Invited to a Wedding Yet Finding the Wine Ran Out & the Lamps Are No Longer Lit

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first twelve verses of the second chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the apostle John shifting gears within the gospel to a specific event which took place in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ that is one of the most well known and beloved encounters with Jesus in all the gospels. As you come to the second chapter of the gospel which the apostle John wrote you will find the apostle shifting gears from writing about the eternal and divine nature of the messiah, as well as writing about the ordained and appointed messenger that went before the face of the messiah to a wedding which took place in the land of Galilee. The second chapter of this New Testament gospel begins and opens with the apostle John writing concerning a certain wedding which was taking place in Cana of Galilee. What’s more, is that the apostle John makes it clear when writing concerning this wedding that Mary the mother of Jesus was at the wedding—perhaps because she was invited, or played a crucial role in the ceremony and festivities. What’s more is that as you continue reading this chapter you will find that not only was Mary the mother of Jesus present at this wedding, but Jesus was present, as well as His disciples. The second chapter of the gospel which the apostle John wrote begins with a wedding taking place at Cana of Galilee—a wedding which not only was Mary the mother of Jesus present, but so also was Jesus and His newly selected and chosen disciples. It’s actually quite interesting that when you come to the eleventh verse of this chapter you will find the apostle John writing concerning the miracle which took place at this wedding that this was the first of many miracles which Jesus the Christ performed throughout His public ministry. It’s actually quite remarkable and astonishing to consider the fact that the first event we find within the lives of Jesus and His newly selected and chosen disciples was a social event. It’s quite remarkable to consider the fact that not only was the very first miracle which Jesus performed done at a Jewish wedding, but also one of—if not the very first event—within the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ was a social event and a social gathering.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but get the strong sense that there is a tremendous and incredible significance in the reality that what might very well have been the first event within the public ministry of Jesus the Christ was a wedding which took place of Cana of Galilee. I can’t help but believe within my heart that there is a wonderful and powerful prophetic truth that is captured in the reality of what was perhaps one of Jesus’ first public appearances with His disciples being that of attending a wedding. Pause for a moment and consider the reality that as you read the gospel which was written by the apostle John, you find the very first act of Jesus after choosing and selecting His disciples being that of attending a Jewish wedding. What’s more, is that the more I think about and consider the reality of this wedding, the more I can’t help but wonder if there is a significance in the fact that Jesus didn’t attend this wedding alone, nor did she attend this wedding with His mother alone. If you read the passage carefully you will find it written concerning the Jewish wedding, and how Mary the mother of Jesus was present, but so also were Jesus and His disciples. Please don’t miss the fact that this passage describes the awesome fact that what was perhaps one of Jesus’ first appearances with His disciples was a wedding which took place during those times. I can’t help but wonder how many weddings Jesus might have attempted prior to this one, and how many weddings might have had a similar scenario as this one. Scripture is pretty silent about the younger years of Jesus with the exception of an event which took place when He was twelve years of age when He and His parents journeyed to the city of Jerusalem, and how Mary and Joseph left the city with their company, and how Jesus remained behind in the city talking and debating with the scribes and teachers of the Law. It would be a full day before Mary and Joseph would realize that’s Jesus wasn’t with them, and headed back to Jerusalem to find Him. What’s so incredibly unique and powerful about this is the fact that when they found Jesus in the Temple speaking with and debating the scribes and teachers of the Law—when asked why He had behaved in such a manner—He declares unto them that He must be about His Father’s business. From early on in the life of Jesus the Christ we encounter the truth that He was not only aware of who His Father was, but also that He must be about His Father’s business.

Upon coming to the second chapter of the New Testament gospel which the apostle John wrote you will find that after Jesus has chosen Simon and Andrew, Philip and Nathaniel, He and His disciples attended a Jewish wedding which took place in Cana of Galilee. When reading this particular gospel you will find it written that Jesus did in fact find and make time to attend social events and social gatherings. What’s more, is that I would dare say that Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding—a reality that would play a crucial and critical role in the teaching and ministry of Jesus the Christ. If and as you continue reading the New Testament gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus you will find that when speaking concerning the Last Days, He likened them unto one who threw a great marriage and great wedding and invited countless men and women. The reality and concept of marriage and wedding plays a crucial and critical role in the teaching and ministry of Jesus the Christ, and there is not a doubt in my mind that there is an incredible amount of significance in the fact that the first event we find taking place within the public ministry of Jesus Christ—at least at is written and recorded by the apostle John—is His attending a wedding with His disciples. What’s more, is that if you read the four gospels which were written by the New Testament authors you will find that Jesus spoke at least one parable concerning the kingdom of heaven, and how the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a Goodman who planned a wedding and marriage ceremony, and how this man extended an invitation to countless individuals seeking that they might come and attend the ceremony and festivities. If you turn and direct your attention to the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel which was written by the apostle Matthew you will find Jesus speaking forth and teaching another parable unto the crowds, except this particular parable included a different reality and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew you will find it written how Jesus used the reality and concept of marriage and that of wedding in order that He might teach and speak forth principles and truths concerning the kingdom of heaven. Consider if you will the words which Jesus spoke in this particular parable beginning with the first verse of the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew:

“And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were hidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are hidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my failings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entrusted them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were hidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how comest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:1-14).

With these words Jesus sought to teach the crowds and the multitudes concerning the reality of the kingdom of heaven, and how the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king which made a marriage for his son and sent forth servants to call those which were hidden to the wedding. OF course, as you read the words which are found within this parable you will find that not only did those who were called not come when they were hidden, but they also slew the servants which were sent to invite them to the wedding. We dare not miss the awesome and incredible significance of this particular reality, for when Jesus spoke forth this parable concerning the kingdom of heaven being likened unto a certain king who prepared a marriage for his son, what he was really speaking of was His own Father who was in heaven, and how His Father had prepared and was planning a wedding for His only begotten Son—a wedding which He invited countless men and women to come and attend and enjoy the festivities. What we find within the parable, however, is that those who were invited to the wedding refused to come when they were called, and instead chose to go about their daily lives, and return to that for which they had been engaged in times past. Instead of heeding the invitation to the wedding, these which were called chose to deliberately and intentionally ignore the invitation to the marriage and to the wedding, and chose to continue on with their lives and carry themselves as they normally would. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are found in this passage you will find that as if it weren’t bad enough that these which were called chose to ignore the wedding, they also slew the servants which invited them to the wedding feast and festivities. Of course we must recognize and understand from Scripture that those whom Jesus was writing and referring to concerning being invited to the wedding was the house of Israel and the Jewish people. It was the Jewish people which were first bid to the wedding, and yet the Jewish people not only rejected the invitation to come to the wedding, but they also rejected the Son for whom the marriage was prepared. In fact, if you read the four gospels which were written by the New Testament authors you will find Jesus speaking directly unto the scribes, the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, the elders of Israel, the chief priests, the Sadducees, and the like, and declaring unto them how publicans, harlots and tax collectors would enter into the kingdom of heaven before them because they chose to reject the Messiah and the invitation to come into the kingdom of heaven. There were specific instances when Jesus spoke directly unto the religious community of His day and emphatically and boldly declared unto them that they would not enter into the kingdom of heaven because of the hardness of their hearts, their unbelief, and their religious traditions and legalism.

As if this weren’t enough, you will continue reading the four New Testament gospels which were written by the New Testament authors and you will find the apostle Matthew recording certain words which Jesus spoke concerning the kingdom of heaven, and how the kingdom of heaven was likened unto ten virgins which went forth to meet the bridegroom, and how these ten virgins each had lamps for burning while they were waiting for the bridegroom to come. Within the parable, however, Jesus describes how while the bridegroom tarried, these ten virgins fell fast asleep. What’s more is that upon reading the words which were written concerning these ten virgins you will find that five of the virgins were wise and five were foolish because five chose to take extra oil with them for their lamps, while the other five chose not to take oil with them for their lamps. The parable describes that while the ten virgins slept upon waiting for the bridegroom to arrive, a cry was made at midnight that the bridegroom comes, and an invitation was given for them to come out and meet him. The five wise virgins trimmed their lamps and were ready to meet the bridegroom and to go with him. The five foolish virgins, however, could not trim their lamps, for the oil which they had with them ran out. In an eager attempt to ensure they would be able to come out and meet the bridegroom, they asked the five wise virgins who had oil to give unto them some of the oil. The five wise virgins responded to them by declaring that they could not give to them some of their oil lest there would not be enough oil for both of them when the time came to enter into the banquet room. Instead, the five wise virgins instructed them to go unto those who sold oil in order that they might purchase oil for their lamps. While they went out to but oil, the bridegroom came, and those which were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. The parable goes on to describe how the five foolish virgins who had no oil came unto the marriage and earnestly knocked on the door asking that they might be let in. The parable, however, goes on to describe how the one who had thrown the marriage declared unto them that he knew them not. At the conclusion of the parable Jesus made an emphatic declaration and warning unto those to whom He was speaking, as He declared unto them that they ought to watch therefore, for they know not the day nor the hour when the Son of man comes.

What is truly unique and truly telling about each of these parables is that both of the parables described the kingdom of heaven, and how in both cases there were those which were invited and bid to come unto the wedding and marriage ceremony. In the case of the first parable Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven unto a king who prepared a great marriage and bid men and women to come unto the wedding and celebrate the marriage of His Son. Unfortunately those which were bid to come unto the wedding deliberately and intentionally chose to ignore the invitation, and chose not to attend the wedding and marriage. What’s more, is that as if it weren’t bad enough that they chose not to attend the wedding and marriage, they also chose to slay and murder the servants which were sent unto them to invite them to the wedding. The second parable describing the kingdom of heaven and once more likening it unto a wedding dealt not with those who chose to ignore the invitation to the wedding, nor even slaying and murdering the servants who bid them come, but rather this parable dealt with ten virgins who were invited to the wedding. Five of the virgins were wise and carried additional oil with them for their lamps, while the other five were foolish and carried no additional oil with them. While the bridegroom tarried the virgins each slept and slumbered until they were awakened by the midnight cry which sounded forth that the bridegroom was coming. At midnight, the cry came forth declaring the coming of the bridegroom, and issuing an invitation to come out and meet him. The five wise virgins trimmed their lamps and went with the bridegroom and went up into the house to participate in the marriage, while the other five could not trim their lamps because they had no oil. Desperately trying to ensure that they had lamps which were burning, they asked the five wise virgins if they could have some of their oil. Unfortunately for them, the five wise virgins declared unto them that they could not give them some of their oil, lest there not be enough for the both of them to go out and meet the bridegroom and enter into the marriage. Instead, the five wise virgins instructed them to go and buy oil from those which sold in order that they might obtain oil for their lamps and quite possible make it into the marriage. Unfortunately, while the five foolish virgins went forth to buy oil for their lamps, the bridegroom came, and those which were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. In all reality, each of these parables carries with it a distinct meaning which must be understood and recognized by those which read the words which are contained within them. The first parable deals with the reality of those which are called and how many are called, but few are chosen, while the second parable deals with the reality and concept of being ready for the marriage when the bridegroom appears in order to bring His bride unto Himself, and unto the marriage.

If you continue reading the New Testament, you will come to the final book in the New Testament—the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Within this final New Testament book you will find an additional point of reference concerning a marriage—the marriage supper of the Lamb. What’s quite astonishing and interesting about what you find in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ is that the reality and concept of the marriage supper of the Lamb is set in stark contrast to the judgment of the great whore, and her utter and complete destruction. If you you turn and direct your attention to the nineteenth chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ you will find the words contained within coming directly on the heels of the great whore, and her judgment in the midst of the earth. The nineteenth chapter begins and opens with the apostle John writing and recording concerning the judgment of the great whore, and how salvation, and glory, and honor, and power were come unto the the Lord our God. Consider if you will the words which are found written and recorded within this particular passage of Scripture beginning with the first verse of the nineteenth chapter:

“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Parise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 12:1-10).

It’s quite unique and quite powerful to think about and consider the fact that the same apostle which would be given the revelation of the marriage supper of the Lamb would be the same apostle which would write in the second chapter of the gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ concerning a different wedding and a different marriage. When you come to the second chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find the apostle writing concerning a certain marriage which took place in Cana of Galilee, and how the mother of Jesus was there. Not only was the mother of Jesus present at this wedding, but both Jesus and His disciples were called and went to the marriage. It’s actually quite unique and astonishing that the same language which Jesus used in His parables concerning the marriage is the same language which we find written and recorded in this passage of Scripture. If you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find it written how Mary the mother of Jesus was present at the wedding, but there is something different and unique about that which was written concerning Jesus and His disciples. The apostle John writes and records how Mary the mother of Jesus was present at the wedding, but that Jesus and His disciples were called unto the wedding. I am convinced that we dare not miss the tremendous significance and importance of this reality and concept, for Jesus delivered two distinct parables concerning those which were bid and called to come unto the marriage, and yet what was one of the first recorded events within the public ministry of Jesus was He and His disciples accepting an invitation to come unto a marriage and marriage in Cana of Galilee. We dare not and must not miss the awesome and wonderful significance of this reality, for it’s one thing to read and consider we ourselves being invited unto the marriage, and our being called to come unto the wedding, but it’s something entirely different for Jesus Himself, as well as His disciples to be called and bid to come unto a marriage and wedding. What we find within this passage of Scripture a wonderful and powerful picture of Jesus Himself doing exactly what He described in the parables which He spoke concerning the kingdom of heaven, and how the kingdom of heaven was likened unto a king who prepared a marriage for His Son, and invited countless individuals to come unto the wedding, and unto the marriage. I do not believe it is any coincidence that when we read the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel which the apostle John wrote we find Jesus and His disciples not only being called to come unto the marriage, but of course accepting the invitation to come unto the marriage.

How remarkable is it that when describing the kingdom of heaven as ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom, Jesus spoke of five foolish virgins who did not bring an additional measure of oil for their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, the virgins all slept and slumbered. It was while they were sleeping and slumbering that the cry came at midnight that the bridegroom was coming, and to make themselves ready and prepared. The five wise virgins trimmed their lamps and ensured they were able to go out and meet the bridegroom. What I find to be truly astonishing and unique when reading the words which are found within this parable is that in this parable we find the oil in the lamps of the five foolish virgins going out, and their need to go and buy oil from those which sold it. Of course we know that while they went to buy oil the bridegroom came, and the five wise virgins went in with the bridegroom, and the door was shut. Consider and compare the reality of the oil within the lamps of the five foolish virgins running out, and the light from their lamps going out, and the wedding which Jesus and His disciples were called to experienced the wine running out. WHEN THE WINE RUNS OUT AND THE LIGHT OF LAMPS GOES OUT! In all reality, I am convinced that we cannot and must seek to understand the words which are found within this particular chapter in the New Testament gospel of John without the words which are written and recorded in the parable Jesus told concerning the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. I cannot help but be drawn to and captivated by the fact that at the marriage which Jesus and His disciples were called to in Cana of Galilee, the wine ran out, thus posing an incredible dilemma and predicament for the governor of the feast and for the governor of the wedding. IN the case of the parable which Jesus spoke concerning the ten virgins, it was not wine which ran out, but rather it was the light from the lamps which ran out, and the lack of oil. I am firmly convinced that we must come face to face with and truly understand that which was written concerning the wedding in Cana of Galilee which Jesus and His disciples were invited to, for it brings us face to face with that which was spoken by Jesus concerning the ten virgins who were preparing to meet the bridegroom. IN the case of the wedding at Cana of Galilee it was not light from lamps which went out and the lack and absence of oil, but it was wine which ran out—wine which undoubtedly would have been consumed by the guests which were at the wedding. What’s more, is that I am sure that Jesus and His disciples might have consumed some of the wine which was present at the wedding, and eventually there came a point during the feast when the wine ran out, and the ceremony and marriage itself had not come to an end. What an incredible thought and concept it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus and His disciples were called to a wedding, they accepted the invitation to the wedding, and yet while there at the wedding the wine ran out.

I must say that I believe there is a certain amount of significance that was present in Mary the mother of Jesus being found at this particular wedding in Cana of Galilee. Pause for a moment and think about what would and what could have happened had Mary the mother of Jesus not been present at the wedding. If you read the words which are found within this chapter you will find it written that Mary was the one who came unto Jesus and declared unto Him that they had no more wine, and that it had run out. It wasn’t the governor of the wedding, nor was it the bridegroom that spoke and declared that the wine had run out, nor was it the bride, nor was it any one else who tended to the wedding who came unto Jesus and declared unto Him that the wine had run out. It was the mother of Jesus who came unto Him and declared that the wine had run out—perhaps anticipating and expecting Him to do something that would help in that particular instant and moment. What we must recognize is that the act of turning water into wine was the first miracle which Jesus performed, and it was performed at a wedding which He and His disciples were called and bid to come unto. What’s more, is that when we read and study the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ we will find that when He was tempted to turn stones into bread to satisfy His own hunger, He refused and resisted the temptation, and declared unto Satan that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of the living God. How absolutely wonderful and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that when tempted to turn stones into bread Jesus refused to do so in order to satisfy His own hunger and needs, yet when it came to turning water into wine at a wedding in order that He might help the governor of the feast essentially save face, He provided simple instructions to fill six water pots with water, and then to draw out some water and bring it unto the governor of the feast. How incredibly unique and astonishing it is to think about the fact that while Jesus would not turn stones into bread to satisfy His own needs and His own hunger He refused to do so, but when it came to turning water into wine in the place of intimacy and covenant, He provided simple instruction to fill water pots with water, and to draw water out from those water pots and deliver it to the governor. Jesus would not turn stones into bread in the desert, but when present at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, He would turn water into wine in order to help in the place of covenant and intimacy. It’s actually quite remarkable to think about and consider the fact that Jesus would be willing to turn and transform water into wine in the place of covenant and celebration—perhaps indicating the strong reality of wine and its importance to covenant. Consider the fact that when Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples in the upper room on the night in which He was betrayed, He and His disciples drank of the fruit of the vine, and how Jesus declared unto His disciples that He would not drink it again with them until He drank it anew with them in the kingdom of heaven. Essentially the entire premise of this first miracle which Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee at the wedding in which He and His disciples were invited centered upon the reality of turning water into wine in order that the guests might continue celebrating with the bride and groom, and in order that the marriage and festivities would not be spoiled by the absence and lack of wine.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but be drawn and captivated by the tremendous reality of the presence of wine at the marriage, and even the tremendous need for oil as it pertains to coming out to meet the bridegroom. As it pertains to the wedding in Cana of Galilee Jesus understood that the wine had run out, and that there was a need for something to be done in order that the marriage might continue, and in order that the ceremony of covenant and intimacy might not be ruined because of the lack of wine. IN the case of the ten virgins, there was the tremendous and wonderful need—not only for lamps which shone bright and burned, but also for the presence of oil in order that the lamps might not go out. In the case of the wine which ran out at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, Jesus provided a simple instruction to fill the six water pots with water, and then to draw forth water out of those water pots and bring them unto the governor of the feast. What’s more, is that the water which Jesus had turned into wine—when delivered unto the governor of the feast—was determined to be the best wine, which was saved until the last. Additionally, the governor of the feast declared that typically the best wine is served first, and that once everyone has drank their fill, and perhaps were drunk, they would bring out the wine which was not as good. The governor of the feast on this particular occasion stated the opposite reality—that the best wine was not given first at the opening of the marriage, but how the best wine was served at the end. The wine which the governor of the feast spoke about was that which was turned into wine after the servants drew water out of water pots which were filled to the brim. If there is one thing we must understand and recognize concerning this passage of Scripture—as well as that which was written concerning the parable of the ten virgins—it’s not only the tremendous need for oil in our lamps in order that they might burn, but also the tremendous presence of wine which is a symbol of covenant and intimacy. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we have oil within our lamps, and whether or not we have wine in order that we might celebrate in the place of intimacy and covenant. Are we as those which were bid and called unto the wedding and marriage ready and prepared to meet the bridegroom, or has the oil run out, the light in our lamps gone out, and the wine run out. On the one hand Jesus has the ability to produce wine within our lives when the run appears to have run out, but when it pertains to oil in our lamps, and oil needed to keep our lamps burning, it is up to us to ensure that we have enough oil. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we have enough oil, and whether or not the wine has run out and we are in need of Jesus helping restore the wine within our lives.

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