Sunday, May 29, 2016

Gospel of John: The Marriage in Cana

John 2:1-11

The Lord Jesus was with his disciples among the other guests at the marriage in Cana of Galilee. As the invited guests arrived there would have been servants at the door, and on either side of the door there were 3 great big stone waterpots. As the guests filed in, the servants would splash water on the hands and feet of every guest. After a short ceremony the wedding feast would begin.

This passage concerning the marriage in Cana teaches us that Jesus is God and he has great power. In this account of this wedding feast, the apostle John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, furnishes us only with the essential details. When: it was on the third day. Where: Cana of Galilee Who: Jesus, his mother and some of the disciples.. Why: they were at a wedding.

The teaching on marriage: V1-2 Marriage is honourable. One of the first public events of the Lord’s ministry was to attend a wedding because marriage is honourable and good or else Jesus wouldn’t have been there. Those who lightly esteem marriage have not the mind of Christ. Marriage is hallowed because Jesus was there. This an important point because marriage is lightly esteemed in these days. But in this passage, marriage is honourable. It’s all too common nowadays to hear even believers saying to a young couple who are engaged and who are so close, “it will all end once you are married” it happens all the time. Marriage sometimes becomes the butt end of jokes. There is always some one to comment. But the bible says that marriage is honourable in all. The closeness of engaged people does not end once you are married, but it becomes stronger as the years go by. A properly cultivated marriage grows as the years go by. God ordained marriage. Christ graced marriage by his presence at Cana of Galilee. When somebody starts to make jokes, the question to ask is this: Was God wrong? was Christ wrong on the area of marriage? of course he wasn’t.. so why do some Christians make fun of something that God has ordained? The flippant attitude concerning important things comes from worldly attitudes towards serious things. Unbelievers do not hold marriage as God does. How does a Christian make sure they are not worldly? Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. It’s a different mindset. Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus. A Christians outlook to life and all important things including marriage is the same as Christ’s outlook, not the worlds. Christ was invited to the wedding in Cana and he agreed with the wedding, and he came to the wedding.

It’s not wrong for godly people to celebrate: We could take from the reading of this passage that it is not wrong for godly people to celebrate. Christ celebrated the wedding by his presence. God doesn’t want miserable Christians who never celebrate anything. It is not wrong for godly people to celebrate. Some people think that a Christian should always be somber and serious. Never laugh, go around with a melancholy face. But that is not right. The book of Ecclesiastes says there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. But this is not referring to people who go around with a stupid smile on their face all the time, that is just silly. It’s not wrong for godly people to celebrate because Jesus was there at the marriage in Cana.
This passage also has a lesson for that type of person who is a laugh a minute partygoer who says they are a Christian, because they are at the other extreme. Those who say, and there are many today, Christ loved going to parties..Christ’s presence at the marriage was a party, and the parable of the lost son talks about music and dancing. Many people have a theology of fun. But any person who says they are a Christian and talks like that is talking nonsense. Christ was at a celebration because he was invited, and the reason why people attend marriage celebrations, and the reason why people go to parties are totally different. There are totally different mind-sets. You can’t use Christ’s presence at a marriage feast to justify a Christian going to parties. A marriage feast is a gathering of people to witness the most important step in life that two people can make, and is closely connected with a religious ceremony, but the other attitude, people who think they can go to parties, this is a non-religious gathering for pleasure and entertainment of a questionable nature. There is no parallel at all. One is the world’s attitude and the other is not.

Jesus’ mighty power: V5-11 To run out of wine at a Jewish wedding in the days of Jesus was very serious. But Jesus helps them. The six stone jars that the servants used to wash the people’s feet and hands are empty now but Jesus told the servants to go and fill them with water. They had to take those big jars to the well to fill them, big stone waterpots. 180 gallons of water apiece. These were brought back to the feast and Jesus told them to draw out the water and take it to the governor of the feast. The servants obeyed and the governor tasted it and it was the best wine because Jesus has turned the water into the best of wine. This miracle is very special because the bride and groom didn’t even know. The servants who drew the water knew but the rest of the people didn’t know. There was no fanfare of trumpets, no showing off, Jesus simply met the need in silence. He didn’t want praise, he just wanted to meet the people’s need without drawing attention to himself. Christians are like Christ, they meet needs without any sensation, but the world does the complete opposite.

The bible doesn’t tell you that Jesus even touched the waterpots, it doesn’t tell you that Jesus commanded the water to turn into wine, he didn’t speak. It doesn’t tell you that Jesus prayed to God, he didn’t. What Jesus simply did is speak his instruction to the servants and willed the change and it happened. No prophet in the old testament, no apostle in the new testament nor anyone ever since for that matter has ever worked a miracle in that way. Jesus willed it and it happened. He bypassed all the years of fermenting, he bypassed the addition of grapes. He willed it and water was made the best of wine. This is like the book of Genesis at the creation when God willed it and it happened. Darkness became light at the will of God. Water gave way to land at the will of God. God’s will happens. Whoever can do a miracle like this at the marriage, turning 180 gallons of water into 180 gallons of wine simply by an act of his own will is no less than God.  This miracle teaches the divinity of Jesus. Jesus is God and what God wills happens. Christians do not worship a weak God who lets this world run out of control, we worship a God who is in control. God permits sin but God ordains purity and good. God permits sinners to sin and then he decrees the consequences of their sin and its all working to fulfill the destiny of this world which is a final cataclysm. God works all things for the good of his people. The message of this passage is that Jesus is God and God’s will is always done.

What is the application? Well sinner, this is a message for you. Jesus Christ has power to transform water into wine in a moment. There is no greater power in all the world than the power to transform something, to change one substance into a different substance at will. To change sinner into saint in an instant at the will of God. The bible says concerning Jesus Christ, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” When you obey Christ, you obey the bible, believe in him and be transformed. Past sins, present sins, future sins will all be gone, you will be changed in a moment, changed in your nature, changed in your will and desires. Changed from being a child of the devil to a child of God, transformed from being guilty to forgiven. Jesus has been doing that for thousands of years. Do you want proof that the gospel is real? Look around, every born-again Christian is the proof. They used to be different but God changed them. God changed them from a child of darkness to a child of light. And sinner, he can change you! He can give you the true joy and pleasure forevermore. Ask God to forgive you sinner, confess your sins, trust in Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour and you will be changed as much as the water was transformed into wine, God only has the power to transform things.

He will do it for all who repent of their sins and rest their case with Christ.
The above notes were made by myself from the sermon by Paul Dowling of Whiteabbey Congregational (Reformed) at Sermon Audio

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