Water to Wine --Joy

February 3, 2013   John 2:1 -11   Joy  

        The American businessman was at the pier of a small costal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.   Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.   The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.  The Mexican replied, "Only a little while." The American then asked why he didn’t stay out and catch more fish?   The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.  The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?   The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senior."

      The American scoffed, "I have a Harvard MBA and I could help you." You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.   Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.   You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."    The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senior, how long will all this take?"   To which the American replied, " 15 to 20 years."  "But then what, senior?"   The American laughed and said that’s the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."     "Millions, senior?   Then what?"     The American said, "Then you would retire.   Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll into the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."      Is your cup over running with joy or are you driving somewhere?    

    I have preached just once on this passage in this church just over 12 years ago.   It is amazing because it is such a great passage.   Have you thought about this passage?    Why is Jesus first miracle turning water into wine?   There must have been some pressing needs around.   Maybe some of those needs were more pressing in our mind.     I mean there were people who were demon possessed and people who needed healing and certainly everybody needed to hear the word of God.   Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.   We desperately need the word of God.   God does not miss anything and I believe that God is making a statement to us with Jesus first miracle.   What might God be trying to say to you in this passage?    That is a good question to ask as we dig into the bible.  What is God trying to say to me in this passage of scripture?   It is good to ask why that is there.   What is the significance of Jesus turning the water into wine?   Surely God is trying to say something.  

     This passage starts off with on the 3rd day.   Does 3 days mean anything in scripture?   Jesus rose in 3 days.   Well it may have been 3 days since Jesus encounter with Nathanael if John is going in sequence here.   And if John is then Jesus has 6 or so of his disciples with him.   His disciples have been invited.   This is probably a very poor peasant wedding for one reason Mary is there and she was not part of the rich and the elite.    We certainly do not know what relationships Jesus and Mary had with those getting married.   Jesus is now 30 years old and is starting his ministry.   I believe this takes place after Jesus baptism and after his temptation in the wilderness in Matt 3 & chapter 4.    After I wrote that I checked it out in my chronological bible and that is what they said also.    Jesus perhaps knew the persons getting married.  It could have been his half brother that was getting married.   John 7and Matthew 12 clearly teaches that Jesus had brothers.     The Jews would marry young as in their early teens and Jesus is 30 or so.  

    To run out of wine at a wedding was a terrible thing.   Some have even suggested that the family could be fined.  So running out of wine could be costly and very humiliating.   Socially it was not good to run out.    It was shameful.    Wine was very important in those days.   Psalm 104:15 wine gladdens the heart of man.  This passage is not teaching that it is OK to get drunk.   The bible says do not get drunk on wine which is debauchery but be filled with the spirit.   One writer said that the Jews added 3 parts water to 1 part of wine.  Proverbs has some warnings about drinking too much wine.   At these marriage ceremonies the Jews would not get drunk because that was considered shameful.   The marriage process took a week long.  The couple getting married was treated like a king and queen for a week and lots of people would get involved with the marriage.   One source said that the father would walk the bride through town so that the whole town could come and congratulate her.   This was a big happy time.   It is still a big event today and it is still costly today.   

     The bible says the wine was gone.     What do you do when the wine is gone or the joy is gone?   What do you do when trouble comes?  What do you do when life comes up short or you come up short?   There are times when things do not flow the right way.   There are times when it seems like everything is against you.   Some people run in those times.    Some takes their life.    Some just drink or do drugs to deaden the pain.   Some just head for the comfort food.   Some take it to the Lord in prayer and ask for the Holy Spirit to minister to them.   He is the comforter.     Well this couple was smart because they invited Jesus to their marriage.   It did not take them very long to need Jesus.  We tend in this life to run into trouble and have needs in no time.   They did not even get through their ceremony- maybe just 3 days into the ceremony and they needed help.   Life can get us down sometimes and lately I have been taking an hour or so and just lifting up to the Lord the things that on my heart.   I know that many of us cannot do that because we have family and work etc.   But if you have time to be burdened and time to be concerned about the things in your life you can take that time and to roll those issues on Jesus.  We have needs and we have concerns and God wants to be involved in every need yo0u have.   Cast all your care upon Him because He cares for you.  In Philippians scripture tells us to pray about everything.  God already knows your needs and concerns but God tell me and pray about it.  It works wonders.  

     In Jeremiah God tells us     And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, said the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain forever" (Jeremiah 17:24-25). Dave Wilkerson says he believe this entire passage is prophetic of Christ and His church!   Who sits on the throne of David and who rules?   It is Jesus.  We need to leave our burdens with Jesus.   We carry too much and then wonder where the joy has gone.   He is the burden bearor.   His yoke is easy and his burden is light.   Jesus took the burden and He took the weight of sin and in Him we are free.   We are free from the law of sin and death.  Sin no longer has dominion over us.   We can allow sin to control our lives but Christians have been set free.   If you do not make Jesus the center of your life  the burden and pain of life can consume you.

    Wilkerson writes the prophet is saying, "If you will not obey God's command to stop carrying your burdens, you'll end up being consumed by them." Tragically, this describes many believers today. Some can hardly sleep at night because they never stop thinking about their problems. They turn things over and over in their minds, wondering, "Where did I go wrong?   How can I make things right?"   When they wake up, their minds go straight to their burdens—in the shower,
while getting dressed, then at the breakfast table.   By the time they walk out the front door, they're so burdened down they can't even smile.   Such Christians never know even an hour of rest in Jesus—rest that He freely gives!    It grieves the Lord when you hoard all your burdens to yourself.    I would encourage you to rest, rest, rest in the joy of the Lord.   Only Jesus scan solve some of your problems.   The song writer said I am resting, resting in the joy of what you are.  

     Well they are out of wine and Jesus mother comes to Jesus and tells her they are out of wine.   We do not know where Joseph is at this time perhaps has passed away and Jesus tells her why do you involve me my time has not yet come.   Jesus just may be telling her that he has to be about His father’s business.  It is time to break away from the home and do God’s bidding.  Some feel that maybe Jesus was being harsh to her.   Maybe Jesus is testing her faith.  She is smart and tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.  You could assume that she was expecting Jesus to do a miracle even though he had not done any up to this point unless he did some in his home or around the house.    Jesus was not well known at this point.  She did not tell Jesus what to do.   She just alerted Jesus to the need.  Mary and Martha were more pointed with Jesus when Lazarus died.    It is a good idea for everybody to do what Jesus says to do. 

    There were 6 stone ceremonial pots nearby and Jesus said fill them with water.   These stone pots were used for washing.   They were used for external washing and cleaning to fill the law’s requirements.  The external pots could make you fit for the law but did nothing for inward cleaning and joy.   But here is one who would set us free from the law.   Here is someone new and fresh.   Here is a new order of things.  In Jesus there is a new relationship with God.   In Jesus there is joy.   A new and living way is present with them – a new way to God.  There is new wine and new meaning to life.    In this miracle Jesus brings fullness to what was empty.   Those water pots can represent you and me.   They were empty and they needed to be filled and heaven never runs out of resources.     Jesus brought joy where there was disappointment and shame.     It seems to me that Jesus brought great joy to the home and to the couple.   Jesus blessed this marriage.   Jesus lifted the burden that was here.   Jesus brought the joy back.   Jesus met the need.   They could have lived without the wine.   It was not a life and death issue however the wine was important.   The new wine was far better than the old wine.   Our lives are sure better with Jesus.  Someday God will make all things new.    Sometimes God wants to bless us with just the little things of life.   He shows his great love in small things and in great things.   Good parents love to bless their children and God is a good God.

    Wiersbe comments that Moses first miracle was turning the water to blood which was a curse in that they could not drink the water.   Jesus first public miracle was a blessing and was to bring joy and to meet a need.  It is clear that Jesus is the hero.  God sent his son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.  God is not willing that any should perish.  What is your cup filled with today?    Is it empty or full and full of what?   Is everything OK with your walk with Jesus?   Are your relationships good with your family – spouse – children?