by Bill Williams

A Fresh Holiness

Photo by Bill Williams
Photo by Bill Williams

They’d followed John, the sinewy desert-dweller for several months, perhaps longer. These rough fishermen from the downtrodden district of Bethsaida were ready for the arrival of the Messiah and were enthralled with the stories of the strange happenings that surrounded John’s birth. They listened to his fierce tone like a man possessed of the spirit of Elijah! They willingly followed this loner and admired his ardent, if austere holiness.

Then, John points to another and declares, “Behold, the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sin of the world!”

One by one, these eager young men leave John to follow this new teacher, this “Lamb of God.”

The next three years would be the most memorable of their entire lives. They were likely more profound than any three years of anyone since.

At each turn this new teacher, the very Son of God would astonish them.

The very first event to which they are invited is a wedding ceremony.

There’s such significance here: A wedding feast. A sacred union of man and woman. A party, in fact.

A far cry from John’s solitude, Jesus laughed, talked and played with children as the festivities took place. How odd for these new friends of his to watch this fresh, new holiness.

Jesus ate, drank and enjoyed the celebration of marriage.

When the wine ran out, he did something even more remarkable.

There, to the side were large pots for ritual cleansing. He instructs the servants to fill them with water and to take them to the wine-taster.

Scriptures do not say whether Jesus caused all the water to be changed to wine, or whether each dip of the ladle was transformed. It wouldn’t be more miraculous in either method.

What is significant is that Jesus launched his ministry at a wedding feast. He will consulate his Kingdom at a wedding feast.

He began his ministry by turning people’s religion of outward cleansing to one of inward renewal.

Jesus brings us such a fresh, new holiness, too. It doesn’t brag or do things for show. It is always humble and quiet. It can relax and enjoy festivities, but is never touched with the dirt of this fallen world.

I hope those who read this pick up the Bible and dig in to the book of John. Or stop by Crystal Lake Baptist on Sunday to hear more from this wonderful book.