Should the servants have simply shrugged and said, “Oh well, you’re the expert”?
When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “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 2:9, 10
Let’s imagine we are able to talk with this master of the feast immediately after these remarks:
“Excuse me, sir. You say that he’s now serving the ‘good wine’?”
“That’s right. Quite remarkable, actually, and very generous of him, don’t you think?”
“Yes, indeed. But can you tell me, other than the bouquet and taste, what makes this wine ‘good’?”
“Not well up on the wine industry, eh? Well, let me help you here. You see good wine is aged wine. I’d say this wine we’re serving now is, oh, maybe 3, 4 years in the cask, tucked away in a cool underground cellar.”
“I see, and is there anything else? Anything about the growing process, for example?”
“Excellent question. Yes, gauging by the taste of this excellent wine, I’d say it was made with grapes from premium vines, probably very old and cared for with extra special attention for many years, so that, over the years, only the best grapes come from those vines.”
“So, we’re talking a good many years invested in the production of this wine?”
“Oh, yes, of course – even as much as a generation, if you consider how long it took to plant, cultivate, prune, and nurture the vines that must have produced this good wine.”
“And this is your considered opinion?”
“Of course. What are you implying? I know my wine, friend, and I can assure you, you don’t whip up wine this good in just a matter of seconds.”
“Well, thank you very much. Most informative.”
Did Jesus deceive this master of the feast? Or did his own preconceived notions and settled convictions lead him to reasonable, but wrong, conclusions regarding the origin of this “good wine”?
Is it likely that he, being an expert, would have been persuaded by mere “servants” who might have tried to set him straight on the matter? Even though they had first-hand knowledge? Would his stubbornness have changed the provenance of that good wine? Should the servants have simply shrugged and said, “Oh well, you’re the expert”?
If we credit the story of Jesus making good wine from well water – the opinion of the wine expert to the contrary notwithstanding – why do we find it so hard to credit the idea of a recent and special creation of the universe?