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The Gospel for Weddings and Funerals

Before the Apostle John wrote about the miraculous healing of the nobleman’s son in John 4:46-54, he made a quick reference to the first miracle of Jesus when he turned the water into wine at Cana in Galilee. Why did he do that? The Bible is known for its economy of words —only what is absolutely necessary must be included. Why the reference? James Montgomery Boice gave us a very good answer: because these two miracles are meant to be read together.

The two stories have similarities. Both miracles were performed using words, not touch; both miracles came with a rebuke to the person who requested; and both miracles were performed low-key. The difference between the two is interesting: the first miracle happened in the midst of a wedding celebration; the second occurred in the midst of sorrow and desperation. John draws our attention to the connection between these two miracles so that we will know that Jesus is more than equal to deal with the highs and lows of our lives. He is present in our celebrations and he never turns his back on us when we are in the throes of desperation.

The combined application of both miracles teaches us that the gospel of Christ is not just for the good times; it is for all the seasons and changes of our lives. There is nothing in our human experience that is outside the reach of his care, whether it is living or dying or birthing or suffering or rejoicing or celebrating. Jesus is Lord over our weddings and funerals. He is Lord over our graduations and hospitalizations, vacations and desperations, birthdays and breakup days. He encompasses all of life.

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