“It was a trick,” exclaimed Thomas, as he overheard Mary enthusiastically relating an unbelievable tale to her neighbor.
“You cannot really trust this incredible story as truth!” Thomas incredulously stated. “After all, there is always confusion and revelry at these gatherings! I’m sure old Ezra had that wine in storage and his servants took it upon themselves to bring it out at the last minute so they would not be blamed for being negligent in their duties!
Mary’s face became downcast, as she tried to convince her cousin-in-law.
“I was there, Thomas! I saw it with my own eyes! I watched the servants fill the jars from the spring just minutes before Zachariah placed his dipper in and I could smell the wine’s sweetness immediately! It was no longer water!”
Thomas stared in disbelief as he tried to logically explain away Mary’s fantastic account of the family’s recent attendance to a distant cousin’s wedding in closeby Cana.
“Mary, you know you have always favored Jesus with impossible expectations, and this is just another example of it clouding your judgment. There must be a reasonable explanation for what you think happened.”
Brows furrowed in deep contemplation, Thomas made another observation.
“You said you were distraught because Jesus had shown up with a few of uninvited disciples and you thought John’s family would suffer deep embarrassment for running out of wine for their guests, and that you shared your concern with Jesus.”
“Yes”, his aunt replied, “He had just called the men a couple of days previous to their journey from Judea to the wedding, so it was important that they accompany Him.”
The cool, west wind ruffled Thomas’ long hair and the nearby olive trees shimmered from the afternoon sun, as Thomas gazed thoughtfully across the rolling meadows in the distance.
“What made you think Jesus could do anything about this problem in the first place?”, questioned Thomas irritably, as they parted company from Mary’s neighbor.
“Be-because,” stammered Mary, guiltily, “he had a certain expression on His face I always recognize before He does something out of the ordinary. A mother just knows these things . . .”
As the two walked along the sandy path, Thomas suddenly recalled an event from his early childhood that occurred when his aunt and uncle’s family had come for a visit.
“We boy cousins had been practicing marksmanship by throwing rocks at some birds in the woodlands nearby. Mark, the biggest of all of us, had managed to actually wound one of the larger birds. The younger children were trying to finish killing the maimed creature, now limping and within their immediate reach, when Jesus ran to its rescue. Chiding the playmates for their destructive behavior, he gently scooped the bird into his cupped hands. I now remember the exact look on Jesus’ face as he bowed his head in silent prayer before softly blowing over the victim’s feathers and releasing it up into the air. The bird had sailed away with grace and strength while we all looked on in confusion at this mysterious phenomenon. And Jesus’ face had shone with an unearthly joyful glow.”
Thomas began pondering another past event, much talked about in whispered conversation between his parents after he had been sent to bed and thought to have been asleep.
“It was, oh, about fifteen years ago after his family had returned home from the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover. Oh, yes, that was also the year all the relative were on a frantic search for Jesus on their way home from the celebration. His aunt and uncle had retraced their steps all the way back to Jerusalem! They finally found his missing cousin, not up to some playful mischief, but in the Temple, of all places, exchanging theological ideas with the priests!”
From that time on, Thomas had labeled studious Jesus as strange and not spent much time with him.
“Let’s see”, Thomas searched his memory, “what were my parents discussing so ardently after I was sent to bed . . . Oh, that’s right! Something about Jesus being the future Messiah!”
Before he could pursue this train of thought further, Mary interrupted with a startling statement.
“Thomas, Jesus performed a miracle, and I was not the only one to witness it! There is no mystery about it all, if you realize Who He really is!”
This, along with his rekindled memories, brought Thomas to the conclusion that perhaps his own cousin was, indeed, the promised Messiah!
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