Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

The Joyous Wedding at Cana 1/20/2013
Sermon: January 20, 2013

Front Cover: John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.


Call to Worship: Dear Father, as we see and hear the things that Jesus did and said, may our faith be stronger and bolder!

Announcements

Opening Hymn: We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise

Praise Song: We are One in the Spirit

Reading: Psalm 36

Praise Song: Amazing Grace (Our chains are gone)

Scripture Reading/Prayer/Lord's Prayer/Offertory Prayer: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Offertory Hymn: #365 The Church's One Foundation

Sermon Text: John 2:1-11

Sermon Title: Wedding at Cana

Holy Communion

Benediction

Closing Hymn: #465 O For a Thousand Tongues

Dear congregation

In the Gospel of John there are seven signs that are recorded which are meant to bring people to believe in Jesus.

1. The wine at Cana (2:1-11).

2. The healing of an official's son, also performed at Cana (4:46-54).

3. The healing of a sick man
(5:1-9).

4. The feeding of the five thousand (6:1-14).

5. Walking on the sea (6:15-21).

6. The healing of the man born blind (9:1-34).

7. The resurrection of Lazarus (11:38-44)



These are not the only signs that Jesus did in His life, but in John's Gospel these are recorded so that all might believe.......as is written "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (20:31).

In the creation story, God put lights in the sky to serve as signs (Genesis 1:14).

Following the great flood, God put a rainbow in the sky to serve as sign of the covenant that he would not again use a flood to destroy all life (Genesis 9:13-17).

A sign is more than a demonstration of power. A sign reveals something--points to something beyond itself. At Cana, the sign points to Jesus' glory (v. 11). Signs, however, unlike miracles that are done openly, are hidden from some. Not everyone understands their significance. The disciples believe (v. 11) and many believe (v. 23), but "the Jews" (v. 18) are skeptical. Even the chief steward has no clue about the real meaning of this sign (v. 10).

Our meditations will be on John 2:1-11.

KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

There is a book that children love in which a young man named Waldo is hidden among many others persons who are similar in appearance as Waldo is, but they are not the real Waldo. The questions is asked on each picture in which he is hidden and children seem to be captivated with seeking to find "Waldo." Among humanity there is similar question that is intriguing to us also, as we seek for the meaning and signficance of life, but instead of asking about the location of Waldo, we strive to find the real Jesus. Jesus knows this, and in the middle of his ministry one day he addressed this by asking a couple of questions Himself.


Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

As it was in those days, it is the same today: He asks us as to "whom do we say that He is." The children look for the outward appearance of Waldo while we look for more than just the outward appearance. We seek to understand the meaning of what He has done/does and said/says in relation to our lives.


As Jesus began his ministry, he and his disciples were invited to a wedding in the little town of Cana, of Galilee. That would be similar to a town like Kingston in the larger area of Meeker County. It was an obscure town in which our Lord performed his first miracle, or as John calls it, the first sign. The goal of John's Gospel is recorded for us in this fashion, which is after Jesus showed Himself to Thomas after His resurrection...

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

Jesus and his disciples were invited to this wedding at which was his mother, Mary. The couple is not mentioned by name whose wedding is in a small obscure town in Galilee. In those days weddings were more public occasions, lasting for days and wine was an intregral part of the festivities. It is thought that it was the responsibility of the host to make sure there was adequate wine and if it ran out it would be like it would be a disgrace and perhaps their wedding would be remembered as the wedding in which the wine ran out.

Upon this happening, Mary told Jesus "They have no wine." She did not ask Him to solve the problem, but hear statement implies a request by her that He do something about it. I remember becoming more aware of the importance of listening for the implication of a statement rather than just listening to what is said. My oldest daughter and I were driving home from a basketball game and as we were going along, she told me that she was thirsty. I heard her say that and did not think any more about it. We kept on driving and the next day my wife asked me why I did not stop to get our daugher a drink. I said, "she did not ask." My wife said, "She did in a way ask.".......

We know that Mary "pondered" in her heart the things that she had seen and heard about her son, and in this case, did she "kind of throw it out there" so see what his response would be?

Jesus responded: 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

In other words, He is making a statement in question form: "How do I figure in this need? My hour is not come yet, (referring to His greatest hour of going to the cross to redeem us) He also seems to be helping her in her inner ponderings to understand that He is more than her son, and that He is the Son of God first of all. How will Jesus handle and balance the immediate need which was expressed by his mother?

How does she respond? What does she say? "Do whatever He tells you?" Wow, she caught on quickly, and then gave the best advice that one can give. "Obey the Lord in what He calls upon you to do."

Did Jesus see a teachable moment for humanity? We could say that He did and so let us see what happened next...


6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

The servants obeyed the command of Jesus, filling the stone pots up, and then told them to bring that which was in the pots to the governor/ruler of the feast, who, when tasting the wine made this statement to the bridegroom, not knowing (the ruler) that a miracle had been performed by Jesus:

"10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now."

He essentially told the bridegroom that he was surprised that the good wine was being served last, for that was not the way it was done. We can understand this concept as most likely as the guests begin to "feel good" they would lose their ability to discern between good and bad wine.. So he was most likely confused as to why the good wine had been kept until the later part of the celebration. It was a sign given, which had an outward and visible appearance and as a result his disciples believed on Him.....

11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Now let us consider the possible meaning of this passage in context of the entire Bible.

1. He revealed that He was God, for only God can do divine things. 2:9

2. He was making a transition from the OT to the NT.

3. He revealed Himself to the simple people of the day in a quiet out of the way place. He did not begin his ministry by raising by healing them or by raising them from the dead, but rather He changed water into wine. He did it to meet a very real need for the bridegroom and used it to show the greater sign.

4. He revealed Himself at a wedding, which has overtones throughout the entire Scriptures.

5. He revealed Himself by using wine as a metaphor which is symbolic of grace and joy in the Holy Spirit.


Putting all this together, does it not give encouragement to us today? He is God, yet a human being who humbled Himself for us. He is the One who divides history, as today is the year 2013 AD, which marks the anniversary of His birth. He began His ministry in the ordinary things of life, by meeting a real need and using it to point to the joy that is in the heart of the Father in His sending of His Son to rescue us from our sin. In the same way that joy was spilling out of the hearts of the wedding guests at being given new wine, much more we have been graced by our Father through Jesus Christ so that we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

KJV Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

This morning I read the following testimony, which reveals how the Lord came to minister grace to a needy soul in her time of need. This is written by a mother whose young son has serious and ongoing health problems. She uses her sister's experience to tell us of how she was encouraged, and then passes on encouragement to us....Please read on.....


"When my sister, Megan, was 5 or so, she mentioned to my mom at breakfast one morning that she had seen a pretty lady in her and her siblings bedroom when she awoke during the night. My mom was curious (and a tiny bit concerned). Megan proceeded to add that the lady wasn't even wearing shoes and she was standing next to and singing a song to her baby brother in his crib. My mom asked what song she heard and sweet little Megan sang her part of an exquisitely beautiful hymn- one that no one could recollect ever hearing. As a teenager back then, I was incredibly moved and still am every time I remember the story that she happily shared.

In our lives, we're bound to face difficult issues. We feel despair and alone at times. But God will never leave or forsake us, even when we can't find Him. He really is that good. You, dear one, are loved to pieces as you are, worthy, and here for a purpose. Don't give up." Julie Manninen

Wow, that fills us with hope, joy and peace, does it not? May her words, which are words that have been written out of a heart that has come to know the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, bless all of us today who read them. I especially like that, "Don't give up!"

In closing, there is one more application that cannot be left, must not be left unsaid. As the disciples sat down for the annual Passover meal with their Master, everything seemed usual and ordinary, for they had grown up having this Passover meal. But... on this night, everything changed. At first it seemed the same, but then......


Luke 22:13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

So far, it seems normal, but then.....


19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Now He took the bread, broke it and gave it to them and told them that what they were eating was his body. He then took the cup of wine and told them that is was the New Covenant in His blood, which is shed (on the cross) for them.

We are going to partake of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ now. May it remind us that He was broken and bruised on our behalf, and that through His sacrifice we have the forgiveness of sins, past, present and future. May we trust in His grace that is greater than all our sin and as we eat of His body and drink of His blood, may we rejoice with great joy in the Holy Spirit as we leave from here today, reminded, refreshed and reinvigorated in Him. May the peace and joy that we possess today cause our eyes of faith to look with expectant hope to the day when we will be in His Presence in the fullness of joy!

May we go in peace today.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 20 Jan 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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