Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.
Some might say that Jesus must have failed the course in showmanship. If a person wants to put on a show, there should be a drumroll, or bugle call, or maybe fireworks. If you are going to do something earth-shaking, you need to get people’s attention, or they might not be impressed.
When the Son of God performed his first miracle after some thirty years of preparation, none of this happened. There was no roaring applause, not even a “Hallelujah!” or a “Thank you.” Yet, he had done the impossible.
He converted H2O into C6H14OS.
He changed water into wine.
He did it without any experimentation, without any mixing of chemicals, without any magical words, and without anyone seeing it happen. There was no fanfare.
He worked a quiet miracle.
So complete was the discreetness that neither the master of the banquet nor the bridegroom knew the miracle had happened.
Just as surprising is the reason for the miracle, he did it to avoid embarrassment—not for himself, but for a bride and groom whose names are not even known to us “They have no more wine.” Mary quietly told her son.
When we think of miracles, pictures come to our mind of the Red Sea parting, the blind seeing, and the dead rising to life. Those were critical needs answered by heavenly powers.
Escaping embarrassment doesn’t seem to qualify as a critical need.
But that’s all right. Our Savior Lord knows all of our needs and comes to care for them.
He continues to work his quiet miracles.
We might thank him for sparing our life in a vehicle wreck or a firefight. But he also was there to heal our skinned knee when we fell from our bike as a child.
Of the car wreck or firefight, we might say, “It’s a miracle anyone came out alive.” But is it any less of a miracle that muscle wasn’t cut, that infection didn’t set in, and that our skin seemingly healed itself when we tumbled from that bicycle?
We don’t consider a scab forming over a skinned knee to be a miracle because it happens all the time—until it doesn’t, and infection results in septic shock.
We don’t think about all that must happen for a sound to be passed through an eardrum and then processed by our brain—until it doesn’t, and we find ourselves deaf.
We don’t marvel at breathing even when we are sleeping—until we need a respirator.
When a humanly impossible action occurs repeatedly, we say it happens naturally. We don’t call it a miracle. Maybe we should.
We know as little about everything our Lord is tending to in our life as that wedding couple once knew about their miraculous wine.
Jesus once pointed to birds of the air and lilies of the field to remind us of the Father’s tender care.
Of that Father, Scripture tells us, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
“All things!” That includes the ones we don’t even know about.
Thank God for his quiet miracles!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we live under your gracious and mighty care. Without you, we would have no blessings in life. Without you, we would have no life. Send the Holy Spirit to open our eyes as your holy Word reveals your loving care for our body, mind, and soul. Thank you for the miracle of life—and the miracles in our lives. Amen.
Written by Rev. Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.