Summary: This sermon is about how God abundantly provides for our needs.
Changing Water Into Wine
Primary Purpose: Jesus abundantly provides for our needs.
In John 20:30-31, John reports that his goal in writing the Gospel of John is that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. With this in mind, John picks several miracles that tell us who Jesus is to write about. The first one happened at a wedding that Jesus was invited to in Cana. (Read Scripture)
Several questions went through my mind as I read this story. Perhaps you’ve thought of them also. Why did Jesus refuse to help when Mary asked, but intervened moments later? Why such a ordinary and simple miracle to display who He is? Why not something more supernatural? Why use the ceremonial washing pots? Why not just speak it into existence? Why even bother using water? I’d like to look at each of these questions in turn to understand why Jesus did what He did.
First, why did Jesus respond to Mary like He did? He asks her why does she involve him. I think Mary realized that Jesus would care about the bride and groom being embarrassed. To run out of wine in the middle of the celebration was a terrible embarrassment to the whole wedding party. So, Mary does what she should have done. She takes her problem to Jesus. But, she has to understand here just like we do, that God’s timing isn’t always ours. Jesus is redefining their relationship, from mother and son to woman and Savior. From this point on, Jesus doesn’t take orders from her anymore. He’s here to do the work of His Father. This is what motivates his ministry. This is what dictates what he does and where he goes. This is what He said in John 9:4. He is there to do the will of the one who sent Him, the Father.
Mary did the right thing though. She brought her concerns to Jesus. This is what we should do also. We have to pray though, “your will be done” and not mine. Her comments to the servants show that she thinks he might still respond in some way. Mary says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” She realizes apparently that it might not make sense at first. But, that it will work out. This is great advice for us also. “Do whatever he tells you.”
Second, why such a ordinary miracle? Why doesn’t he do something more spectacular and awesome? It seems clear that even the head waiter at this wedding did not know what Jesus had done. Only the servants and the disciples were in on it. To understand that, you need to understand why he was doing this miracle. The key is in verse 11 “He thus revealed His glory and his disciples put their faith in Him.” It was for the disciples sake that he did this. To reveal his glory. To show that he was who he said he was. To reveal His person and His grace. A pastor named Rodney Buchanan once said that “Jesus is in the business of turning water into wine, sinners into saints, fear into courage, sorrow into joy, defeat into victory, despair into hope and death into life.” I think that’s a good thing to remember.