Summary: This message was given on Mothers Day. It focuses on the story of the Wedding in Cana ... Jesus' first miracle.

Honoring Mom!

John 2:1-11 / May 13, 2013

Hello, my name is Marty Baker and I want to welcome to the Creek. Today is “the day”. It’s Mothers Day and we are here to celebrate.

Did you know that Mother's Day is the third most celebrated holiday of the year after Christmas and Easter? In fact, over 145 million cards are sent, $14.6 billion spent on gifts and dinners, 69% of those gifts are flowers, and more long distance calls will be made today than any other day of the year. So I begin this talk by saying, “Happy Mothers Day.” I hope that your day is special.

There’s no doubt that mothering is the toughest job that you will ever have and you love almost every minute of it. Today, we pause and say “thanks” for all of your hard work throughout the year. We probably don’t say “thanks” enough.

I read of a husband who was feeling guilty because he had not been very attentive to his wife. He decided to change. On his way home from work he bought a box of candy and some flowers to surprise his wife.

He walks up to the door and rings the doorbell. She opens it, and there he stands, candy in one hand, flowers in the other, singing, "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

Instantly she starts crying, big old tears just gushing out of her eyes. She sobs, "Oh, Harry! Everything went wrong today. We had a leak in the plumbing. The kids were terrible. The house is a wreck. And now you come home drunk!"

Hopefully that’s not the case today. Today we are here to celebrate motherhood, but I realize that some of you come into this auditorium with mixed emotions because you are carrying the pain of not being able to have children or the grief of a recent loss. It is my prayer that God will give you grace and will give you strength as you walk through this difficult season.

Over the past few years, I have used Mother’s Day as an opportunity to talk about famous women from the Bible. Today, I want to share a story about the most famous woman in the Bible, Mary, the mother of Jesus.

In John chapter two, we see an interesting story about Jesus and his mother at a family wedding. We don’t know exactly which member of his family was getting married, but we know that his Mother Mary felt somewhat responsible for the reception. In those days, the groom’s family bore the responsibility for the wedding celebrations. Let’s pick up the story in John 2.

John 2:1-2

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.

Now, let’s pause there for just a second. Weddings are a big deal. Girls start planning their weddings at what? Age three. At three years old, you were already thinking about it. There are some of you here today that are in the middle of wedding plans and you are starting to feel the pressure of it. How many episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” have you watched? As a pastor, I take weddings pretty seriously. Now, I have been pretty fortunate. I haven’t goofed up too many weddings.

Not too long ago, however, I did have one little slip up. I came to the point when the groom was supposed to kiss his bride, but I forgot. In fact, I announced the new couple to the audience and was preparing to walk off the stage when I had this thought, “Something is missing.” Oh yea, the couple was supposed to kiss and seal the deal.

That’s bad, but not as bad as the pastor who was marrying a couple, and it was the guy’s second marriage. The pastor had married him and his first wife, as well, and about half way through this ceremony, the pastor looks right at the bride, and he calls her by the guy’s first wife’s name. When you make a mistake like that you are looking for a hole to crawl into at that moment.

Wedding Days are huge and in Jesus’ day they were a big deal as well. As a matter of fact, this chapter starts out, it says, “On the third day.” Well, what the third day meant was that Jesus and His disciples had been traveling for three days to get to this wedding.

Back in those days, it was common for people to travel by foot, by camel, by cart, whatever, and they would come from all over the region to a wedding. A wedding was not a one or two hour event. It was a week-long event. It was a huge celebration that involved a lot of eating, a lot of drinking, a lot of dancing, and good times in general. Verse three.

John 2:3

3 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

This is a huge problem. They are out of wine. I am sure some of you are wondering if they were drinking real wine or Welch’s. Now when the Bible says “wine”, you have the opportunity to define that according to your tradition. If you were reared in the Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, some Methodist Churches or completely unchurched, wine was wine, the fermented type. If you were Baptist, Charismatic, Pentecostal, and so forth, wine was unfermented type. It was the Welch’s sparkling grape juice kind. In either case, they were out.

John 2:3-4

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."

In some ways, this may seem sort of rude, but in the original, Jesus is saying: “Mom, you don’t understand. It’s not the right time.” She was saying, “I know that you don’t think it’s the right time, but I need some help.” In their culture to run out of wine at a wedding would damage their credibility in the community. This wedding meant a lot to Mary. She look at the servants and then said, “Do whatever he tells you to do.”

John 2:5

His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Jesus understands the Old Testament law that says to honor your mother and father so He steps in.

See those six stone jars over there? Those water pots? They hold about twenty to thirty gallons each. I want you to fill each one of them up with water.” So the servants did so. They filled them up.

John notes that they filled them to the brim, all the way to the top. Jesus then said, “I want you to go and I want you to dip the water out of those jars, and I want you to serve it to the master of the banquet, the master of ceremonies, and then begin to serve it to the guests.”

As each cup was poured, as the water was poured into each cup, Jesus worked a miracle in that each cup of water was turned into a cup of wine. This was the first miracle that Jesus ever performed. This miracle was a behind-the-scenes miracle that met a huge need that had popped up at that wedding.

Jesus’ mother needed help. I am sure that he wanted to help. He wanted to make her proud. He wanted to honor his mother.

His mother felt pressure. She looked at Jesus and said, “Listen, you are the Son of God. You have the ability and the power to do something about this,” so when she says to Him, “We have no more wine,” she is just not making a statement. She is asking Him to respond and do something. She is expecting something of Jesus. There was a problem and she needed help.

Some of you are wrestling with problems. You have issues that are pressing in. Your life is spinning out of control.

Do you expect Jesus to do anything in your life this morning? Faith is important. But, this is what you need to know:

(slide) Sometimes things will get worse before God makes them better.

We see this principle in the Bible all the time. We see characters in the Bible, who lived this.

• Joseph had to go to prison before he could be exalted to a place of leadership in the kingdom.

• David, who had been promised, “You are going to be the king of Israel.” David, who had been anointed to be the king of Israel, found himself hiding out for his life in cold, dark caves before he was exalted to the place of leadership in the palace to where he would actually lead as the king of Israel.

• Peter, in the New Testament, he had to fail before he could experience God’s grace, and before he could lead 3,000 people to the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost.

• Jesus, Himself, had to die on a cross before He could be resurrected and we could have that forgiveness of our sins and the hope of eternal life.

Things had to get worse before God could make them better.

A lot of us are experiencing worse things, the worst end. We are out of wine. We are out of finances. Our relationships are stuck or they are non-existent. Look at I Peter 5:10.

1 Peter 5:10b

… after you have suffered a little while, God will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

After you have run out of wine. After the bonus didn’t come in. After your wife has looked at you and told you are just not good enough again. After your kids have screamed and yelled at you and told you how much they hated you. After you have suffered a little while, there is a promise, and that promise is this, that God will, Himself, restore you, and what? Make you strong. The truth, the promise that God gives us is that after we have suffered for a little while, God is going to show up and make us stronger, better. He will make life better, but we have to put our hope and our trust in Him.

Many of us listening to this message today, we are living in verse 3 of that miracle. We are living where the wine is gone, where the wine runs out. We are at the end of our rope. We have run out of hope. We’ve run out of options.

We have to do like Mary did in verse five. We have to look to Jesus for our solutions.

(slide) We have to look to Jesus for our solutions.

Don’t lose hope. What Jesus did at that wedding, he will do for you today, but you have to look to Him.

A lot of us look to solutions in other things. We look to solutions for our financial issues in casinos or credit cards. We look for solutions to our relationship problems in chat rooms or with inappropriate conversations with co-workers. Don’t go there. Look to Jesus for your solution.

You need to move from verse 3 to verse ten. Here’s the deal. Jesus saves the best for last. Things may get worse before God makes them better.

(slide) Jesus saves the best for last.

Look what happens in verse 10. The servants gave the master of ceremonies a cup of water that had been turned into wine. He did not know where it came from, but the servants did. When he tasted it, he called the groom aside and said,

John 2:10

10 …"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."

Here’s the point. Things may get worse, but remember that Jesus saves the best for last. God’s best is coming. Don’t lose sight of that. Don’t lose hope. His best is coming. Hang on. He’s going to show up.

This miracle is about putting our trust in God, knowing that He wants to show up, knowing that He wants to work in the behind-the-scenes stuff, that He wants to be involved in our lives, working out the miraculous, taking out the stress and turning it into joy.

But we have got to ask, and we have got to listen, and that leads us to this final though. We have to do what Jesus says to do.

(slide) We have to do what Jesus says.

John 2:5

His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

We’ve got to ask, then whatever He tells us, whatever He speaks into our lives, we’ve got to do it. We must take action.

James 2:17

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

In other words, you can come to church. You can say you believe all day long, but if you are not willing to put action to that faith, then your faith is actually dead. You have no faith, so what part of God’s solution are you simply not obeying?

Today’s the day that we begin to obey. Today’s the day that we begin to do, that we respond, that we act. “Because Jesus and the servants obeyed, a miracle happened.” Mary came to Jesus and said, “Listen, they are out of wine. You need to do something about that.”

Jesus basically looked at His mother and said, “No.” He said, “Listen, my time has not yet come.” But Jesus’ mother is like, “That’s great that you feel that way, now you servants, whatever he tell you to do, do it.” So, in other words, “I’m glad that you feel that way, but that really doesn’t matter right now. You are going to do something.”

When His mother took that step, and said to those servants, “Whatever he tells you to do, do it,” Jesus recognized something at that moment. He recognized that for Him to not respond would have been to directly disobey scripture. You see, one of the ten commandments is very clear, “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.” So, for Him to have not responded would have been for Him to have dishonored His mother, so it didn’t matter what else anyone expected of Him at that moment, only one thing mattered, and that was that He would obey.

And so, He honored His mother, and He worked that miracle. Quietly and behind the scenes, His mother knew it, the disciples knew it, the servants knew it. That was it, but He performed that miracle.

He honored His mother. He obeyed, because the servants obeyed, they filled those jugs with water, because they dipped that water, put it in people’s cups, because of the acts of obedience a miracle happened.

There’s no better way to honor your Mother today, than to put your faith in Jesus Christ and obey Him.



Closing Song