Finding Obedience in Paolo Veronese’s The Wedding at Cana - page 2



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From the Summer 2013 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

Finding Obedience in Paolo Veronese's
The Wedding at Cana

by  Joseph A. Kohm, Jr.
Founder of Kohm Associates, Inc.

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  Veronese adds visual force to his admonition for obedience through the positioning of all the characters on the canvas. Of the 130 figures in the painting, only Jesus, who is located almost directly in the center with His head surrounded by a pale glow, is looking directly at the viewer. Everyone else is busy, bustling and enjoying the party. Christ’s penetrating stare at the viewer gives added force and emphasis to Mary’s sententious command for how we are to live:  be obedient and “do whatever he tells you.”
  The difficulty with obedience is that it is a doctrine assented to more often by the intellect than the will. After all, obedience is difficult; if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Fortunately Christ is the model for our obedience. He reminds His disciples that “the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (John 14:31). Love is the key to obedience. The wondrous result was “through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19). Like the attendees portrayed by Veronese, humanity received the benefit of the good wine. Conversely, Christ asks a hard question of the disobedient, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
  When we view art, we consider the concept of image. The Christian knows we are made in God’s image. When we fail to obey Him, we do not fully reflect the eternal image in which we were made. We are only a portion of the finished painting He desires us to be. Even delayed obedience is disobedience. C.S. Lewis reminds us, “The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Get yourself out of the way.” It is not surprising that obedience requires us to do the same.

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1. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.
Joseph A. Kohm, Jr., founded Kohm Associates, Inc. in 1996, which provides multilateral services to professional athletes. Joe is a Certified Major League Baseball Agent and currently represents more than a dozen professional players. He is the author of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption: It’s Going, Going…Gone!, published by the Nova University Law Review, and co-author of The Family Advisor: The New Trend for Athletes with Family Values, published by the University of Miami Sports and Entertainment Law Review. Prior to receiving his Juris Doctorate degree from Regent University School of Law, he earned his MBA from the State University of New York. While earning his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, Joe was a member of the basketball team that participated in the 1987 Final Four. Joe and his wife Lynne have been married from 17 years and have 2 children and make their home in Virginia Beach, VA.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  Knowing & Doing is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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