Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bethany Bullet - August 18, 2015

It’s wedding season! 

If your Facebook feed is like mine, you have seen plenty of wedding pictures.  Some are of newlyweds and others are snapshots in time of celebrations from years ago.  If you don’t do Facebook, I know that you have been to your share of weddings in the summer time or perhaps you have celebrated during this time with the one you love.  

Granted, many people get married at other times of the year, but now is the busy season. 

It was not yet the busy season for Jesus, His ministry had just begun, He had called a few disciples to follow Him, and He finds Himself as a guest at a wedding. 

Wedding celebrations in Jesus’ day were not just four hours in a hotel ballroom, with a DJ, a bartender and some wait staff, but were weeklong affairs that involved many meals, much revelry, and required lots of help.

We don’t know the name of the bride and groom, we don’t know how many were in attendance, we really don’t even know how long the wedding celebration has gone on when Jesus arrives, but none of that is really important.

The crowd is thirsty, the wine will soon run out and Mary, who appears to be one of the volunteers helping out with the party tells Jesus about the problem in a clear and straightforward manner, “They’re out of wine” (John 2:3b).

What did Mary expect?  She could have collected donations, and sent the other helpers into town on a wine run.  She could have gone to the person in charge with the problem, but she didn’t.

This is more than an ordinary appeal for help.  She knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Promised One from God, whose birth was celebrated by angels, and who was worshiped by shepherds.

Was she expecting the extraordinary?

She states the difficulty and then humbly leaves all else to Jesus. 

The crowd was thirsty, the bride and groom would soon be ridiculed if the wine is gone.

Mary wanted to fill an immediate need and avoid embarrassment of the bride and groom.

Jesus had come to fill a more important need and to avoid continued separation from His fallen children.
“Why did you come to me?” Jesus asks, “My time has not yet come.” (John 2:4)

Many struggle with Jesus’ response. Was He being defiant?  Was Mary’s request inappropriate?

Another way to translate Jesus’ words would be, “What is that to me and you?”  The issue at hand was not about social status but eternal salvation. 

John will tell us at the end of this account that this was the first of His miracles.  The word John uses here could also be translated as signs. 

Signs point beyond themselves to something they accredit or attest. 

This sign was not done to save an unnamed couple from public embarrassment, but was done to point to One who would be made a public spectacle and who took on the embarrassment of sin as He hung upon the cross. That would be His time; that is why He came. 

But notice that Mary responds to His words with complete trust.  She shows faith in her Son’s implied promise and she tells the others to trust His words “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5b)

Once again water takes center stage within the pages of Scripture.  We have seen it over the past few weeks here in worship.  Water is necessary for life.  Noah and his family were saved through water. The people of Israel walked through the water and were saved from Pharaoh.  

In baptism, water and the Word has washed away our own sins and claimed us as a child of the king. 

“Jesus told the servers, ‘Fill the jars with water.’  The servers filled the jars to the brim.  Jesus said to them, ‘Pour some and take it to the person in charge.’  The serves did as they were told.” (John 2:7-8)

This was not just a little bit of wine. 

Depending on your understanding of what kind of stone water jars Jesus is referring to; we are looking at the equivalent of somewhere between 500 and 800 bottles of wine. 

This should be more than enough for the continued celebration and it comes at just the right time.

The amount is one thing, but the quality is another.  This was no two buck chuck.  This was high quality fermented fruit of the vine. 

But let’s not get bogged down in the details, because, if John says that this is a sign to make the glory of Jesus known and to strengthen faith, we need to ask the question, “What does this mean?”

We are a thirsty crowd.  We may desire to hunger and thirst for righteousness, but in reality we drink deeply from the contaminated vessels of this world.  We get drunk on our own power or position.  We are poisoned on the ideas of profit and pleasure.  We are destined for destruction.  Our sin is great and we are in need of living water.

But Jesus is in the business of changing things. 

He can change our desire for destruction and put us back on solid ground.  In Christ we can drink from the living water found in His Word, which came to us at the fount, and is lavishly poured out on us in His house.  His grace comes to us here, as we are gathered to hear His word, witness His words, and partake in His holy supper. 

By His word we are changed from something ordinary to something extraordinary. 
Paul said it this way to the Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 2:17)

He provides everything we need for this body and life.  His time would come on the cross where He took your selfishness and your shortcomings, your suffering and your sadness, and He washed them away.  In Him you are forgiven. 

Two takeaways from our text today:
1.      Jesus displays impeccable timing.
Paul writes the following in his letter to the Romans, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6, 8)

His timing is perfect.  While His time was yet to come, He gave a sign of what to take place just a few years later at the cross. Our text for today point to that event even as Jesus provides for a wedding feast.

2.      Jesus provides limitless grace.
The wine provided that day was more than was needed. 
Jesus’ grace is more than enough for whatever you are going through.  It will cover anything you have done. 

I know many of you have heard this before, but I’ll say it again, there is nothing you can do that will make God love you anymore, and there is nothing you have done that will make him love you any less. 

His grace is more than sufficient to cover your sins and bring you eternal life. In Him you are changed.  

May this, the first sign that Jesus did in Cana in Galilee do what it did for the disciples gathered there with Jesus, point you to the Savior, strengthen your faith and help you see the love and limitless grace that Jesus has for you!
-Pastor Seth Moorman


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter