JOHN:THE BOOK OF HEARTFELT BELIEF
Turning Water Into Wine
Just the other day I was driving with some of my children later in the day and I noticed how light it still was outside at such a late hour. Just a few short weeks ago it was still dark at that time. We reminded each other of how much it looked like a late summer evening out with the sun setting like it was instead of the dead of winter like we know it is. The next I was outside preparing to leave and heard the birds chirping on that bright morning. I was thinking again of the warm days of spring to come. It is on its way. Nature will transform itself right before our very eyes!
Jesus ministry is a ministry of transformation. The character and condition of things change dramatically in His presence. Jesus first miracle is a miracle about transforming things. It is the nature of things to be transformed by Christ. He is the ultimate change agent. We will learn that Christ transforms relationships, because He is the Son of God.
*Third day vs. 1 This is probably referring to three days after calling his first disciples (1:43).
* The Wedding vs. 1 So we know it is a festive occasion for the events about to take place. Since Mary, Jesus’ mother is there, and Jesus and his disciples are also invited, we can conclude that the bride and groom were either relatives or friends of Jesus’ family. Mary seems to be more than just a guest and may even be helping with serving of food and wine since she is first to recognize there is none left. Her instructions to the servants to listen to Jesus and their doing so also indicates her greater role here. Her comment to Jesus’ that they have run out of wine, indicates that for some reason she had hopes that he could do something about the situation. It could be that she was relying on him here as she had for so many years as the head of the household to find a way to take care of this problem. Others speculate that she was asking for a miracle. There is no evidence that Jesus had done any miracles prior to this and Mary’s statement does not seem to go that far. Only that she was reporting the situation to him or was hoping that he might have an answer of some kind. Yet, Mary is personally acquainted with the supernatural events surrounding Jesus birth, the prophetic words of the angels about him being the Messiah and the witness of Simeon and Anna at Jesus’ dedication in the Temple Luke 2:21-38 focus vs 33. There is also the recent testimony of John the Baptist as the Lamb of God and his disciples who have just begun following him. From what Mary knows it is certainly possible that she expects Jesus to do something out of the ordinary.
*The Conversation vs. 4-5 Jesus’ immediate response to his mother is to ask her just what has caused her to think the problem she has identified is His problem as well as hers. It is as if Mary is saying Jesus they are out of wine. We really need to do something. Jesus responds, Ma’am, what do you mean ‘we’? He then makes the statement that My hour is not yet come meaning that it is not the time for his identity as Messiah is to be publicly revealed. It may be that Jesus understands Mary’s statement to him to say that this is the moment you could begin to openly reveal who you are by taking care of this for everyone. Duly informed, Mary is not offended but instructs the servants to do whatever he says to do. He may not tell them to do anything, yet if he does, do it!
*The Miracle vs. 6-10 The setting is a private one and the miracle is known only to a few people. Jesus turned 108-162 gallons of water into the finest wine. The headwaiter tastes it and congratulates the bridegroom for honoring the guests with the best wine yet! The timing is unusual he comments, because, he notes, the trick is to save the inferior wine until last since by then your guests taste will not be as discerning and thus undetected as inferior. The bridegroom has outdone himself, saving the very best until last. What looks like certain shame has turned into sudden fame for both the bridegroom and the headwaiter!
*The Commentary vs. 11 This miracle was a sign meaning that it revealed something, namely, that Jesus is the One sent from God. It also manifested Christ’s glory by displaying His power to transform and results in his disciples developing their faith in Christ as he begins to progressively reveal His identity to them through His teaching and actions.
1. DO NOT HAVE ANY RIVALS TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST
Even our closest relationships are transformed by our relationship with Jesus Christ. Things were not going to be the same anymore in the relationship of Jesus and Mary. His submission to His father overruled the requests of His earthly mother. A new relationship exists once he embarks upon his public ministry. He is not primarily her son, but the Son of Man. Our relationship with our heavenly Father through our relationship with His Son, is the most important and significant relationship we have. My relationship with my wife, my children, my ministry, my enemies, my insensitive boss, my unloving spouse, my rebellious son, must be governed by my relationship with my heavenly Father. My relationships must be looked at vertically, in context of my relationship with my Father in heaven. The vertical governs the horizontal. So, my Father says to love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, do not provoke my children toward an angry spirit, love my wife as I love myself. I submit to my Father rather than my sin nature or to anyone, even those closest to me, who rival Gods call upon my life!
2. LIVE YOUR LIFE SO GOD IS GLORIFIED
Jesus not only transforms our relationships but He also transforms our ambitions. Jesus miracle manifested His glory. In other words, more could be said of Him through the miracle of transforming water into wine that could have been said before. Christ is not any better than He was before but the disciples can say more about Him and what they can say of Christ is greater than before. The glory of Christ will increase before them as they encounter His ministry all the way to the resurrection! in 1 John, nearly 40 years after Christ’s death, John writes in 1:1-2 What was from the beginning what we have heard what we have seen with our eyes what we beheld and our hands handled concerning the Word of Life and the life was manifested and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us... Then they will be able to glorify Christ as the resurrected Lord. What they can say of Christ then, will be much more than they can say of Him now. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says Whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do do all to the glory of God. Our lives should be lived in such a way that greater things can be said about God because of our lives than could be said otherwise. It is God that we and others are to be able to say more about rather than ourselves. 1 Corinthians 1:31 says ...Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. When we make it our ambition to glorify God and not ourselves, then there will be greater things revealed about God and His grace, mercy, justice, goodness, love, holiness, peace, joy, power in our lives. For instance, you have been invited to fly around the world in an airplane. You can choose from one of two planes and both are new. One has been taken up by a test pilot, been through maneuvers, everything that could go wrong has been tested, it does well under turbulence, no problems. The other airplane just rolled off the assembly line. It should be just as good as the other one but it’s never been tested. Which airplane would you rather fly around the world in? When everything is said and done, there should be more that can be said about God because of your life than not. In other words we are to live our lives just like Jesus did so God is glorified! Whether it is how you handled trials in your life or worked on your marriage or raised your kids or did your job or managed your money or developed your character or fulfilled your ministry or dealt with your circumstances. In whatever you do, whether you at or drink, do all to the glory of God!
3. KEEP LIVING BY FAITH IN GOD
At this point the disciples were beginning to comprehend the power of Christ but did not understand as yet his death and resurrection (John 20:8-9). Their initial faith in Christ would be tested and developed by a progressive revelation of who Jesus was over the next 3 and a half years. Our faith in the Lord needs to be tested and developed too. The reason is so that our maturing faith can say more about the Lord than our weak faith can. For instance, James 1:2 tells us to consider it joy when various hardships come or various temptations come. Choose faith in each case instead of sin and your stronger faith will bring you greater reward and God greater glory!