“The governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” John 2:9-10
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 55:12-23
The governor of the feast said more than he intended to say, or rather, there is more truth in what he said than he himself imagined. This is the established rule all the world over: “the good wine first, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse.” It is the rule with men; and have not hundreds of disappointed hearts bewailed it? Friendship first—the oily tongue, the words softer than butter, and afterwards the drawn sword. Ahitophel first presents the lordly dish of love and kindness to David, then afterwards that which is worse, for he forsakes his master, and becomes the counsellor of his rebel son. Judas presents first of all the dish of fair speech and of kindness; the Saviour partook thereof, he walked to the house of God in company with him, and took sweet counsel with him; but afterwards there came the dregs of the wine—“He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” Judas the thief betrayed his Master, bringing forth afterwards “that which is worse.” You have found it so with many whom you thought your friends. In the heyday of prosperity, when the sun was shining, and the birds were singing, and all was fair and cheerful with you, they brought forth the good wine; but there came a chilling frost, and nipped your flowers, and the leaves fell from the trees, and your streams were frosted with ice, and then they brought forth that which is worse, they forsook you and fled; they left you in your hour of peril, and taught you that great truth, that “Cursed is he that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.”
For meditation: Has someone you trusted let you down badly, albeit unintentionally? Christ’s first miracle reminds us that man’s ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8); the Christian has a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24) and is assured that the best is still to come (Hebrews 10:34).
Sermon no. 225
28 November (1858)