Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of January 20, 2019

Sermon: “Life in Jesus”

John, (unlike the chronological, biographical in nature synoptic Gospels) is not looking to tell his readers what happens to Jesus in life, but rather what happens to life in Jesus. 

In fact Jesus’ own words, recorded in John, concerning His ministry's purpose: "I have come that they might have life...life to the full."

In Cana, as a wedding reception guest, draws as little attention to Himself as possible and allows those who are saved from embarrassment to get the credit..."you guys have saved the best till last!"  

Some might say He, Jesus, could have picked a better miracle with which to start His ministry. Lazarus resurrection at Bethany for example!  A major location, everybody in attendance knows Lazarus is dead (his death is the reason for their attendance) and thus in the end all recognize the situation and all see the sign. Cana on the other hand is a rinky-dink town, few in attendance knew there was a problem (the partiers were at the bottom of the barrel (literally) but they had no idea the cellar was empty); fewer still in the end - know of Jesus' intervention and solution.  Then again, John's intention is not to tell us what happens to Jesus in life but what happens to life in Jesus. Those who receive the revelation, who witness the manifestation, who see the sign (Epiphany stuff) put their "faith in Him" and give Him the glory.

Such disciples know that Jesus has come to transform! That's what's going on here in Cana, that's why Jesus starts His ministry with this miracle and why John starts his Gospel with this sign.  For Jesus is displaying His power...His pattern...and His purpose...He has come to transform!

Jesus, will in John's Gospel, transform death into life and the dead into the living: Lazarus story, which coincidentally only John's Gospel records.  Jesus will transform a social outcast, and religious reprobate, that wanton woman from the Samaritan well into the first Christian missionary (By the way, John is the only Gospel author to include the account in his narrative).  Jesus shall transform the very nature of access to God...it was understood that personal action like ritual observation such as water purification was the direction to go to get to God.  (Of course, the water Jesus uses in this story is water contained in jars for ritual washing...behold the transformation...that's not the route to the Father, I am! Says the Lord, "I am the way, truth and life; no one gets to God except through me!"  How many Gospels record those words?  You guessed it, only one, John.

John is not looking to tell his readers what happens to Jesus in life, BUT rather what happens to life in Jesus.  This is a story of transformation and here Jesus transforms that water into wine...the necessity of life into the abundant life.  He transforms: where guilt, grace; where death, life; He transforms followers into leaders, those who have seen His goodness revealed into those who reveal His goodness so it is seen.  That's what happens to life in Jesus.
Pr. Kevin Kritzer


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