The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese hangs in the Louvre. The massive painting depicts a multitude of guests at the wedding celebration of John 2:1-11. Jesus sits quietly in the center of the scene, while a servant pours out some of the miraculous wine in the bottom right corner.
Hardly anyone is paying attention. Some are distractedly watching the people around them. Others are lost in their own thoughts, seemingly a million miles away from the action in their midst. The chief steward is the one person appreciating the wine—and yet, he stands with his back to Jesus. The only people who look at Jesus are the disciples.
Very few see the sign. Even fewer understand what it means.
Just like the Louvre visitors caught in the photo, we also take in the scene from a privileged distance. From our perspective as outsiders, we are able to notice everything that is taking place. We overhear the conversation between Jesus and his mother. We listen as he instructs the servants to act. We see the water going in to the vessels, and then the wine drawn out. We shake our heads as the chief steward misses the point—it’s more than just good wine! The bridegroom had nothing to do with it!
From this vantage point, we can see, we understand, we get it.
But, what about all those other times?
What signs might we be missing as we are caught up in middle of things?
What distractions keep us from noticing Jesus present and at work right here in our midst?
What can help us to be disciples who see—and as a result, come to a deeper trust?