Monday, May 13, 2019

Robertson: natural and holy pleasures

Monday, May 13, 2019
    Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
    —John 2:7-10 (NIV)
    It was not a marriage only, but a marriage-feast to which Christ conducted His disciples. Now, we cannot get over this plain fact by saying that it was a religious ceremony: that would be mere sophistry. It was an indulgence in the festivity of life; as plainly as words can describe, here was a banquet of human enjoyment. The very language of the master of the feast about men who had well drunk, tells us that there had been, not excess, of course, but happiness there and merry-making.
    Neither can we explain away the lesson by saying that it is no example to us, for Christ was there to do good, and that what was safe for Him might be unsafe for us. For if His life is no pattern for us here in this case of accepting an invitation, in what can we be sure it is a pattern? Besides, He took His disciples there, and His mother was there: they were not shielded, as He was, by immaculate purity. He was there as a guest at first, as Messiah only afterwards: thereby He declared the sacredness of natural enjoyments... For Christianity does not destroy what is natural, but ennobles it. To turn water into wine, and what is common into what is holy, is indeed the glory of Christianity.
    ... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons, v. II, Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1861, v. 2, p. 259 (see the book)
    See also John 2:1-11; Rom. 11:16; 12:1-2; Eph. 2:19-22; Col. 1:21-22; Heb. 2:11; 1 Pet. 2:4-10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your grace sanctifies ordinary life.
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