Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Waterpots and Wine, John 2:1-11 by John

Waterpots and Wine
John 2:1-11

1. The Scripture sets up the scene for us. John would have been a good reporter. He gives the facts for a good news story, and that’s what this is, a Good News story! It answers the 5 “W” questions, Who, What, When, Where, Why.
(1) Who was there? The wedding party that included Mary the mother of Jesus, Jesus and his disciples plus many others important to the bride and groom.
(2) The event? A wedding.
(3) The time? Tuesday. The First Miracle Jesus performed, the formal beginning of His ministry to save the people of the world.
(4) The place? Cana of Galilee.
(5) What is the significance of it? Well, that’s what we are about to look into!
2. This is the first of six signs in the Book of John. It’s a miracle. And it was done for the people present.
3. Did I use the word, “sign?” Yes, I did. Didn’t Jesus say no sign would be given to that untoward generation, except the sign of the prophet Jonah? Yes, He did. Then why is “sign” used here in v. 11? First this sign was not for the unbelieving Jews. Second, it was for His disciples, and for all who believe after that. Third, it was to help out this bridegroom who invited Him. (God answers prayer, but in His grace and mercy, he does do things for people that they never prayed about.)
3. There are a number of possible applications we could make from this miracle.
(1) It would be easy to dismiss it as a pleasant experience for the guests of this wedding. I believe I’ve heard one minister do that.
(2) We could use it to point out that Jesus was human, and He had compassion on this poor groom who ran short on wine. Maybe more people came than he expected or perhaps the people drank more than he expected. There’s truth in that.
(3) We could use it to prove that Mary controlled Jesus even after He was grown, and that we should ask Mary to help us get our prayers answered. (People have certainly used this that way. I believe that is wrong.)
(4) We could use this as proof that God wanted and expected people to drink alcohol as a beverage, and it has been used that way, but there is little support for that.
4. Certainly there is a greater message in this event than any of these things indicate, don’t you think? I do.
5. Let’s consider this whole event.

I. This is the first act that showed Jesus’ glory. V 11.

1. Jesus already knew Who He was. There are at least two views about that, perhaps three.
(1) Philippians 2:7 tells us Jesus emptied Himself of all godliness when He came to earth. Some think that means that He didn’t know that He was the only begotten Son of God. (I believe that is wrong.)
(2) Others believe that He knew, but that He did not know the details.
(3) Still others believe Jesus was wideawake and aware that He was God’s Son even when He was a tiny baby, and that He did miracles when He was playing. One early account tells about Jesus forming a dove out of clay, throwing it up in the air, and watching it change into a live bird and fly away.
(4) I agree with the second view. I think Jesus had to give up some of His knowledge in order to be completely human, and in order for Him to suffer as a human being for our sins.
(5) Ultimately, we don’t need to know which is right. That was, and is, in God’s hands. I do believe God the Father would have told us if He wanted us to know the details.
2. The important thing for us to have in mind is that this act reveals the true nature, the true glory of Jesus our Lord!
3. (Retell the story). Isn’t that glorious?

II. Everyone involved was blessed by His act.

1. v. 9. The bridegroom received the commendation from the master of the banquet who didn’t know where the wine came from.
2. I think the bridegroom was as surprised as the master of the banquet. I don’t think he knew about the water being turned into wine.
3. V 9 He did not deserve the thanks.
4. Someone should have thanked Mary. She was the one who steered the servants to Jesus.
5. The bridegroom himself should have found out where that wine came from, and he should have thanked Jesus, but there is no record that he did.
6. God sends the rain on both the just and unjust. If you are blessed, others around you will be, too.

III. This miracle caused His disciples to put their faith in Him. (That was a great blessing to them!)

1. V 11. The disciples put their faith in Jesus right there. (That does not mean they became full-grown Christians on the spot! It means that they were now on the road to becoming the men God wanted them to be!)
2. v. 11. Ever so often someone says, “I just don’t have any faith!” That’s a wrong statement.
(1) Everyone has faith! Would you go to bed tonight if you knew you were going to die before daylight? Or would you do something else that you really wanted to do?
(2) Are you going to bed tonight? You have faith!
(3) The faith you have may be in the wrong things, but you have it.
3. The question we should ask ourselves is, “Where have you put your faith?”
3. If it is anywhere other than in Jesus, you have missed God’s way! And heaven is not your home!

IV. This whole thing is a beautiful allegory for Christians.

1. In an allegory everything stands for something else. A good example of an allegory is in II Samuel 12:1ff. (read it).
2. In John 2, the wine represents the joyful, saving power of Jesus.
(1) He is the only One Who could turn (this doubtlessly impure) water into fine, pure wine!
(2) He can do the same with you and me. He can make us clean and honorable tools to serve the Heavenly Father.
3. The servants represent Christians who deliver the Gospel message to others.
(1) It is not their message. It’s God’s.
(2) They have no special power. It’s God’s power.
(3) They aren’t really special people either. Paul referred to himself using the word, “doulos,” or bond-slave of Jesus!
4. The message is for everyone, but only those who recognize their need will receive it!
5. The guests represent all of those invited to trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
(1) It’s reasonable to believe some of the guests did not drink any of the wine maybe for religious reasons.
(2) It’s reasonable to believe there were people who were not at the banquet because they refused the invitation!
6. Whatever the reason, those who didn’t drink the wine were not blessed by it.
7. The point is that those of us today who do not receive Jesus miss out on the salvation of the Lord.

Conclusion:

1. Everything God does is miraculous. That’s why the disciples recognized Jesus as God and put their faith in Him.
2. Are we so blind that we can’t see God’s magnificent handiwork around us every day?
3. What He does is always good for us providing we accept it! A gift not received remains in the donor’s hand! The one who refuses is not blessed by it!
4. We need not be concerned about minor details in God’s Word. What we need is to realize that we have the power to become children of God! Remember what John 1:11-13 says, “He came to that which was his own (Israel), but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
5. You have faith in something. You can have it in God’s Good News, and Jesus gives you the right to become God’s son or daughter. Are you willing?
6. You can put your trust in Him and be saved while we pray.

Emmanuel 5/8/2005

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