Have you ever heard the phrase “start as you mean to go on”?
Maybe your parent or teacher taught it to you. But what exactly does it mean?
It means to begin doing something in the same manner that you intend to continue doing it: to set a consistent pattern of behaviour right from the start.
That way, everyone will know what to expect from you, and they won’t end up disappointed.
Many of us have a hard time being consistent. We start out the new year with grand resolutions about exercising more, being a better parent, or reading the Bible.
But then our enthusiasm wavers, we get busy, and our resolutions fall by the wayside.
What about Jesus? Did Jesus start as He meant to go in His earthly ministry?
Let’s take a look at His first miracle and see what we find out.
At first glance, Jesus’ first demonstration of His supernatural power seems markedly different from the ones that followed.
His first recorded miracle was at a wedding. The hosts had run out of wine and were at risk of being embarrassed by the shortfall. Prompted by His mother, Jesus came to their aid by turning vats of water into wine.
This doesn’t seem to be of a piece with Jesus’ other miracles, does it?
Most of the other demonstrations of His power involved meeting a deep need of a desperate person: giving sight to the blind, enabling the paralyzed to walk, or even raising the dead. They also involved rescue (freeing people from demons) or provision (feeding thousands of hungry people with only five loaves and two fishes).
But merely saving someone from embarrassment at a party? Not exactly helping the downtrodden or healing the sick, was it?
This miracle feels very different from the others, almost out of place.
But really, it isn’t.
Jesus’ turning the water into wine harmonizes perfectly with all His other miracles because it involves transformation.
All of Jesus’ miracles and ministry involved transforming lives in some way. He transformed sick people into healthy ones, doubters into believers, and sinners into saints.
As Kerry and Chris Shook put in in their book, “Find Your Miracle”:
“You see, this miracle at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry pointed the way to the ongoing miracle Christ works in us today.
“This miracle was nothing less than a miracle of transformation, a beautiful symbol of how God can change ordinary people into something completely new, rich, full, and glorious.”
So Jesus did indeed start as He meant to go when He turned the water into wine. He showed the world that He was in the business of transformation.
And He still is today.
He can turn your sin-stained life into a thing of beauty. He can turn the darkness you face into the shining light of His love. He can turn your scars into stars.
Jesus can always be relied upon to finish what He starts. Won’t you put your trust in Him?
© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.