Summary: In his first miracle in a little town called Cana, Jesus shows that God moves in the ordinary parts of our lives to bring about the extraordinary, all in an effort to build our faith in him.
Water to Wine
John 2:1-11 January 20, 2019
[Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for sermon outline in Word.]
I love the fact that Jesus did his first miracle at a wedding in a small Galilee town called Cana. Verse 1 introduces the story by stating, “On the third day a wedding took place...” A couple of weeks ago I officiated the wedding of one of our soloists. The setting was a bed and breakfast out in the middle of nowhere! Driving there on the back roads toward Dripping Springs, we were sure somehow the navigator had led us astray. After crossing two creek beds still running with enough water to concern us, we arrived. This old B&B had several very interesting rooms and a nice area out back where 50 white folding chairs gleamed in the bright sun. And there, in front of friends and family, ___ and ___ vowed to each other their love. Even though the setting was unusual, and very special for the couple, a wedding is a somewhat normal event. A lot of people get married. Couples become parents, and later grandparents. Sometimes they divorce. Sometimes spouses die. And throughout the everyday events of life, even on your wedding day, God is there. So, #1 on your outlines,
1. Watch for God in the ordinary.
God wants to come into your daily routine. God wants an invitation to your wedding. And on a smaller scale, he also wants one for lunch today, and to a card game later, maybe to that pool game Saturday, and to go with you on your cruise. God wants in on your relationships with your spouse, with friends and family. Our God is not a Sunday only God, one you can worship one day of the week, and then put on the shelf for the next six days. No, he wants to be involved in all of your life. The famous missionary, Hudson Taylor, once said, “Christ is either Lord of all, or he is not Lord at all.”
So watch for God to show up. Today, tomorrow, or the next day. He is there. He is right there in the everyday events of life. Watch for God in the ordinary. And yet, #2,
2. Expect God to do the extraordinary.
I love Mary, who is not mentioned by name in all of the gospel of John. John simply refers to her as the “mother of Jesus.” Can you imagine being this young Jewish mom? You’ve loved the one true God all of your life, and then you find you are going to carry his only begotten son? You’re going to be the mother of God? And then you get to raise him, this one that never sinned. At some point, Jesus’ step-father Joseph is no longer around, almost certainly dead by today’s story. Jesus is 30 years old; Mary around 45 or 50. She knows he is the Messiah. Like any good Jewish mom, she might be a little pushy, strong-willed, wanting the best for her son, especially since she knows what big plans God has for him. And so she drops the comment, “The bride and groom are about to run out of wine.”
Now running out of wine would have been a big deal. It is the staple drink of Jesus’ day, when you couldn’t exactly trust water. These people likely are relatives of Mary. The wedding feast would last for about a week. So to run out of food or wine could have scandalized you for life. People would never stop talking about it: “Hey, do you remember when Tom and Judy ran out of wine at their wedding? Talk about poor planning!” It would be a lifelong embarrassment. Mary knew her son could do something about it. So she raised the issue with him. She didn’t tell him what to do; she just told him about the problem.
Jesus’ response in verse 4 might sound a little harsh: “Woman!” However, in Jewish society at the time, the term “woman” was a very respectful term. It would be like the word “lady” today. At one of my prior churches, the youth minister and his wife were shopping at Walmart at Christmas time. His wife was waiting in the layaway line to pick up some items for their kids. And he walked up and said, loud enough for everybody in line to hear, “Woman, I’ll be over in Sporting Goods.” He liked to call her “Woman” because he thought it was biblical. Well, you can imagine all the glaring looks he got from the other women in line. Something is lost in translation to our day.
Yet in first century Israel, “woman” is a term of respect. Then Jesus uses a common euphemism of the time, one that appears several times in both the Old and New Testaments. It basically means, “What do you have to do with me?” Or, “What does that have to do with me.” And then he tells her, “My hour has not yet come” (v. 4). Jesus is speaking of God’s timing vs. human timing. Throughout the gospel of John, Jesus is acutely aware of God’s timetable for events, and he will not rush it. It will be several months before Jesus offers a public sign of the kind of Messiah he is.