No place where Jesus preached, or day upon which He wrought a miracle, but what has divine significance. Nothing is by accident.
All is divine order. "Cana of Galilee." Cana is the closing of the circuit, or circle of Galilee. Here the boy attains His majority and publicly celebrates His own marriage to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The circuit is closed on the third day–the day of fulfillment–the marriage day. At Cana He is joined unto Spirit forever. The complete surrender of the soul to the way and will of the Holy Spirit is fitly symbolized by the happy marriage of His young friends on Wednesday. The beautiful virgin to her beloved, Jesus to God. "Thy Maker is Thine husband."
Jesus never wrought any miracle till He thus publicly closed His recognition of church and state and domestic authority over His speech and actions, and with only His mother for a witness solemnly pledged Himself to recognize as supreme the Inner Voice and the outer call of the Divine Spirit.
Two things He thus makes clear to the students of His teachings, viz: that He never condemned the institution of marriage, and that no unvarying success in miracle working may be looked for till there is complete surrender of the heart and hand and judgment to divine will.
Therefore, no matter how many multi-mental demonstrations one may make he does not indicate utter surrender to the spirit of God, except he from thenceforth show his dominion over all external conditions by bringing forth order out of what seems chaos, health out of what seems sickness, life out of what seems death, peace out of seeming discord. "Miracle" working is the sign of being absolutely united to Spirit.
"If I do not the works of the Father, believe me not."
How beautifully Jesus Christ sanctions true marriage. There is no scornful reproval — no insinuation against it. He spoke of the obligation of one man and one woman to be true and faithful to each other for ever and ever. He stamps His image on honorable marriage. He is the only speaker of ancient times, in the Bible or out of it, who speaks so plainly that there is no mistaking His meanings - "They twain," and twain means two. Paul's words can easily be construed to mean another way. John the Revelator never carries the intimation of reverence for marriage in spite of his using it for a figure.
David's ideas are repulsive. But Jesus Christ — no wanton wandering from the plighted troth — no infidelity to the vows spoken to bind us to be faithful forever can we find excuse or sanction for in His teachings.
He or she untrue to the marriage pledge cannot expect the power of the Holy Ghost to work miracles thru him. It was at this pledging time that Jesus wrought His first miracle.
The Spirit bore witness with Him that He was ONE with it. This marriage "in Cana" was the outward picture of the primal union or marriage of Jesus Christ with Spirit.
Madame Guyon sought to be married to God. She succeeded in catching glimpses of this union several times, but she accused God as sending so much evil upon those united unto Him that her words made a cloud of darkness perpetually between herself and that "Maker who is thine husband." There is wine and mirth and friendly joy in marriage with God-Spirit. "Wine" is a word signifying reviving, refreshing joy. They who know Jesus Christ indeed, drink refreshing, reviving, invigorating words. The refreshing, reviving, invigorating words Jesus made the wine of, wine praises of the goodness and tenderness and bounty of God.
How perfectly He demonstrated that He was actually in love with Spirit by immediately doing the works of God! After this celebration of His own eternal Oneness with God, He could restore a palsied hand to vigor in an instant. He could call the living to come forth out of coffins and graves. He could make bread and fish self-increasing. He could coin gold on the instant for meeting all current expenses. He did not believe in owing even the proud government of Caesar anything. "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."
Unless we can do all the works that He did we have not closed in with the old ways at Cana and started the circuit of Galilee in Spirit. "The same works that I do shall ye do."
The "works" He did we realize were all accomplished by His knowing that when one came to Him drooping in body it was the outward picture of a drooping hope. When one came in consumption it was the outward picture of a hope departing or consuming. He could see that a word would quicken the hope — would restore the hope.
Looking into the mind realm where the thoughts were dwelling, a meek little woman, who understood Jesus, saw that a young man's hope was failing. What hope was it that was failing? The hope that he might be a success among men. The people said his nerves and muscles were failing. She saw his hopes drooping. She understood, because she understood Jesus Christ well, that there is no hope ever stirs within one of us but that God hath for us the actual fulfillment of that hope.
So she told him by silent ministry akin to the invisible marriage ceremony of Jesus Christ, that truly God would fulfill his expectations. Then aloud she said: "You will be successful, child." This was the "Wine" he was waiting to drink. It was the Word of God. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." So he was well from that hour.
This is the power of prophecy. "Prophecy is mine and sound judgment." They can tell of good to come who have united with the Spirit that is Divine Goodness all bounty without lack or failure. Whoever believes in weakness has not yet come into Cana. For Jesus Christ teaches that the truly joined to Spirit are filled with Omnipotence: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and earth."
Whosoever believes in sickness is not united unto Spirit, for Jesus Christ was explicit and definite, "heal the sick." Do not leave people in their sickness. Do not accuse God of sending sickness.
"As I live, saith the Lord, I know my thoughts and I think towards you thoughts of peace and not of evil, to bring you an expected end."
The end we all expect is good unto ourselves. We deeply and profoundly love prosperity and peace and health. These we have a right to and nothing else.
"Woman, what have I to do with thee?"
"Gracious lady! Keeper of my past; now I am listening for the voice of the Spirit. She does not yet bid me act."
So He broke away from the ways of Galilee's former hastenings, and without doing anything, did all things speedily. With the power of Spirit hastening through us there seems to the world delay, but all the world's armies of power and learning could not overtake our ministry if we are truly joined to God. Festina Lentc.
All who obey the voice of Sophia (the Spirit) heed not the ways of the guests at the marriage, yet they do satisfy their hearts fair hopes. Then even the great ones at the former marriage obeyed Him. So it is always promised to the spiritually minded that they shall have "Kings come bending" and all the earth shall be theirs.
Notice that a woman, a "Gracious lady" recognized that He was great in Spirit. Cadijah recognized Mahomet. So "Woman" shall always know when the voice of the Spirit is speaking. And she shall tell the world what is true of Jesus Christ; also what is true of you and me.
"Six water-pots of stone." Here is our lesson for today put so plainly that he who runs may read. When Jesus Christ demonstrated the power of Spirit He always took the materials at hand such as they were; He did not take any loaves and fishes except such as they had on hand to look up and praise God with and feed the multitudes.
He took Lazarus just as He found him. He took the "Six stone water-pots" and water they had at hand. Nothing else. This signifies that you are to take your rough circumstances, your bodily conditions, your human affairs, just as they are and holding them in your mind give thanks and bless the providing Jehovah that within them is the wine of peace and success and health. This giving thanks and praising God the down-bending Spirit for the wine of joy and goodness, surely contained within your circumstances the stone water-pots of your affairs just as they are, is the silent transmuting potency of Jesus the Christ.
A man who takes his last copper pennies and looking up to heaven gives thanks, is doing that action which is the key turning into re-enforcements of Jehovah laid up for him from the foundation of the world. The copper pennies are all he needs to work with. The stone jars are your own affairs. They are just what is given you to manage with to show how powerful the Spirit is in dealing with you for your increasement.
Archimedes said give him standing place and he would move the world. But Goethe was more like Jesus Christ by saying, "Make good your own standing place, and move the world."
Jesus Christ said He would lay down His body and take it up. Moses took his own rod and made it a serpent; his own hand and made it leprous with a thought; his own hand and healed it with a thought.
The queen was surprised that they had such dirty rags in a rich paper mill. But soon the manufacturers sent her some shining white paper made from those same rags. So by this lesson you may learn that you do not need one single thing to do with more than you already have if you know the law of praise and thanksgiving. At a faith-cure meeting a man kept praising God that he was so well, while a great tumor or some other kind of swelling was plain to be seen by his neighbors. This was his "stone water-pot." But he praised God publicly that he was so well for a whole fortnight. Long before the fortnight was up he was well, so that even his neighbors could see it so.
Take the home as you find it, child, and turn it into a home indeed by praising God that there is a Spirit of Goodness working with you and through you and by you and for you to make all things well.
Take your business as it is, child, and praise Divine Love that there is a strong, wise way out of your dilemma. Take your professional hopes, your children, your work — nothing can be more common than stone water-pots — and set them right by praising the Spirit. Praise is the "wine" of daily experience. The praise of Divine Love — the Motherhood of God is the plenteous wine of Cana of Galilee.
July 19th, 1891