Correct Mistakes


     Jesus came to our world to rectify [man's] mistakes and to restore the moral image of God in man. Wrong sentiments in regard to marriage had found a place in the minds of the teachers of Israel. They were making of none effect the sacred institution of marriage. Man was becoming so hardhearted that he would for the most trivial excuse separate from his wife, or if he chose, he would separate her from the children and send her away. This was considered a great disgrace, and was often accompanied by the most acute suffering on the part of the discarded one.    





     Christ came to correct these evils, and His first miracle was wrought on the occasion of the marriage. Thus He announced to the world that marriage, when kept pure and undefiled, is a sacred institution.    

     The Scriptures state that both Jesus and His disciples were called to this marriage feast. Christ has given Christians no sanction to say, when invited to a marriage, "We ought not to be present on so joyous an occasion." By attending this feast Christ taught that He would have us rejoice with those who do rejoice in the observance of His statutes. He never discouraged the innocent festivities of mankind when carried on in accordance with the laws of heaven. A gathering that Christ honored by His presence, it is right that His followers should attend. After attending this feast, Christ attended many others, sanctifying them by His presence and instruction.    

     The feast was in progress, and an important point in the ceremony had been reached, when it was discovered that the supply of wine had failed. Mary at once went to Jesus, saying, "They have no wine." She had an interest in this ceremony, and Christ had ever been to her a wise counselor. The answer was, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" This should be, "What hast thou to do with me?" This was not in any sense disrespectful. Christ was always respectful, kind, and courteous to all, but He was especially so to His mother. Christ was engaged in His Father's work, and He must follow the dictation of no one but God.    

     Mary understood His words as encouragement, not rebuke, and she said to the servant, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it" (John 2:5).    

     "And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece" (verse 6). In those days the Jewish religion was composed largely of forms and ceremonies. A certain amount of washing was required by the law, but they carried this matter to an extreme, prescribing certain forms never required by God, and making a tedious process of that which was intended to cleanse and refresh. Seeing the stone jars standing there, Christ bade the servants fill them to the brim. This was done, and He said, "Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it" (verse 8).   [John 2:9, 10 quoted.]         


     The wine created by Christ at this time was the best wine those present had ever tasted. But it was free from all fermentation. Christ Himself had forbidden the use of fermented drink, saying, "Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken unto them by the hand of Moses" (Leviticus 10:9-11).    

     Fermented liquor confuses the senses and perverts the powers God has given. He is dishonored when men have not sufficient respect for themselves to practice strict temperance. Fermented wine is not a natural production. The Lord never made it, and with its production He has nothing to do. When Paul advised Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach's sake, and often infirmities, it was the unfermented juice of the grape he meant.   

     The use of fermented wine caused Nadab and Abihu to confuse the sacred and the common, and death was their penalty. After this, severe restriction was placed on those connected with the sacred service. They were prohibited from touching wine or using grapes in any way, that they might avoid the consequences of becoming familiar with fermented wine. When food or drink which bewilders the brain is placed in the mouth, the destroyer sees his opportunity to enter and dethrone reason. Be assured that Paul never advised Timothy to use what the Lord had prohibited.                                      

     Some who claim to be Christians clothe themselves with fig leaves and feel at liberty to use intoxicating drinks, and they claim to be in harmony with Christ in this particular. But Christ did not set the example they claim to imitate. Be assured that Christ would not have made intoxicating wine on the occasion of His first miracle. He gave to those present a safe drink to give to all humanity--the pure juice of the grape.    

     Christ never placed a glass of fermented liquor to His lips or to the lips of His disciples. Drunkenness was rare in Palestine, but Christ looked down the ages and saw in every generation what the use of wine would do for the users. Therefore at this [marriage] feast He set a right example.    

     He did not give publicity to His action, and at first only a few knew of the embarrassment of the governor. But after the wine made by Christ was brought in, great astonishment was expressed by the guests regarding its superiority over the wine first placed before them. The knowledge of the miracle became known, and the very work Christ desired to see done was accomplished. The faith of the disciples was confirmed. This miracle was to them a convincing testimony that He was the world's Redeemer.   

     Christ's future work shows the influence of this miracle. [John 4:46-54 quoted.]    

     Christ did not touch the water in the jars. He simply looked upon it, and it at once became like wine fresh from the cluster. Only a few days before, Christ had refused to work a miracle to satisfy His hunger. He was weak and emaciated, for He had been without food for forty days and forty nights, but He would not command the stones to become bread to satisfy His appetite. To the temptation of the enemy, He answered, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the  mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Neither would He accept a challenge to imperil His life by casting Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple to prove that He was the Son of God. In answer to the challenge, He said, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (verse 7). But on the occasion of the wedding feast, Christ desired to show that marriage is not forbidden by God.   

     The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes human love, refined and purified. By it human love is elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides. The warmth of true friendship and the love that binds the hearts of husband and wife is a foretaste of heaven.    

     God has ordained that there should be perfect love and perfect harmony between those who enter into marriage relation. Let bride and bridegroom, in the presence of the heavenly universe, pledge themselves to love one another as God has ordained they should. Let no draught of unkindness chill the atmosphere which should exist.      

     The wife is to respect and reverence her husband, and the husband is to love and cherish his wife. As the priest of the household, the father should bind his wife and children to his heart. The wife should feel that the large affections of her husband sustain her before the children are born, and after their birth he should cooperate with her in the management of the little ones, who should be wisely, tenderly, lovingly educated.    

     The family relationship should be sanctifying in its influence. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God's plan, are a wonderful help in forming Christian character. Families here should be a symbol of the great family above. Parents and children should unite in offering loving service to Him who alone can keep human love pure and noble. [Ephesians 5:22, 23 quoted.] If this instruction had been heeded by those who enter into the marriage relation, the home life would be pure and elevated, garrisoned by a holy love.   

     Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill its every specification. He came to pull down and destroy the works of oppression that the enemy had raised up everywhere. It was in perfect harmony with His character and work to make known the fact that marriage is a sacred and holy institution.    

     God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, and he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose--the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman's heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband's character and give it completeness--fulfill God's purpose for them.   

     Christ come not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation. He who made the first holy pair, and who created for them a paradise, has put His seal upon the marriage institution, first celebrated in Eden, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.

     Earthly Family a Type of the Family in Heaven--"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage" (John 2:1, 2).  10MR 198-204