Up to the brim


Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the waterpots with water.  And they filled them up to the brim” (King James Bible, John 2:7)

These waterpots were of considerable size since their capacity was about 20 or 30 gallons each.  They stood near the entrance of the house at Cana where the wedding was being held, and the water they contained would be poured over the feet of guests to refresh them on their arrival after walking along the hot and dusty roads.

By the time the wine ran out the wedding feast itself was well advanced, and no more guests could be expected.  To start refilling the waterpots, therefore, at this stage would appear to be so much wasted time and effort.  Yet the remarkable thing is that when Jesus came over to the servants and said, “Fill the waterpots with water”, they filled them, not up to the neck, but up to the brim.  

If we assume that two thirds of the water which they originally contained had been used up, it meant that the servants had to draw and carry at least another 80 gallons from the well or fountain.  And yet they went on drawing that water until the six waterpots were all brimful.

And why?  Because it was Jesus who had asked them.  What they did they did for him, and being the sort of person he was they could not do too much for him.  They did not know, and could not have guessed, what the result would be, but their regard for him and their faith in him were such that they asked no questions but willingly and cheerfully performed a task which would otherwise have been irksome, exasperating and senseless.

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