New Wine

November 30, 2014   John 2:1 -11  New Wine     

 

      Why is Jesus first miracle turning water into wine?   There must have been some other pressing needs around.   Maybe some of those needs are far 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.    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 us in this passage?    What is the significance of Jesus turning the water into wine?   Surely God is trying to say something.  

     I think God is saying that He is into joy and he is into forgiveness and grace.  God is saying I am not a mean controlling angry God but rather I am the God who loves people. I am into joy and celebration.  Jesus who is God goes to a wedding.  God made marriage.   Marriage is God’s idea.   I think Jesus is saying I have come to bless you and I have come to reconcile you to the Father.

     This passage starts off with on the 3rd day.   The 3rd day certainly has meaning 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 communicating events in sequence 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 famous.      We certainly do not know what relationships Jesus and Mary had with those getting married.   Jesus is now about 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 and chapter 4.   Jesus perhaps knew the couple who were getting married.  It could have been his half brother that was getting married.        The Jews would marry young as in their early teens and Jesus is 30 or so.   I wonder what his family thought of Jesus not getting married. 

    So Jesus and his disciples were at the wedding and everything is going along OK until they run out of wine.   It is just like life there is always a bump in the road.  This was a big bump.  Marriage ceremonies are a big deal.  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.  A wedding was a big celebration.   Wine was a big part of it.  Wine was a very important part of their marriage. Maybe we could liken it to an outside wedding with pouring rain that is unexpected and not fore cast in the middle of the ceremony.   Wine also was safer to drink.   Psalm 104:15 wine gladdens the heart of man.   The rabbis considered wine to be very important for joy.  It is part of their culture. 

      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 and was not a short ceremony like we have today.   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?   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 and it certainly does not take us very long either to need the Lord.   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 a couple of days into the ceremony and they needed help.   Jesus mother approaches Jesus with the issue.  The bible says 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.  

     Well they are out of wine and Jesus mother comes to Jesus and tells him 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.  That is a good answer to life period.   Do what God tells you 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 but remember that his brothers did not believe in him at this point.      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 which would hold 20 to 30 gallons each 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.  Jesus tells them fill those pots with water.   Fill them with ordinary water.   Then Jesus tells them draw some out and take it to the master of ceremonies.  There is someone at the ceremony who can make a difference.   There is something stirring in the house.  Jesus is in the house and things are going to change.     God is moving and doing something new and glorious.

    The water becomes wine.   There is new wine and new meaning to life and there is a new reason to celebrate.   Earths supplies run out but never heavens.  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.  Jesus tells them to take a cup to the master of ceremonies.   He has never tasted wine like that before.  It was not deviled ham but divine wine.  His lips have never tasted such sweet wine.   Jesus is not into making cheap stuff.   Jesus is first class with what he does.   Mark 7:37 the people were overwhelmed with amazement.  He has done everything well.  He makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.  Everything he does is perfect.  There is nothing imperfect about Jesus.  There are no imperfections and no mistakes.  Try a cup of what God has touched for you.   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.   

    The master of the banquet calls the bride groom and tells him usually the best wine is served first and then after people drink some the cheaper wine is brought out.  Well things are always better when the Lord Jesus has touched it.  Our lives are better when the Lord blesses and touches us.  Life is better with Jesus. 

      In this miracle Jesus brings fullness to what was empty.   Those water pots can represent a person.     They were empty and they needed to be filled and heaven never runs out of resources.   If you minister to people your life will drain and it gets filled by spending time with Jesus.   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.  I do not know if it was fermented or not.   If it was fermented it was brand new wine but tasted like it was many years aged.  With man it is impossible but with God all things are possible.   It was wine with a heavenly touch.   

    Warren Wiersbe comments that Moses first miracle was turning the water to blood which was a curse because they could not drink the water.   Jesus first public miracle was a blessing and was to bring joy and to meet a need.   The law came by Moses.   The law brings judgment.  Jesus brought us grace and truth.    God’s grace was showered upon this wedding.   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 half empty half full or full?  And what is in your cup or your hand?    

    I want the taste of new wine today.   I want to see the glory of God.    I want to experience the joy of the Lord.  I want to see his miracles.  I do not want the chap wine or the imitation stuff.  Mary Jesus mother alerted him that they were out of wine.  There is no evidence in this passage that anyone ask Jesus to do a miracle and provide wine.  Jesus just stepped in.  I believe that Jesus time and again steps in for us and we are not even aware of it.    Verse 11 tells us that Jesus revealed his glory.  It is great to see the glory of God.  I tell couples getting married that the goal is not a perfect ceremony.   I tell them do not make the goal perfection.    There are 2 things that I believe should happen in a Christian wedding.  The ceremony makes them married in God’s eyes and legal in the government’s system.  They also should strive to bring glory to Jesus.  They should desire that the people witnessing the ceremony see the glory of the Lord.   If couples strive to make Jesus the center and they make Jesus their goal the ceremony always takes care of itself.

      In this passage Jesus glory was doing a miracle.  His glory was blessing people and Jesus is the same today.  Jesus has not changed.    He still wants to reveal his glory by doing miracles.   Jesus is still blessing people today.  Jesus is still revealing his glory.   In this passage Jesus revealed his glory and the disciples believed on him.   If you see His glory you will believe in Him.  John testifies in John chapter1 we have seen his glory.  That is worthwhile.  We are going into the Christmas season and I am reminded that Immanuel is with us.   God is with us.  .