“The Kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.” Matthew 22:2, NIV
“Look at me daddy!” yelled Isabelle as she twirled in the middle of the living room in her princess dress. “I’m a bride!”
Isabelle’s father smiled as he watched his daughter dance around the room in her play dress. “Well, if we are going to have a wedding we are going to need some wine Isa,” said her father with a twinkle in his eye. “Do you know that Jesus loves weddings too?” he said as he reached for her hand. “Did Jesus ever go to a wedding daddy?” asked Isabelle as she hugged her father’s hand.
The middle-aged man bent down and hugged his little bride and then led her towards the kitchen. “As a matter of fact, Jesus’ first miracle happened at a wedding in a town called Cana of Galilee,” said her father as they reached the kitchen. “Jesus turned ordinary water into wine from heaven.” Isabelle looked into her father’s blue eyes for a moment and then yelled, “I want some wine from heaven daddy!”
Isabelle’s father reached into the pantry and got out some red punch mix and asked her to find a pitcher in the cupboard. “I found one daddy!” said Isabelle as she moved pots and pans out of the way to reach the plastic pitcher. “Bring it to me and we will fill it with water,” said her father as he opened the punch mix.
“I want to fill the pitcher with water daddy!” said Isabelle as she carried the pitcher proudly to her father. The father took the pitcher from Isabelle and lifted her up and set her on the counter by the sink so that she could reach the kitchen faucet. “Fill it up sweetheart,” he said. After filling he pitcher with cold tap water, Isabelle helped her daddy add the punch mix to the pitcher. Her daddy even let her stir in the punch mix all by herself with a large wooden spoon.
“Why do you think that Jesus made wine with his first miracle?” said her father with a smile forming at the corner of his mouth. “Because the people were thirsty and didn’t have anything to drink, right daddy?” said Isabelle with a giggle. Isabelle’s father gently lifted his daughter off of the counter and kissed her as he set her down on the floor. “You are right Isabelle, the people of Cana were thirsty,” he said. “They were thirsty for God and for the kingdom of heaven.”
“I’m thirsty too daddy,” said Isabelle as she looked at the pitcher of punch that they had just made together, “What is the kingdom of heaven?”
Isabelle’s father went to a cupboard and got out two matching plastic wine glasses while he thought about her question. “The kingdom of heaven is wherever Jesus is,” said her father as he poured punch into the wine glasses. “Jesus also taught us that heaven in like a wedding banquet honey.”
“What is a banquet daddy?” said Isabelle as she moved closer to the table and the two glasses of “wine.” “A banquet is a big party that you have for your friends,” said Isabelle’s father. “The Bible says that the kingdom of heaven is like a father having a big wedding party for his son.” “God is the Father and Jesus is his Son,” continued her father. “The father told his workers to invite all of his closest friends to the wedding party first but they didn’t come to the wedding because they were too busy.”
“Who were the close friends daddy?” asked Isabelle as she squinted her eyes and turned her head to the side. “The people of Israel were God’s close friends Isabelle because God gave the Israelites his laws and sent prophets to tell them about the Messiah Jesus,” replied Isabelle’s father. “Jesus was an Israelite too Isabelle and he is descended from king David himself.”
Isabelle looked a little confused. “Let’s have a wedding toast now,” said her father with a smile. They both took a plastic wine glass from the table and her father prayed for the people of Israel. He also prayed for Isabelle and their family before they drank the “wine.”
“What is a Messiah daddy?” asked Isabelle as she wiped the punch from her mouth leaving a red stain around her small lips. “That is an excellent question,” said her father as he finished his “wine” and poured more punch into their wine glasses. “The Messiah is the one that God promised would come to deliver the Jewish people.”
Isabelle took another drink of “wine” and looked at her daddy as she thought about what he had said. “What did the Messiah deliver the people from daddy?” said Isabelle as she placed her wine glass back on the table. She then came over to her father and lifted up her hands to be picked up. Isabelle’s father lifted the little bride into his arms and he carried her back into the living room. “Jesus is the promised Messiah,” said her father as he placed his rough cheek next to Isabelle’s soft cheek. “Jesus came to deliver the Israelites, and all men from our sin.”
“Is that why Jesus died on the cross daddy?” said Isabelle as she held her father’s face in her hands and looked into his brown eyes. “Yes Isabelle,” said her father, “Jesus’ blood is another kind of heavenly wine that saves people from their sins.” Jesus’ first and last miracles involved wine honey.” “Is that why we drink grape juice at church daddy and eat the little pieces of bread?” Isabelle asked as her look of confusion turned into a look of understanding.
“You are smart like your mommy,” said her father with a look of love. “Jesus told us to celebrate the cross and remember Him by eating the Bread from heaven. This represents His sinless body that was sacrificed for our sins. The wine represents His blood that was shed on the cross.”
“Jesus also said that the church is like a bride and Jesus is like a husband,” continued her father as he walked over to the stereo to turn on some “wedding” music. “Everyone who believes in Jesus and makes him the boss of their lives will be invited to live forever with Jesus in heaven and drink real heavenly wine with Jesus.”
Isabelle smiled as she listened to her daddy and exclaimed, “Jesus is the boss of my life daddy!” “I know honey,” said her father as the music started to play. “Come, let us dance a wedding dance together for Jesus.”