The disciples have never seen anything like the wedding celebration in Cana. They have only been traveling with Jesus for a short time, but from the beginning he teaches them to keep their eyes open. “Come and see,” he invites them (1:30). “You will see greater things than these,” he later promises (1:50). They learn to watch him closely. The disciples recognize the glory of God at this wedding and understand this moment is holy and joyous. God’s presence is best seen by those who are looking for it.
John tells this story as though most who attend the party don’t know what Jesus is doing. In fact we don’t read about the crowd’s reaction to the water turning to wine because they don’t seem to notice it. When we don’t see signs of God’s presence, it is often because we are not paying attention.
Until we see the truth for ourselves, it can be hard to believe and easy to ignore. John knows this as he writes his Gospel. Not only is he building a case to convince readers who Jesus is, he repeatedly uses the word “see” as he does so. He wants us to realize that paying attention is crucial to our faith. John presents witnesses who believe in Jesus because they saw him for themselves. In his closing he explains: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name” (20:30-31).
Leslie Weatherhead said, “The opposite of joy is not sorrow. It is unbelief.” Being a disciple means paying attention to the wonder of God’s work in the world. When we stay attentive, we learn to believe.
What helps you recognize the wonder of God’s work in the world?
God, help me pay attention to your presence so that I will live with gratitude and joy. Amen.