Saturday, January 19, 2013

Epiphany 2

Jesus’ first miracle in Cana of Galilee. He turned ordinary water into wine. “So what?” Some may be tempted to ask, “So what”?

In an age where miracles are questioned, in an age in which anything suggesting the miraculous is emphatically and forcefully denied, in a time in which man simply turns to his own powers, his own agendas, and his own directives we need to see the significance of the miraculous.

We need to see the significance of the miraculous then but especially today as we are in the first month of a New Year.  What would Jesus’ first miracle say to us today? May I suggest that this miracle of turning water into wine gives us four directives and timeless truths which we need to ponder?

1.                  The first directive, place Christ on the top of your invitation list. John reminds us, Jesus was invited to the wedding. (v.1) There are countless couples mentioned throughout the Scriptures. Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sara, Queen Esther and the great king. This couple is unknown to us, yet they serve us well.  They invite Jesus to their wedding.

Preparing an invitation list for a wedding is extremely important. The invitation signifies you are important to the one who is inviting you.  It indicates further that you are important. The couple invites Jesus to their wedding. They should be glad that they did this. Jesus honors them with His presence. He is present to meet their need. He saves their reception from failure. He saves them from disgrace.

Have you invited Jesus?  Is He welcome to come into your life, into your marriage, into your place of work? Jesus should not be a stranger to anyone here! May He continue to be the ever-present although unseen guest in every home!

Christ desires to be invited into your home. He desires that we take Him at His word.

2.                  Our second directive is for us - trust and obey. Remember the old Nike commercial: “Just Do It!” Mary told the servants in verse 5: “whatever He tells you to do – just do it!” Mary had learned to respect Jesus’ word. If the servants had not obeyed, there would have been no wine made out of water. Miracles take place in our lives when we learn the directive of obedience. Mary reminds us: “do whatever He tells you!”

To obey is a test of faith – especially when the command seems illogical or ridiculous. The need was wine and Jesus commands the servants to draw water.  The Savior has given us likewise seemingly illogical demands. The world laughs – calling it a contradiction! Yet the Savior asks you to trust and obey when He tells you: “Give and it shall be given to you” and again when He says; “He who loses his life for My sake and the Gospel shall find it

Invite Christ into your life, trust Him at His Word and watch as He fills your empty vessels.

3.                  He fills you. Neil Diamond’s hit song of the 1970’s was entitled: "I've got that lonely feeling..." For many, life is empty and lonely. Our lives may appear to be as empty as the stone jars mentioned in our text for today.

However, when you come to Jesus, as Mary did, for help, Jesus not only fills you up to the brim, but He gives us an excess of blessings. In the case of this nameless couple, six stone jars provided 120-180 gallons of wine! In the case of 5,000 hungry souls – twelve baskets were left over! The miracle drives home a timeless truth – Jesus Christ is able not only to meet your needs – He exceeds them!

As you invited Christ into your life, as you trust in Him, as you witness the countless miracles in your life you witness a transformation in your lives.

4.                  Jesus directs you to witness a transformation in your life. In this Epiphany season, you will see that the baby born in Bethlehem’s stall is truly the Son of God.  He has come that you might have life and have it abundantly.

Because He is the Son of God He is able to turn simple water into Don Perignon – the choices of wines! We live in a time in which there are too many forces afoot attempting to turn the exciting and life giving wine of the gospel into something ordinary, common and flat.

Yet, day-by-day, when the water of our lives are placed into Jesus hands they become rich, sweet and tasty as wine. All that there is to experience in life finds its true significance only in Jesus Christ.

The old adage reminds us wine gets better with age. Into your life, the Savior has come offering His life for an exchange of your life. O taste and see that the Lord is good as you witness His miracles and count them one by one.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS

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