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man, by being sincere and pious in all our words and actions; then shall we meet with tiie jppro'iation of Cod ;-conscious rectitude will give pew:.- to our rninds.l and Keavcn wnl be our reward!
It is to be remarked, that nothing farther was requ.red of these first disciples of our Lou th;-.n a belief that he was the Messiah, the S>om Of uot j a&u a humble and teachable disposition.
foVR lOUB's FI^ST MIRACLES.
from. John, Chap. ii.
. Ani> trie third day there was a marriage in Cana. of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there.
And both Jesus was called, and his dimples, to the Siarriage. And when they wan'ed wine, the mother of Jesus snid unto him, They have no wine.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee i mine hour is not yet come. His mother »anh unto the servants, Whatsover he saith unto you, do it.
. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence. it was (but the servants which drew the water knew), the governor oF the feast called the bridegroom,
And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning
doth dvth s^t forth good wine; and when men have welJ drunk: then that which is worse: but thou hait kept the good wine until now.
Thi6 beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory: and his disciples believed on i:im.
After this, Jesus went down to Capernaum, he, and bis mother, and his brethren, and his disciples, and theycontinued there not many days.
And the'Jews passover was at hand, and Jesus went Sp to Jerusalem. Now, when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, on the feqst day, many believed in his SStmiS, when they saw the miracle-. which he did.
Bur J-isu. did not commit himself unto them, because ke knew all men, and needed not that any should uwif/ .4f man; for he knew what was in man.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
Jt is supposed that Mary was related to the person*. *hose marriage our bjessed Lord honoured with hiapresence, and that it was on this account he and his disciples were invited. There is reason to think that the bridegroom was not in very affluent circumstances, by -the small quantity of wine he provided; and Mary seems by her solicitude to procure a supply, to have been concerned in the management of the feast. The answer which Jesus made, when she intimated a desire that he would work a miracle for this purpose, though 'intended to reprove her for dictating to him in a matter wherein he was to act by divine power, was neither severe nor undutiful: for it was the custom of those times, for the best-bred people to address ladies of the first distinction in that manner. Our Saviour, by reproving! proving his mother, might also have a view to the idolatrous honours which would afterwards be paid to her by some mistaken Christians. His thus forbidding > her to interfere in those matters' wV.i.' ."d to his divine nature, proves that Mary, though a very good woman, was never designed by God as a mediatrix or. intercessor for mankind; and the meekness with which she received his reproof, evinces that the was conscious" she had been guilty of an impropriety, and had no right. to assume authority over Jesus, when he was acting as the Son of God: to call her the Mother of Gov and the Queen of Heaven, is blasphemy.
Mary did not regard this rebuke as a denial; for it is. plain, from the directions she gave to the servants, that she still expected a miracle would be wrought. Our' Lord, on this occasion, gave an endearing instance of' his social and ohliging temper, and taught his followers not to censure others for innocent liberties, at proper seasons of festivity. He likewise reflected great honour on the marriage state, by choosing this occasion for the first public manifestation of'hiV divine power of working miracles.
What was the size of those water-jars is uncertain; but it is supposed each held four gallons and a half, amounting in the whole to fifty-four gallons: this, when converted into wine, was a liberal supply ; and its flavour was so uncommonly good, that the governor of the feast (supposed to have been either the principal guest, or a priest or Levite) wondered that the bridegroom had not produced it at first, according to the usual custom; that those who observed the rules of temperance, and would not continue drinking till they lost their taste and discernment, might be honoured with the best.
." The wine was not given, as we may reason-ably suppose, to be all drank at this festival, but as a gift to the new.married couple for future occasions. Had not the guests in general behaved with sobriety, we may be 'sure this miracle would not have been wrought, because Christ would have brought disgrace upon himself as "a Divine Teacher, had he exerted miraculous power in -order to minister to riot and-intemperance. . In performing this miracle Our Lord made use of no .outward action. It docs not appear that he touched the water; yet it is plain that he knew the very instant in which the alteration took place. Now the changing of the nature of any thing is equal to the act of crea. Hon, and could not be performed by any power but that of the Supreme Being. As Man, therefore, Christ could not have wrought any miracle himself, but would, on such occasions as these, have said, as , Moses and the Prophets did, when the Lord revealed to them that He would aiter. the course of nature, Thus saith the Lord," "The Lord will do so and so;" but our Saviou&t as we find, professed to have the power of God in himself, and acted with auihority, as the Image of God upon earth.
The Evangelist points out the design and intent of our Saviour's miracles, namely, to prove that he was the Son Of God, and to confirm the faith of his dLciples on rational grounds.
Capernaum., to which Jesus went, attended by his mother, his near relations, and his disciples, those who followed him to learn his doctrine, lay near the north -part of the sea of Galilee. Here, as we find, they con. tinued but a few days. The reason of "their leaving It so soon was, that our Lord, who observed a religious regard to the ceremonial as well as the moral Law cf K-..." Moses,
. Moses, resolved to go up to Jcrasalem to worship; for it was commanded, that all the men of the Jewish nation should appear before the Lord three times a year*..
We are told, that Jesus wrought miracles at Jerusalem; but the particulars of them are not transmitted f © «s; only we understand, that they were received as proofs of his divine mission 3 some, perhaps, esteeming hit» as a Prophet, others as the .isssl\h: but Jesus knowing their hearts, that some would prove treacherous, others fearful, and that those who looked for a temporal prince, might raise a tumult and distuib the state, resolved not to trust in them. Our Saviour, on this ;occasion, gave a proof that he was of quick discern. ment\, and possess;d of the spirit of understanding and hso<uledgt, since without these he could not have thus penetrat.d into the minds of men.
"As we cannot, like pur blessed Lord. discover what is in man, let us, in our intercourse with the world, act with prudent caution, studying to observe a happly medium between that universal suspicion which some persons entertain of all mankind. to the exclusion of friendship; and that undistinguishing eagerness and
* It is related by St. John. that bur Saviour cleansed the Teinple ,at \\\.fist. Passover he attended. after his entrance on bis ministry; but as the circumstances of this passage e^aet y agree with 'what is related as happening at the List PassQvcr bsfore his death, I thought "\i bfst to omit saying any thing oTi-the subject here. and confess my. sell at a loss to decide whether our Lord- cleansed the Temple tzvke ©r not. This matter has been fully argued by controversial writers) ,but works 0/ th,s nature are -too apt to unsettle the mindsof ordinary Kaders, and to create doubts instead of satisfying theno.
4 See Stcfc.xviii.