• Print

Empty Waterpots

"Fill the waterpots"
(John 2:7)

May is the month of the family. Houseparties for couples, seminaries, conferences and many other events are carried out involving this important theme. The family is the most important institution in the context of human life. God instituted it to realize His sovereign purpose in the world (Gen.2:18).

Lamentably sin has terribly affected it, jeopardizing the blessed realizations that the Lord had intended for it. “Happiness”, which ought to have been the remarkable and permanent mark of family life, in the enjoyment of the full presence of God, disappeared completely, transforming the family experience in a sour and distressing experience, empty and without meaning. It was turned into something like “empty waterpots”.

The first miracle done by the Lord Jesus in Cana of Galilee (Jo.2:1-11), brings us precious lessons on the subject, revealing the extraordinary value the Lord gave to the family, which should arise from the wedding, under His wise guidance and blessing.

The wedding feast in Palestine was very important, and could last a week. To omit giving due hospitality was a serious offence. According to the Bible report, something very serious happened: the wine ran out, an indispensable beverage.

Wine was placed in waterpots. In this feast there were six stone waterpots which might contain up to one hundred litres of wine each. It is interesting to remember that the number “six” speaks of man, in his limitation, because of his condition of sinner.

Wine is the symbol of “happiness”. The disappointing realization was that the wine had run out, before the feast had come to an end! What a tragedy! The waterpots had become empty!

The fact properly illustrates the great calamity which has happened to the human family due to sin. The “authentic” happiness of family experience in the presence of God has ended! The waterpots are empty!

But God did not abandon the “family project”, so terribly affected by sin. The extraordinary facts which happened at that feast teach us precious truths about the total restoration of the family, for enjoyment of the true happiness in doing the will of God. Let us see:

  1. The presence of the Lord (v.2) – We read that the Lord “was invited” to the feast. Without the presence of the Lord the waterpots would remain empty. It was the end of the feast and consequently of the happiness. The family can only have happiness with the presence of the Lord! How sad it is to see that the waterpots continue to be empty! The families do not fulfil their holy destiny, because the Lord is absent. The hypocritical exercise of vain and spiritually empty religiosity isn’t sufficient! Church attendance and ecclesiastical practices without the presence of the Lord in the home itself are of no use. I believe that there is lack of seriousness in the behaviour of those who make up the family, for they alienate the Lord, maintaining in this way their waterpots empty and without true happiness. Worthwhile happiness is not that which is produced by worldly pleasure, on life’s stages. This ends when the performance ends and the human being continues empty. True happiness is that which is installed in the inner being of each true Christian, by the effective presence of the Lord fully inhabiting his heart! (Eph.3:17). This happiness prevails, in spite of adverse circumstances, nobody can take it away and it will be complete (John 6:20,22,24).
  2. The Word of the Lord (v.5) – How important was the recommendation of the mother of Jesus Christ to those who told her that the waterpots had run out! She said: “Whatever He says to you, do it”. “Water” is a Bible type of the “Word of God”. The Word of Jesus Christ was: “Fill the waterpots with water”. They needed wine and the Lord told them to fill the pots with waterThe blessing of happiness came because the servants obeyed the Word of the Lord. They filled the pots completely! If the families which call themselves Christians proceded like this they would not be empty of the true “happiness”. We must totally fill our empty pots with the Word of the Lord. Then the feast will continue. There will be happy families, fulfilling the purpose of God.
  3. The power of the Lord (v.9) – The miracle happened! They filled the waterpots with water and it was transformed into the best wine that could be had! All was proved by the master of the feast. If we open space in the family nucleus to the presence of the Lord, if we are ready to always obey His Word, then also we shall experience the manifestation of His power, which transforms water into the best of wine. The waterpots will be full of His power. Sadness will be turned into Joy!

God formed the family to live in the joyous experience of His Presence, of His Word and of His Power. Let us not be empty waterpots which end the feast running out of the true happiness of the experience of His fullness.