Jesus, the Firstborn

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee.
He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

(John 2:11)

“Firsts” are special are they not? The first tooth, the first step, the first day of school, the first date, the first time to drive a car, the first child, the first grandchild. “Firsts” make quite an impact on our lives perhaps because they generally come as the fruition to what most of us disdain–waiting. Indeed, “firsts” carry with them a sense of wonder, awe, and amazement as waiting turns into reality.

“God alone knows the depth and riches of His Godhead, and divine wisdom alone can declare His secrets.”
-Thomas Aquinas
Our verse for today speaks of the performance of Jesus’ first miracle, revealing His glory to the disciples, opening their eyes to the finger-marks of God, prompting them to put their faith in Him. Transforming water into wine, Jesus sets forth a taste of what is to come for man–the transformation of the heart. There is nothing like experiencing a miracle to build faith and point us to the truth!

The Jews had been waiting for their promised Messiah just as God had waited on the “fullness of time” for His Son to be born. God’s timing is perfect–never late or early and rarely when we expect it. Everything was ready when Jesus arrived on the scene. God’s Son, in whom all the fullness of the deity dwelt in bodily form, came to make God the Father known to man. Glory and splendor are shown to His disciples as Jesus turns the water into wine without a word. When things too hard for mere man to do are accomplished–things beyond the bounds of human powers–our attention is grabbed.

Jesus was a “first” in Scripture. We find in Romans:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)

Paul states in Colossians:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

“Christ became what we are that He might make us what He is.”
-Athanasius of Alexandria

Take It to Heart

Christ both preceded the whole Creation and is Sovereign over all Creation. He is exalted as the firstborn among many, demonstrating to us a great pattern we are to follow: He came to do His Father’s will and to make His Father known; in like fashion, we too are to manifest Jesus.

Paul tells us:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

The message of salvation and the results which the gospel produces are both divine and glorious. “To preach the gospel is really to unfold the heart of God, the person and work of Christ; and all this by the present energy of the Holy Ghost, from the exhaustless treasury of Holy Scripture.”
(C H McIntosh, Notes on Numbers, 1869)