Thoughts on Water Turned To Wine

Alfred Edersheim has some interesting thoughts on Jesus first miracle. He wrote:

What happened is well known; how in the excess of their zeal, they filled the waterpots to the brim–an accidental circumstance, yet useful, as much as that seems accidental, to show that there could be neither delusion nor collusion; how, probably in the drawing of it, the water became best wine–‘the conscious water saw its God and blushed;’

A sign it was, from whatever point we view its meaning, as previously indicated. For, like the diamond that shines with many colors, it has many meanings; none of them designed in the coarse sense of the term, but all real, because the outcome of a real Divine Life and history. And a real miracle also, not only historically, but as viewed in its many meanings; the beginning of all others, which in a sense are but the unfolding of this first. A miracle it is which cannot be explained, but is only enhanced by the most incredible platitudes to which negative criticism has sunk in it commentation, for which there exists no legendary basis, either in Old Testament history, or in contemporary Jewish expectation; which cannot be sublimated into 19th Century idealism; least of all can be conceived as an after thought of His disciples, invented by an Ephesians writer of the second century. But even the allegorical illustration of St. Augustine , who reminds us that in the grape, the water of rain is ever changed into wine, is scarcely true, save as a bare illustration and only lowers our view of the miracle. For miracle it is, and will ever remain; not indeed magic, or arbitrary power, but power with a moral purpose, and that the highest. And we believe it because this ‘sign’ is the first of all those miracles in which the Miracle of the Miracles gave a ‘a sign,’ and manifested forth His glory–the glory of His Person, the glory of His purpose, and the glory of His work.1

[1] Alfred Edersheim The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (NY: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1901) vol. 1 pp. 362-363.

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