“Make the most of every opportunity.” Colossians 4:5
“When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to Him: They have no more wine.” John 2:3
This incident is a very fitting illustration of the failure of all this world’s joys. The wine ran out at a wedding feast. There was not enough of it to last through to the end of the feast.
It is just so with all earth’s pleasures. It comes in cups — not in fountains; and the supply is limited — and soon exhausted.
It is especially so with sin’s pleasures. The prodigal son soon ran out of money, and began to be in need. A poet compared the pleasures of sin to a snowflake on the river, “a moment white — then gone forever!”
But it is true in a sense also — of pure earthly pleasures. Even the sweetness of human love is but a cupful, which will not last forever. The joy which so fills us today — tomorrow is changed to sorrow. Amid the gladness of the marriage altar — there is the knell of the end, in the words “until death do us part.” One of every two friends must hold the other’s hand in farewell at the edge of the valley of the shadow of death — and must stand by the other’s grave, and walk alone for part of the way. The best wine of earthly life and of love — will fail. If there were nothing better in this world — how sad it would be!
But it is here that we see the glory of Christ’s gospel. When earth’s wine fails — Jesus comes, and gives Heaven’s wine to supply the lack. How beautiful and how true is the picture here: the failing wine — and then Jesus coming with power and supplying the need! That is what He is doing continually. He takes lives which have drained their last drop of earthly gladness — and He satisfies them with spiritual good and blessing, so that they need nothing more.
When human joy fails — Jesus gives new joy, better than the world’s, and in unfailing abundance! How sad it is for those who have not taken Christ into their lives, and who have nothing but the empty cup — when earth’s wine runs out.
J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.