(First published December 3, 2014)
“What was the first time we saw through the skin and saw a glimpse of something more?” The old man shifted slightly on the chair. “That’s easy. Water into wine.”
“We’d had conversations with him. He shocked Nathaniel with his mind-reading or whatever it was. But at the wedding, it was clear that there was something more.
“We were sitting at the table, enjoying the party. We knew the bride, teased the groom about his good fortune. We asked Jesus whether he’d made the furniture. Peter and Andrew debated the quality of the fish. It was a wedding reception.
“Suddenly, everything shifted. Mary interceded on behalf of the family. She wanted to help them avoid shame. It’s the third prayer we heard, the first requesting something.
“When he told the servants to fill the jars with water, he wasn’t a guest, he was the master. He wasn’t serving himself, he was honoring his mother. He was blessing the guests. He was saving the family’s reputation in the community.
“And he didn’t lift a finger. No wave of the hands. No commanding of the water to change. The only thing that he did was to speak, to direct the servers.
“And then there was great wine, the best wine. And we knew that this was no ordinary teacher we were eating with. Because he kept eating. As if it was nothing for him to speak things into being, to have things change as people simply did what he said.
“It’s not that we never had questions after that. We were stretched, we debated. We asked foolish things, we ran away. But that one meal with Jesus made us look forward to more. We ate with him as often as we could.”
John looked at us. “Wait til you see the real wedding feast.”