Summary: Is this the Jesus you imagine - one who’s first miracle is to turn water into wine?
John 2 Jesus at a Party
sermon preached by Adrian Warnock @ Jubilee Church on 27th October 2002
Does the idea of Jesus at a party fit in with your image of him from before? Does it fit in with the image the world has?
Why is Gods time not always now?
Can you think of any examples of how Gods way can seem like its reward is a long way off? Is it true in your experience that God saves the best wine to last?
Do you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit in as much a way as those jars were filled with Water? (Are you coming on the Holy Spirit weekend next Saturday then?)
Detailed Background Notes
In this chapter, Jesus attends a wedding feast and cleanses the temple. This surely prefigures the climax of his work which will be to purify his church as a new temple and then hold a marriage supper! (cf p63 Bruce Milne- The Message of John- The Bible Speaks today)
After the action of the previous chapter it might seem surprising that Jesus attends a wedding- come on, there’s a world to save Jesus. Actually he loves being there. And what a difference he made! How embarrassing it would have been for the bride and groom if he’d not been there. Having Jesus at a marriage ceremony is a great thing. He is still changing marriages today! Jesus is no kill joy! He would at times it seems rather be at a party than in some religious meetings! Are you more at home at a party or in a silent mass?
Rather than gathering the nation and stating here I am before doing a miracle, Jesus first miracle occurs in a small village in the far North away from the action, it would seem with poor people there.
Now, concerning this miracle, it may well be remarked how simple and unostentatious it was. One might have expected that when the great Lord of all came here in human form he would commence his miraculous career by summoning the scribes and Pharisees at least, if not the kings and princes of the earth, to see the marks of his calling and the guarantees and warrants of his commission; gathering them all together to work some miracle before them, as Moses and Aaron did before Pharaoh, that they might be convinced of his Messiahship.
He does nothing of the kind. He goes to a simple wedding among poor people, and there in the simplest and most natural way he displays his glory. When the water is to be turned into wine, when he selects that as the first miracle, he does not call for the master of the feast even, or for the bridegroom himself or for any of the guests, and begin to say, “You clearly perceive that your wine is all gone. Now, I am about to show you a great marvel, to turn water into wine.” No, he does it quietly with the servants: (CH Spurgeon Sermon No 1556)
Verse one seems to indicate that Joseph must have been dead by now- Mary approaches Jesus as the oldest son for his assistance either practically or perhaps more likely she is looking for a miracle. It would have been most embarrassing for the hosts of the party. Our parties never seem to run out of food- because we ask people to bring! But there is nothing worse than the hosts not providing for the needs of their guests.
Jesus acts in response to Mary’s questioning-Note that Mary here presents Jesus with a request for help for anothers problem. When we pray we mustn’t only think of our own needs! (See Matthew Henry )
‘here is an apparent rejection of Mary’s initiative, yet a granting of the request for intervention.’
There are perhaps two sides to this- the way in which Jesus is seeking to test and draw faith from his mother and second the fact that in a way she comes across initially as telling him what to do- this is no longer appropriate- Mary Approaches Jesus as a mother, and is reproached….she responds as a believer and her faith is honoured’ (DA Carson - John)
Perhaps there is more mileage than modern commentators allow in Matthew Henry’s assertion that Jesus replies in this way in part to counter the later attempts by some sectors of the Church to elevate Mary. She has been seen as one who can be prayed to so she can ask her Son to act- Jesus states that he doesn’t have to do what she asks. (See Matthew Henry and Calvin’s Commentary on John)
Having said that Mary does not really dictate to Jesus as we often do in our prayers- she rather simply informs him of the need, and seems to trust him to respond appropriately. (cf p63 Bruce Milne- The Message of John- The Bible Speaks today)