Summary: Before we believe in Jesus, we are like the water jars: empty, stony hard hearts, sitting off to the side doing nothing. But Jesus is able to fill us, fill us to the brim, and transform us and then use us to bring joy to others. Believe it. Don’t think th
Let’s open our Bibles to John chapter 2. And as you’re turning I want to tell you the story of Blaise Pascal who was a French mathematician and philosopher. In his writings, which were entitled Pensees, he traces the logical progression of his thoughts on many subjects. And then something happened to Pascal which was beyond logic and rational thought. To give you an idea of what happened, after his death, his servant found a piece of paper sewn into the lining of his coat and I want to read to you what that piece of paper said. Here is what Blaise Pascal wrote:
“The year of grace 1654. Monday, 23 November, . . From about 10:30 PM until about 12:30 AM. FIRE. The God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob. Not of the philosophers and intellectuals. Complete submission to Jesus Christ. Certainty, assurance, feeling of joy, peace . . .joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.”
Blaise Pascal had an encounter with the Living God, Who is a consuming Fire, which resulted in this logical, intellectual man completely submitting to Jesus Christ. The result of which was tears of joy, pure joy, unspeakable joy. The title of the message today is Jesus: the Great Joy-Giver. Let’s read John 2:1-11:
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, "They have no more wine." 4 "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." 5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." 11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. John 2:1-11 (NIV)
The title of the message this morning, as I told you, is Jesus: the Great Joy-Giver. I was going to call it Jesus: the Great Miracle-Working, Need-Meeting, People-Loving, Heart-Satisfying, Glory-Revealing, Faith-Instilling, Gospel-bringing Joy-Giver but it seemed a bit long, so I shortened it willy-nilly to Jesus: the Great Joy-Giver.
Now just as a reminder of where we have come from, John chapter 1 tells us that Jesus Christ is God. Verse 1 calls Jesus “the Word” and says “the Word was God.” And now, in chapter 2 we are seeing proofs of the Deity of Jesus Christ. In this story we see that Jesus is sovereign over nature, He is God over creation. He can make water or wine at His discretion. He is God. The words about the Deity of Jesus Christ in chapter 1 are confirmed by His works in chapter 2 so that the words and works of Jesus Christ all give the same message. This is God in human form here.
Last week we saw Jesus calling 2 more disciples to follow Him, for a total of 6 now. We recall one of the things that Jesus said to Nathaniel was that Nathaniel would see “greater things than these”, meaning that he would see even greater proofs that Jesus really was the Messiah. Nathaniel would see greater things, and would have even more reasons to believe. And this miracle Jesus does, of converting water into wine, is further proof that He is God and gives the disciples even more reason to believe.
So this morning I just want to talk about 3 things relating to this miracle we have in John chapter 2:
The setting of the miracle
The miracle itself
The results of the miracle
The occasion or the setting of the miracle:
We see Jesus going with his disciples to Cana in Galilee where there is a wedding celebration that they’ve been invited to. Cana was a small town about 6 miles north-east of Nazareth. Today this town is now called Kefr Kenna, is under the government of a Turkish officer, and about three hundred people live there, mainly all Catholics. The natives of this town still show the place where the water was turned into wine, and they even have one of the large stone water-pots that Jesus used in the miracle.