At the end of chapter 1 Jesus calls to Himself a new set of friends - the first disciples. We see Andrew, Peter, Nathaniel and Phillip coming to Him and staying with Him. It must have been an eye-opening experience - just spending time with the "Lamb of God." Can you imagine the conversation? What would you hear and see?
So in this context, we read the wedding story:
John 2,1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
John 2,6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
On Friday last week I wrote about the necessity of our eyes being redeemed. Human beings without God's help see the world a particular, but limited way. For example, the Bible tells us that in reference to human beings we look on the outside of a person, but God sees the heart. The result? Without God's help, we are easily deceived. We do not see the truth about people, nor do we see the truth about various events. God can do great works before us, but that does not mean we recognize them. "They happened by chance," we say, or we offer a natural explanation when there is no natural explanation. We simply do not see without redeemed eyes.
Consider the Old Testament witness to this truth:
Deuteronomy 29,2 And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 3 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. 4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.
So what does John 2 reveal to us about friendship? "Paul, isn't that what you're writing about?" Yes it is, and remember what I said above: without God's help, we do not see the truth about people. The disciples were on the journey toward redemption - they had not fully arrived yet. They were beginning to see, but could not see clearly. Seeing would take faith, and their faith would develop through the course of the gospel. So we read in John 2:11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
What's the point? The point is that the disciples, Jesus' friends, saw Christ's glory, and they were able to see Christ's glory because they were in the process of being redeemed. Not everyone in Cana could see or understand what really happened that day - only those who believed. Think about the friendship sequence based upon John's gospel:
1. Friendship starts with wanting to be a friend
2. Friendship requires loving and honest communication
3. Friendship requires risk-taking
4. Friendship reveals Christ's glory
In other words, when Jesus "manifests his glory," the disciples begin to reap the reward of being Christ's friends. The greatest friend we can have in life is Jesus, and as we seek Him consistently, He reveals Himself. Yet the sequence fits in our other relationships. As we decide to be friends, and as we are loving and honest, and as we decide to take risks, true friendship reveals the glory of God. This is God's way, but it takes redeemed eyes to see God in our relationships.
I only have one question: Have you seen Him lately? He's somewhere in your friendships, but you need to seek Him to see Him.