Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Bethany Bullet - January 20, 2010

John 2:1-11 (NIV)
Jesus Changes Water to Wine

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."

His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

The first of Jesus’ miracles at the wedding at Cana in Galilee reveals that we have a God who provides for our needs, transforms our experiences, and supplies for our requests.

The young couple was in need of saving face. They were in jeopardy of hosting Cana’s most mocked marriage feast ever! “What cheap skates, can’t believe how little they had, I hardly had enough in my glass to toast ‘em.” When on the brink of ruin and rumor Jesus stepped up and made them the talk of the towns. That’s right, towns! Every town in every nation that has John translated into their language has heard this story. What a story it is. Jesus could have given just enough to make things bearable; He could have worked up a bottle than never ran out; yet He granted 180 gallons. Jesus provided for their need.

The master of this banquet never had such a night at work. I suppose when he came home, he woke his wife, “This was the most incredible festival I’ve ever conducted. Sweetheart I tell ya, it looked like it was going to be a disaster. I was certain they were about to run out of wine and we had barely gotten started. Then out of nowhere wine, aged and fine. I actually said for the first time in my career, ‘you have saved the best for last.’” Water itself had never been transformed like this. In Egypt it was turned into blood to cause pain and lead to repentance; but here it was turned into wine to cause joy and lead to acceptance. We have, in Jesus, a God who transforms experiences.

Mary had made the request. I rather doubt if in the past she had ever had Jesus to turn sand into sugar or mud into oil for a kitchen emergency, yet, I am certain that Mary knew that Jesus had come to supply what we lacked. She treasured up things like Simeon’s words, the Magi’s gifts, and the child Jesus’ action at the temple. Our God is one who supplies for our requests.

In Jesus Christ we have a God who provides for our needs, transforms our experiences and supplies for our requests.
Yet, more often than not He does so through means, rather than through miracles. Means—it is Lutheran theological jargon for avenues, vehicles, and ways in which God works.

Our God provides for needs.
Perhaps you’ve been running low, maybe on the verge of running out, emotionally, spiritually, physically, in your personal economy, daily bread or interpersonally – through friends, family members, the church, employers, doctors or government programs – through these our God continues to provide for our needs.

Our God transforms our experiences.
Perhaps you know someone who is filled with anxiety, as was the master of the banquet; filled with fear, as were the young couple; filled with uncertainty, as were the servants; filled with frustration, as were the guest running out of wine – through your witness, prayer, a word of encouragement, a challenge for godly responses, through you God can transform experiences.

Raise a glass, offer a toast, for we have a God who can work miracles, and who through means works daily to provide for our needs, transform our experiences and supply for our needs.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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