.

14. End Matters

The end of everything in life is important, Jesus gives the wedding a meaning such that the ruler at the occasion cannot but say if it were to be for other weddings, people would serve the good wine first, and then the not to good ones afterwards.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Ecc 7:8)

It should be known that Jesus has come to give humans a meaning, he has come to give us a better and a glorious end if we can give him our hearts and lives.

Jesus is not in the work or habit of luring people to come to him through deceptions of brilliant promises as does the devil, but he has promised to give all a wonderful end if we can come to him as he says through his prophet that, for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jer 29:11)

Have you been lured off Jesus by vain and shortlived deceptions of the devil? You need to come back to him today, for he has the best in stock for you.

Conclusion,

Jesus by this shows that he has come with the best for mankind, he has come with grace for us all, and the grace is better than law by all standards, he wants us to come to him, invite him into all that we are doing by our prayers and after praying leave all into his care to carry out the tasks as he seemly finds fit.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 OLUSEGUN

    Comments

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      • OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile imageAUTHOR

        OLUSEGUN 

        8 weeks ago from NIGERIA

        Thanks a million.

      • Cheryl E Preston profile image

        Cheryl E Preston 

        2 months ago from Roanoke

        Very detailed as usual. I love how you explain the fine detail. The wedding at Cana is one of my favorite stories.

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