Prays Together: January Means New

Christopher L. Scott

The noun “January” is synonymous with the adjective “new.” January often includes new diets, new budgets, new exercise commitments, new Bible reading plans, and other new commitments we make.

God sending his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world was new for the Jewish people. This started at a wedding celebration in the gospel of John, but before the wedding celebration we must remember what God had promised thousands of years earlier.

God had told Abraham, “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, NASB). Later God told King David that, “I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you . . . I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me” (2 Samuel 7:12-14). Those two prophecies predicted a future change for the nation of Israel. All of this would be fulfilled in the Messiah—God’s anointed one—who would be a descendant of Abraham and David.

God displayed his faithfulness with this first miracle of Jesus in the gospel of John. Jesus, his mother, and his disciples were at a week-long wedding celebration and there was no more wine (a standard part of Jewish wedding celebrations). The groom would face severe embarrassment for such an oversight.

Jesus decided to help. There were six waterpots nearby that were normally used for Jewish purification. The Jews washed their hands before and after meals with these waterpots as part of the Jewish law. Jesus took these Jewish waterpots and used them for something new. Jesus asked the servants to put water into the waterpots, then take them to the headwaiter (John 2:1-8). Before the pots arrived to the headwaiter of the wedding Jesus transformed the water into wine (John 2:9-10). The apostle John tells us that this event was the “beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11).

This was the first of seven “sign miracles” recorded in the gospel of John. As the first sign miracle it showed how God was doing something new by being faithful to do what he promised to Abraham (2,000 years later) and what he promised to David (1,000 years later).

The anticipated Messiah had arrived. He fulfilled the Jewish Law, began the age of grace, and did something new. Christianity was an advance over Judaism. When the headwaiter realized that there was plenty of good wine left for the wedding celebration, he told the groom, “You have kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10).

God was faithful and kept his promise to do something new: He gave his Son. Like the headwaiter, we too should celebrate that God has done something new.

Christopher L. Scott is a pastor living in Exeter. Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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