Wrong Banquet

So after reading a little Spurgeon a night ago, I learned something really interesting with regard to John chapter 2. I love reading the book of John, but this definitely never occurred to me until God showed me through the words of His servant. I’m not going to lift everything he said – it’s really lengthy anyway – but what was revealed to me was worth it.

So, his focus is on verse 10, where the master of the feast has tasted the new wine, obviously loves it, and calls the bridegroom aside. He says 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.”

Naturally, we’ve all looked at the fact that that was a part of the story of the first miracle of Jesus and all, but that statement holds a deeper meaning than we probably would have imagined.

You know, one thing we often point out with regard to this life is that following the world and Satan will give you short-term pleasures. This is what is encapsulated in this statement.

Every other thing we turn to for satisfaction gives us a little shot of pleasure. A little glass of the pleasure we’re craving for. Just about enough to hook us in and keep us in till it’s time for the poor wine to be served. Everyone seated at this banquet has a brief period of enjoyment which is the predecessor to unpleasant consequences.

The young man who has made sex or money his idol and is willing to do anything to get it may be having fun at the onset, but as we know all too well by now, the heart is never satisfied. Desiring $1,000,000 will turn to desiring $10,000,000, and won’t stop. No internal satisfaction. The person engaged in secret sin will probably love the sweet taste of that iniquity in the heat of that moment, but that subsequent cup of guilt and fear of being discovered is nowhere near good to the throat.

Look at King Solomon for example. What didn’t her have? Riches. Material stuff. Women. He had a thousand ladies at his disposal!! The dude could draw up a yearly roster of who to ‘enjoy’ and have more than enough substitutes in case of emergencies. He may have even considered some things which I won’t state here. That’ll be someway. But what was the theme of Ecclesiastes? ‘All is vanity’. That banquet he had sat at gave him the good, then brought in the bad, and he felt it.

The lyrics of one of my favourite Lecrae songs ‘Chase That’ exemplify this whole issue when he makes reference to Alexander the Great and his conquest to rule the world. “He conquered all he could, but yet he’s feeling consumed / By this never-ending quest for glory he couldn’t fuel. Filling yourself up with the wine of all these material things and pursuits just don’t hit the mark of satisfaction if that’s what you expect; there will always be something more that you desire and will leave you troubled before, during and after you get it.

And that’s not the worst part, because the really poor wine comes after the heart stops. Should you perish in that condition of not knowing Him and being at His table, then the unending gulp of eternal agony and shame is what you get. An unpleasant end indeed.

But the real Bridegroom, Jesus, does it differently, saving the best wine for last.

Sure, the cup a born-again believer must drink from is not the most pleasant, as far as our comfort is concerned. The issues of ‘killing your flesh’, ‘dying to self’ and ‘taking up your cross’ are testament to this. But it’s a non-negotiable, and we are never left alone nor forsaken as we dine at this table. He remains close to us, strengthening us with His grace and reminding us of His love as we press on. We get a foretaste of the beautiful wine that awaits us as we draw closer and closer to Him.

And of course, the best wine is for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, when His bride, the church has joined Him on the golden streets of heaven. There, we will delight in the wonderful taste of basking in His glorious presence, singing songs unto Him forever, remaining in perpetual awe of His wonder, glory and splendor. This is a banquet worth looking forward to!

As you read this, are you at the table of the world and the devil? What’s your hope in? What are you really living for? What’s on the throne of your heart? If it isn’t Christ, then I implore you, dethrone whatever it is that has that spot! It will not give you the joy you were made to experience. That can only be discovered in Christ. He is the Bridegroom that has kept the best wine for when it’s time to really enjoy it. Turn to Him, let Him change your desires and wants, and let the Holy Spirit prepare your heart to eagerly anticipate that day when all who know Him and are known by Him will be caught up in the clouds, on the way to a party that will be out of this world!!

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