Six Stone Jars
March 12, 2021
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In 1934 Ole Kirk Christiansen was a Danish carpenter turned toy maker. The company he created was called LEGO, a word coined from two Danish words meaning “play well.” Their motto? Only the best is the best. That’s not a bad encapsulation of the miracle at Cana. The master of ceremonies put it this way to the bridegroom:
Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now. (John 2:10)
I’d love to see the sheepish smile on the bridegroom’s face. Jesus didn’t just help him save face. He helped him put his best foot forward. Jesus didn’t just save the day. He made the day. And that’s what Jesus does best. He can turn the worst days into the best days! And He always saves the best for last.
The raw material for the first miracle is the most basic building block in nature. It’s a profound reminder that God doesn’t need much to work with. In fact, He doesn’t need anything. His best work is ex nihilo. I suppose Jesus could have started with grapes and miraculously expedited the three-year fermentation process, and that would have qualified as a miracle. But by starting with water, Jesus demonstrated His ability to take the simplest thing on earth and turn it into something even more beautiful, something even more flavorful. And if God can do that with water, what can’t He do? The God who spoke every atom into existence is the One who can mu-tate any molecule. That includes blood cells, brain cells, and cancer cells. Our cells are His LEGOs.
Ole Kirk Christiansen was an audacious dreamer, but I doubt that even Ole could have imagined a flagship store in Times Square or Legoland amusement parks across the country, not to mention a Hollywood blockbuster, video games, and themed LEGO sets that seem to make an appearance at every elementary-age birthday I’ve ever at-tended. LEGO’s annual production of twenty billion bricks boggles the mind. But it all started with a simple building block.
I recently met one of the masterminds behind the LEGO brand at a gathering of entrepreneurs in Las Vegas. He gave every participant six LEGO bricks that turned into an unforgettable object lesson in ingenuity. He asked us to estimate the total number of unique combinations we could create with those six bricks. I guesstimated a few hundred, leaving me just a few hundred million short of the actual answer. I don’t think anybody came anywhere close to the total number of possible permutations: 915,103,765.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? In much the same way, we grossly underestimate the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. And maybe that’s why Jesus starts His miraculous ministry with H2O—to show what He can do with next to nothing. The object lesson is far more unforgettable than six LEGO bricks. Start with six stone jars. Add water. Bring them to Jesus. And watch what He can do!
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.