Summary: Jesus’ GLORY-WORK is best revealed when we takes ordinary people and enables them to accomplish the extraordinary
Anticipate the Extraordinary
This morning we return to our study series in the Gospel of John, our series title: Jesus Christ is Worthy of Our Worship and Witness.
In the second chapter of John’s gospel we have the account of the first miracle of our Lord. The scene has now shifted from Judea, where John the Baptist was baptizing in the river Jordan, to seventy miles north, in the area of Galilee. And in between chapters one and two, Jesus and his disciples have walked these seventy miles.
Please open your Bible to John chapter TWO, verse one and lets read about an EXTRAORDINARY wedding reception. (page 1050)
The occasion that we will read about is an Eastern wedding. Eastern weddings are very different from Western affairs. In Western weddings the bride is the prominent figure. When she enters, clad in all her glory, the whole congregation stands and the organ thunders, "Here comes the bride" and every eye is focused on her.
But in Eastern weddings it is the groom that is prominent. He is the featured one; the bride merely shows up for the wedding.
Not only is the groom the featured person, but he also pays for the whole affair! And some of the weddings in Jesus’ day went on for two or three days -- some for as long as a week -- with all the relatives joining together for celebration.
This is the kind of wedding reception that John is writing about. But it is not is duration that makes it extraordinary.
Bible expositor, Ray Steadman, observes that since Jesus’ mother, Mary, figures rather prominently at this wedding, it is likely that this was the wedding of one of Jesus’ younger sisters or cousins. But it is not the family name that makes it extraordinary.
Let’s read John 2:1-11.
Please notice in verse three that Jesus’ mother alerts Him to the fact that the party has run out of wine.
Why would Mary deem it necessary to alert Jesus about this?
Since Jesus had not yet performed any miracles, (note verse 11; "This was the FIRST of his miraculous signs") we should not so quickly assume that Mary intended Jesus to miraculously make more wine.
The sixteenth century reformer, John Calvin, wondered if Mary’s hope was that Jesus would quell "the guest’s annoyance with some godly exhortations."
This is quite plausible given the fact that while Mary may not have ever witnessed a miracle from her son, she would have had many occasions to witness His outstanding life and His ability to exhort from the Scriptures.
And maybe Mary was simply responding like any other widow would, turning to her first born son for some kind of help. So it’s not a mother’s request that makes this wedding reception extraordinary.
Well no matter what Mary expected, Jesus solved the problem by turning water into wine.
What does this historical account from the earthly life of Jesus tell us about our Lord?
The apostle John wrote that in changing water to wine Jesus revealed HIS GLORY and his disciples put their trust in Him (verse 11).
What makes this wedding reception so extraordinary is that it provided an occasion for Jesus to reveal his glory-work.
How is Jesus’ GLORY-WORK revealed?
Jesus glory-work is revealed as he works with the ORDINARY:
Please notice the ordinary, everyday, yes even MUNDANE things that Jesus works with.
First, Jesus works IN ordinary problems. The problem here is that someone in the groom’s party did not purchase enough wine for the wedding reception.
No doubt this could have been an embarrassing situation for the groom’s family but no doubt, this kind of thing had happened many times in first century Palestine.
Second, Jesus works with an ordinary request. It was a simple mother’s request and it was her NOT first request nor was it to be her last.
Mary’s first request of Jesus that is recorded in the New Testament (though it probably wasn’t her very first) is recorded in Luke chapter two; when Jesus, at age 12, remained in the temple complex during a Passover celebration, discussing theology with the teachers of Jerusalem, while his family headed back home to Nazareth.
And although it is not explicitly stated in the text it is assume that Mary said, "Jesus, come home with us now."
Mary’s last recorded request from Jesus is also found in the Gospel of Luke chapter eight, as well as Matthew 12 and Mark 3 where Jesus’ brothers and mother travel from Nazareth to Capernaum to take Jesus home because they thought that Jesus had lost his mind (Mark 3:21).
Here also Mary’s request is not explicitly stated in the text but it is safe to assume that Mary said pretty much the same thing, "Jesus, come home with us now."