Summary: Today I would like to begin to investigate the divine miracles of Jesus and discover what they have to teach us and how they will change our hearts. Jesus is in fact miraculous and you cannot separate Him from miracles. His life was full of miracles.
Miracles of Jesus: H20 to C6H12O6-2CO2+2C2H5OH
INTRODUCTION... O Brother Where Art Thou?
I was flipping through the TV the other night and one of the stations had on a movie that I have enjoyed watching before that stars George Clooney and was released in 2000. "O Brother Where Art Thou?" is a story about three prisoners (George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson) who escape and find themselves on an odyssey searching for a hidden fortune, they stumble across fame, and learn to value family. Towards the end of the movie, the three are caught by the police and their bloodhounds and they are fitted for nooses right where they are caught. The main character, George Clooney, starts to pray to God and ask for a miracle. He says over and over that he wants to see his children again and that he will mend his ways. The three men just stand there in anticipation of being hung, and yet a miracle happens! A huge wave of water rushes over the men and the police and the men are saved from their fate. Two of the men count it a miracle while George Clooney’s character tries to reason the tsunami away, but he cannot. They were saved by a miracle!
ILLUSTRATION... William Jennings Bryan, from "The Prince of Peace"
"[Jesus] Christ cannot be separated from the miraculous; His birth, His ministry, and His resurrection, all involve the miraculous, and the change which His religion works in the human heart us a continuing miracle. Eliminate the miracles and Christ becomes merely a human being and His Gospel is stripped of divine authority."
Today I would like to begin to investigate the divine miracles of Jesus and discover what they have to teach us and how they will change our hearts. Jesus is in fact miraculous and you cannot separate Him from miracles. His life was full of miracles. Let’s look at His very first public miracle.
READ JOHN 2:1-11
I. JESUS AND HIS MOTHER (VERSES 1-5)
The setting and stage for Jesus’ miracle is set for us very soon after John chapter 2 begins. Verse 1 tells us that the event is a wedding in a village called Cana in Galilee. Cana was about 4 miles away from Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth... so it would make sense that He and his family and friends would be invited to a wedding there. Verse 1 tells us that Mary seemed to already be in Cana when Jesus and the disciples arrived. Verse 3 tells us that the wine runs out during the wedding celebration. We are not told why, but perhaps when Jesus arrived with His disciples it made the supply that was on hand run out more quickly. In any case, Mary says to Jesus, "they have no more wine."
I love the interaction we see here between Jesus and His mother. Jesus speaks to His mother and says ‘Dear woman.’ I immediately think of the other time that Jesus called his mother ‘dear woman.’ It can be found in John 19:26 when Jesus is on the cross. John 19:26-27 tells us, "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." I cannot help but see in his words that he loved this woman who was His mother. He certainly showed that on the cross and he uses the same kind words here at the wedding. I do not know what was going on in the mind of Jesus and why He asked her not to involve Him. Maybe Jesus needs to show that He is the Son of God and that this is not dependent on anyone but God and that He takes His directions from God. Maybe Jesus wants to strike out on His own. We do not know really. And yet, Mary has complete faith in Jesus because in verse 5 she turns to the servants and instructs them to listen to Jesus and to do whatever He says. That is absolute faith. Mary had absolute faith in her Son.
ILLUSTRATION... Monica and Augustine (http://www.frtommylane.com/homilies/year_a/20.htm#monica)
One mother who prayed a great deal for one of her children is Monica, the mother of St Augustine. Monica and her husband Patricius had three children, Augustine, Navigius and Perpetua. Navigius was always a good son, and Perpetua became a nun, but Augustine was different. As a teenager he was influenced by the loose living of his companions. When he was studying in Carthage, he decided to take a mistress. Augustine was, as we would say now, such a brat that he even once said to Monica his mother that there would be no problems between them if she gave up her faith! After that Monica was so desperate that she went to a bishop who advised her to be patient and to pray for him. When Augustine was 29 he moved to Rome to teach rhetoric and then he moved to Milan where he received a position teaching speech. Monica moved to Milan after him. Augustine often heard Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, preaching and this is probably what sowed the seed of faith in his heart. All the prayers of his mother Monica for his conversion were now beginning to be heard after many years of seemingly being unheard. Augustine began to study the New Testament and especially Paul. The turning point came when one day Augustine read a passage from Romans 13:13-14 "put on the Lord Jesus and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires." Her son Augustine became a believer and a leader in the church. Augustine’s mother kept her faith in her child and continued to pray for him.