Until now

“But you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:10).

David Ford comments upon this statement of the steward or master of the feast at the wedding at Cana:

These final words of the story are “a typical multilayered statement. Within the story its meaning is obvious. But, for the readers, the steward’s surprise suggests the greater, God-centered, surprise of which this is a sign. And it is notable that the phrase is ‘until now,’ not ‘until the end.’ This ‘now’ is important for John, and to follow the idea through the rest of the Gospel (Greek arti, and also nyn, whose meaning is mostly the same) is to see how the presence of Jesus in person is utterly central. Time itself is relative to him, as in the absolute ‘I am’ sayings. The instantaneous transformation of water into wine might be seen as a symbol of the acceleration or concentration of time, or of the freedom of God with time, or, in Johannine terms, of ‘eternal life’. The coming of Jesus is the arrival of eternal life ‘now,’ good wine that does not run out; and ‘now’ is also this point in the Gospel drama, the first of Jesus’s signs.” (The Gospel of John, p 65).

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