Summary: Discipline isn’t fun. It isn’t fun to receive it and it isn’t fun to give it out. But the fact is that discipline is necessary. Are you in need of a cleansing today? How will you react when it comes?
“This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” How many of you have ever used that line on your kids? I remember when I got that line used on me. I didn’t believe it for one minute. As a matter of fact, I didn’t believe it until I had my own kids and used that line on them. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It seems that there comes a day in every parent’s life when you hear your parents’ words come out of your mouth. Then in the back of your mind, you think, “Where in the world did that come from?” One of those times is the first time you say those words, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” You didn’t believe it when they said it to you. And you can’t believe you’re hearing those words come out of your mouth. But it happens. And it happens for a reason. It happens because it’s true. Does it hurt to receive discipline? You bet it does. But it hurts a whole lot more when you’re the one who’s having to dole out the discipline. But if you don’t do it, it destroys your children. You discipline your children because you love them. You want them to learn right from wrong. You want them to make the right choices in life—even when those choices are difficult. Even when they’re different from the choices that everyone around them are making. You discipline your children to develop their character to the point that they will begin to exercise self-discipline. And that is exactly what Jesus was doing in this passage. After the wedding in Cana, Jesus went with His family and disciples and moved down to Capernaum. Capernaum was about 16 miles away and was located on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. It would serve as kind of a home base for His ministry. The Gospel of Matthew called it “His own town” and they would return there several times throughout Jesus’ ministry. But each time Jesus returned there, He didn’t stay long. Each time was little more than a stopover on the way to the next place of ministry. That’s what happened here. They went from Cana to Capernaum. They stayed there for only a few days. Then they headed on to Jerusalem. It was Passover time, which meant that all good Jews headed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Of course, Jesus followed all of the Old Testament law, so off to Jerusalem He went. But when He got there, the scene was very different from what Old Testament Law prescribed.
You remember that in the Old Testament, God required the Jews to celebrate the Passover as a way to remind themselves of how God had delivered them from Egypt. Back in the days of Moses, God inflicted Egypt with a series of plagues to convince Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go. But he didn’t. He continually hardened his heart to the point that God finally hardened it for him. It was at that point that God sent the final plague upon them. He sent His death angel to kill the firstborn son of each family in Egypt. The only way for a family to escape that plague and preserve the life of their firstborn son was to apply the blood of an innocent lamb on their front door. When the death angel saw the blood, he passed over the house and the son’s life was spared. That was the plague that finally persuaded Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their captivity. And because of that, God commanded that the Israelites remember what God did for them. He commanded that they celebrate what God did for them by sacrificing an innocent lamb without blemish and eat it together as a family. He also later required that, if they were able, they had to do it in Jerusalem. That’s why Jesus and His family were there. They were there out of obedience to the requirements of the Law of God.