January 14, 2015

Something New: Joy

John 2:1-11

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory.

—  John 2:11

Jesus' first miracle has often grabbed my attention because it seems unnecessary from a purely human point of view. Yes, we can understand that Jesus saved the wedding host from embarrassment, especially in a culture that was concerned about providing the best possible hospitality. But this miracle reveals that Jesus came not only to help us with our greatest problem—the curse of sin and death—but also to spread the joy of full, abundant living with God.

When Jesus was born, angels proclaimed that this was "good news that will cause great joy for all the people" (Luke 2:10). We might experience flashes of happiness sometimes, but true joy is something new and different, something deeper. Happiness depends on circumstances, but joy is a gift of God.

Through his life and death, Jesus redeems believers from the weight of sin in their lives and in the world. When this burden is removed from us, we can see the true character of God and all the blessing he wants for us in life. And just as all creation once rejoiced at its Maker's goodness, we can find delight in God's gift of redemption and new life in Christ.

The gospel of John reports that as a result of this first miracle, Jesus "revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him." May the joy of Jesus' presence capture our hearts this year as well.

Fill us with joy, heavenly Father. Let us see your glory, find delight in you, and put our faith in Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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