Summary: Ask God for it, have expectant faith, trust God, and he will deliver!
Expecting A Miracle
Text: John 2:1-12
1. Illustration: "The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life. And that’s sobering news to most of us, because we’re into comfort...but water walkers master failure... Did Peter fail?...Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcomes...Did Peter fail? Well, I suppose in a way he did. His faith wasn’t strong enough. His doubts were stronger. 'He saw the wind.' He took his eyes off of where they should have been. He sank. He failed. But here is what I think. I think there were eleven bigger failures sitting in the boat. They failed quietly. They failed privately. Their failure went unnoticed, unobserved, un-criticized. Only Peter knew the shame of the public failure. But only Peter knew two other things as well. Only Peter knew other things as well. Only Peter knew the glory of walking on water. He alone knew what it was to attempt to do what he was not capable of doing on his own, then feeling euphoria of being empowered by God to actually do it. Once you walk on water, you never forget it--not for the rest of your life!" (Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, 21-23).
2. Have you ever listened to a testimony of a living miracle that someone has received and said to yourself, "I wish that could be me!"
3. In our text today we have three different people who experienced a miracle.
a. Mary, who had expectant faith
b. The servants, who had obedient faith
c. The bridegroom, who had receiving faith.
4. Let's stand together as we read John 2:1-12
Transition: First there is Mary who had..
I. Expectant Faith (1-5).
A. His Mother Told The Servants
1. Sometimes miracles happen in unexpectant places because people have faith big enough to meet their need.
2. Our text begins with, "The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration."
a. Cana” may be Kefar Kanna (over three miles from Nazareth), but most scholars prefer Khirbet Kana (over eight miles from Nazareth). Either site would be close enough to Nazareth to explain how the host knows Jesus’ family (Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament).
b. John does not disclose the identity of the happy couple, but the presence of the mother of Jesus (neither here nor anywhere else does he make use of her name) and the invitation extended to Jesus show that friends of the family were involved.
c. The whole attitude of Mary, her taking action when the wine ran out, and her giving of instructions to the servants accords with this.
d. It is sometimes said that Jesus and his disciples were unbidden guests, being "invited" only when they turned up unexpectedly.
e. It is inferred that it was their presence that caused the supply of wine to be inadequate. There is nothing in the narrative to show that this was in fact the state of affairs.
f. We know that marriage was preceded by a betrothal that was much more serious than is an engagement with us. It meant the solemn pledging of the couple, each to the other, and was so binding that to break it divorce proceedings were necessary.
g. At the conclusion of the betrothal period the marriage took place, on a Wednesday if the bride was a virgin and on a Thursday if she was a widow.
h. The bridegroom and his friends made their way in procession to the bride's home. This was often done at night, when there could be a spectacular torchlight procession.
i. There were doubtless speeches and expressions of goodwill before the bride and groom went in procession to the groom's house, where the wedding banquet was held.
j. We assume that there was a religious ceremony, but we have no details.
k. The processions and the feast are the principal items of which we have knowledge. The feast was prolonged, and might last as long as a week (Morris, The New International Commentary on the New Testament – The Gospel According to John, 156-157).
3. Then we see the need for the miracle arise. In v. 3 John tells us, "The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
a. On this occasion the wine was all used up before the end of the feast. This meant more than the disruption of the festivities. There was something of a slur on the hosts, for they had not fully discharged the duties of hospitality.