Summary: Just as Jesus performed the "private" miracle at the wedding feast at Cana, His grace is available for our personal, private, miracles.
A Private Miracle, John 2:1-11
William Jennings Bryan wrote this about miracles: “Some skeptics say, ‘Oh, the miracles. I can’t accept miracles.’ One may drop a brown seed in the black soil and up comes a green shoot. You let it grow and by and by you pull up its root and find it red. You cut the root and it has a white heart.
Can anyone tell how this comes about—how brown cast into black results in green and then red and white? Yet you eat your radish without troubling your mind over miracles. Men are not distressed by miracles in the dining room—they reserve them all for religion!”
We live in a world which is chalked full of everyday miracles. They are all around us and yet we seldom consider the miraculous nature the created world in which we live and the miraculous of the God we serve.
The founding father and author, Thomas Paine once stated that “In the same sense that everything may be said to be a mystery, so also may it be said that everything is a miracle, and that no one thing is a greater miracle than another. The elephant, though larger, is not a greater miracle than a mite; nor a mountain a greater miracle than an atom. To an almighty power it is no more difficult to make the one than the other, and no more difficult to make a million worlds than to make one.”
While the secular world often denies miracles, the Church, as often, ignores them.
This morning my focus will be one the miraculous nature of the God of our salvation; indeed, the miraculous nature of our faith in Jesus Christ. We serve a God who is too vast to comprehend. We serve a God who is able to do unfathomably greater things than we can ever hope, dream, or ask!
We live “down here” in our brokenness and sorrow, wallowing in it as though there is no power sufficient to free us from the mundane plagues of this life, all the while acting as though we are alone, as if God is “up there” and out of reach for my pain, my problems, and my circumstances.
We pray but are disappointed with the results so we stop praying. We read the Bible but are likewise disappointed with our inability to understand it or disappointed when we don’t find the answers that we seek, so place it back on the shelf, where it will stay until the next time, if there is a next time.
This morning, while I won’t go line by line through the first miracle, the transforming of the water into wine at Cana of Galilee, I will draw from this miracle, the first recorded miracle of Jesus, one chief theme and focus on applying what it says to our everyday lives.
Jesus is more than merely a miracle worker, but through His coming God built a bridge between His eternal power and our need for the miraculous intervention which Christ brings and freely offers to each of us collectively and individually.
This is the major line of demarcation or distinction between the miracles of God; there are those miracles which are cooperate to creation, broad to nations or to all of humanity, which we can all observe.
Then there are those profoundly personal miracles which can only be felt, known, and experienced on the inside, though their fruit is plainly seen by all.
The Corporate Miracles of God: Creation itself, the choosing of Israel and their being freed from Pharaoh, the Establishment of the Church and the free offer of salvation made in Christ to all who would receive it.
Even miracles like the healing of the paralytic in Mathew chapter 9, while they affect an individual are public miracles. In Matthew 9:8 it says “When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.” (NIV) These are things which God does broadly; in the open; for all to see.
There are some miracles which God performs so that the masses may understand His glory and goodness generally, broadly. Then there are those miracles which are of a more intrinsically personal nature, which the Lord performs to impact us directly personally, definitely. Corporate miracles must be interpreted to be understood. Personal miracles can only be experienced, known.
The Private Miracle of God: Christ breaking into your brokenness; unmistakably.
The wedding miracle as it is sometimes called; the first miracle of Jesus of turning the water into wine at Cana of Galilee, in many ways is one such personal miracle. Unlike the feeding of the 5,000 this was a fairly quiet miracle. It is entirely likely that the only people who knew what was happening were a very small group.