“Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)
I want to take hold of that for which Jesus took hold of me. I really do. Even though I don’t have a clue what that will turn out to be, I am 100 percent confident it will be “the life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:19)
How do I know this? Because Jesus never does anything half way. The word lavish leaps out from the scriptures. As a matter of fact, Jesus’ best friend, John, spoke of this very idea in his first letter: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us…” (1 John 3:1).
And in his Gospel, John told us about Jesus’ first miracle, and it’s a lavish doozy. You know the story. Or, do you? Really?
Jesus and his pals were hanging out at a wedding reception. The wine was flowing, and the guests were having a big-time throw down. (Who said the Bible is boring?) But suddenly, the wine ran out, and the hosts panicked. Mary turned to Jesus and asked him to help.
With just a nod, he changed the water to wine. But this is bigger than just an amazing miracle because, buried in the story, are three words that give it three-dimensional life.
First, the wine was the finest. Second, the steward had to taste it to know this. Third, John called this miracle a sign.
A sign points to something. A sign is meant to reveal information beyond just the shazam wonder of the miracle itself. So, what does the Holy Spirit, through John, want us to know about Jesus through this sign?
What is he pointing to?
Everything Jesus does, everything he touches, is the absolute finest. No half effort from Jesus. No phoning it in for Jesus. Can you think of any situation in the stories of Jesus where he did anything half way? No, only the finest!
He filled Peter’s nets with so many fish the nets almost burst… twice. He fed 5,000 families with so much food there were basketfuls left over. And, all 5,000 were nourished and full.
Jesus healed completely all who came to him. He never healed a lame person and said, “Well, that’s the best I can do. Better get a cane to help with that lingering limp.” Never! The lame man jumped up and down, dancing a jig.
And so it will be with the that for which Jesus took hold of you—or, wants to take hold of you. Always the finest.
But let’s dig deeper. After Jesus changed the water to the finest of wines, did anyone know it yet? In an instant, this splendid wine was in the jars. But it took the wine steward tasting it to know how spectacular it truly was.
Jesus could have told the steward how incredible the wine was. He could have taught him how he changed the water to wine and described in detail its lavish essence. And the steward, taking copious notes, would have known all about it.
But he had to taste it to truly know.
And so do you.
Too many of us know all about Jesus’ promises. We know all about the lavish miracles. We may even know a lot about him.
But do you know him? Have you tasted his richness? Have you tasted his peace, his joy, and his contentment? Maybe you have read all about these things… even memorized the passages.
But have you tasted it?
To take hold of that for which Jesus took hold of you, you must taste his goodness.
Not read about it. Not study it. Not attend classes or listen to sermons about it.
You must taste it.
Perhaps you have never realized the lavish promises of splendor that await you. Or perhaps you have resisted taking hold of these promises because you had a sneaking suspicion there was a catch somewhere. A fine print. You’ve nibbled only at the edges because you feared a hook within.
But if you will just taste God’s lavish goodness for yourself, you’ll understand what Nancy Spiegelberg meant when she said,
Lord, I crawled across the barrenness with an empty cup… If I had only known better I’d have come running with a bucket.
May you taste and take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you … because that is always going to be the finest.