John 2:1-11 Jesus's first miracle (sign)

Dear friend in Christ,

Our Scripture reading is from the Gospel of John, who writes of the first sign (miracle) that Jesus used to openly reveal of His Godness to those who were present on that day. We are in the season of Epiphany, which means the revealing of the Divine Nature of Christ. Historically it marks the bringing of the Gospel to the Gentiles through the Wisemen from the East. Last Sunday the church marked the occasion of the baptism of Jesus and how it was done in order to fulfill all righteousness. The baptizing by John upon Jesus marked the beginning of the new kingdom and the descending of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus and the voice from heaven proclaimed Jesus, the Son of God, as the new King. (Matthew 3;13-17)


The main point of this text is to show in what manner Jesus demonstrated that He was more than a prophet or a rabbi, for this was the first miracle that He did. This is about Jesus with Mary his mother being the secondary person in the account.


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.


Jesus came there with either five or six of his disciples whom he had called to follow him. This was the beginning of their relationship with Jesus and they were going to spend three years with Him learning from Him.


 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.


Mary, as the mother of Jesus and still trying to come to grips with Him being the Messiah, came to Jesus with a problem of the wine running out at the wedding. Jesus spoke to her in what seems like a harsh tone, but yet reveals to her more of the primary purpose for which her son was born on this earth.


Did her mind go back to the time when they had brought their infant son to the temple and they had heard Simeon speak concerning their son?


Luke 2:33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.


Did her mind go back to when they were at the temple when Jesus was twelve years old?


41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.



 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.


Again, with the knowledge that she had, she simply said, "Listen to Him, for He will do what He wants to do for His Father's purposes.


 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.(twenty or thirty gallons)

 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 (signs) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.


Jesus then demonstrated that He was the Son of God by changing the water into wine, and John called it a sign of His Godness. Glory: Inner attributes revealed openly.


What are some of the lessons that jump out at us in this account of Jesus' first sign of who He is? As was mentioned earlier, Jesus is the main person in this account as He must be in all the scriptures. He is the Giver and we are the receiver. What does He want us to get in this passage?


1. He is God and has all the attributes and abilities of God and He used this sign to demonstrate this.

2. The new wine signifies a new beginning of the new kingdom and the King.

3. The first miracle at a wedding feast points to the feast that is waiting for all who look for His coming again.

4. In Holy Communion we are given a taste of that feast which is to come for all eternity.



What about Mary? What can we learn from her actions in this account?


She pondered and kept those things in her heart that had been told to her and that she had seen.Luke 2:19, 2:51 (She did not forget them)


She trusted Jesus and told others to trust Him.



How about you and I?

Our knowledge of Christ today has been gained from those things that we have been told and that which we have seen. How does our world view line up with the teachings of Christ?


We have the opportunity again in this new year to follow Jesus through the Bible as He begins His ministry by calling his first disciples to follow Him:  We will follow along as another disciples and as we do we will listen and learn and in so doing, we will be assured, strengthened challenged, corrected and inspired.



Are we a diligent and honest seeker of the truth or are we so locked into our own ideas that we cannot even see or hear what Jesus is saying to us as individuals, or to us as families or to us collectively as a church body?


May we travel along with Jesus who wants to lead us in the ways of blessing and honor.


Grace to you, dear friend.


Pastor Orval


The Reception of Jesus the Christ to ALL.

"Now the reception of Jesus Christ was on this wise."


 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise," begins the account of the birth of Jesus the Messiah, and at the beginning of the 2nd chapter of Matthew, it could just as well begin the words that I have placed at the heading of this message.


The arrival of the magi in Jerusalem must also be viewed in the context of all that had transpired in Jerusalem during the previous year. The miraculous pregnancy of Elizabeth and the miracles accompanying the birth of John were well known to those in Jerusalem (cf. Luk. 1:10, 21-22; 2:57-66). So, too, the birth of Jesus was announced to the shepherds, who came to see the babe, and who proclaimed what they saw to others:

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them (Luke 2:17-18, NIV).

The presentation of Jesus in the temple was the occasion for the Spirit-filled proclamations of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:21-38) could hardly have occurred in secret.


 There are three responses to the coming of the Messiah into the world in our text today.


1. The magi diligently search for the infant king to present gifts and to worship Him.

2. Herod the great also seeks eagerly to find the child, so that he may put him to death.

3. But the vast majority of those who live in Jerusalem are seemingly unwilling to travel five short miles to the south of the city of Jerusalem to Bethlehem where they could have found their promised Messiah.


1. Jesus is the Messiah, the King of the Jews, and Should be Honored as Such.

2. Jesus is to be Worshiped not just by Jews, but by all the Nations of the World, as Represented by the Wise Men from the East.

3. God Uses His Universe to Make his Son Known and Worshiped. This is His Great Goal in all Things - that His Son be Known and Worshiped. He uses stars and dreams to bring people to their object of worship: Christ the King, the Messiah

4. Those who come to know the saving grace and truth that is in Jesus Christ enter into continual worship of their Lord and Saviour, the King of all Creation.


KJV Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.


We don't know how the wise men got their information that there was such a king coming. But it is clear that Herod got the message: these fellows are not searching for a mere, ordinary, human successor to me. They are searching for the final King, to end all kings. And, of course, unlike Anna and Simeon in Luke 2, that is the last thing Herod was looking for. He didn't even know the simple Scriptures about where the Messiah was to be born.

So he asks the scribes, and the one text that they focus on is Micah 5:2, "And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler who will shepherd my people Israel." Now that doesn't sound very extraordinary either. The reason is that the only purpose for which the scribes quoted the text was to answer Herod's question: Where? And the answer is Bethlehem.

But what if Herod had asked them, "Who?" They might have read on in Micah 5: "(2) His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. . . . (4) And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth." So this king is not just coming into being in the womb of his mother Mary. "His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity." Or, as John's Gospel says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). And this king would not be limited in his realm to Israel. "He will be great to the ends of the earth."


Jesus is threatening to those who do not want to worship Him.

 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.


Micah 5: 2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.



 7 Then Herod, when he had privily/secretly called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.


 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.


In conclusion, let us read from Isaiah's writings, using his personal experience to help us get a grasp on what worship is.


KJV Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.


Worship places us face to face with the greatness of the Creator.

Worship is the inward act of the soul which recognizes it nothingness before the magnificence of God, its sin before His purity, its ignorance before His Omniscience, its feebleness before His power.

Worship has no heart for self, it lies silent there at the foot of the throne, conscious of only two things, the insignificance of self and the greatness of God.

Worship flows from our heart when we receive the acceptance of the Almighty God through His offering of Himself for us through the Messiah.

Worship only begins when faith acknowledges the Almighty Creater and Redeemeer.

Worship is the stimulus to sincere, truthful and loving action.

May we worship our Lord God and Saviour in spirit and in truth.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala


Behold all things have become new! Christmas Day 2018

Merry Christmas, dear fellow recipients of the grace of God in Christ Jesus!


On this Christmas Day in the year of our Lord 2018, let us read the Christmas Story form Luke 2:1-20 and as we do may we find ourselves in humble adoration before our Lord, asking Him to open up in a greater way of that significance of His Holy and natural birth. First a few introductory notes…..



Families and churches often represent the Incarnation visually on Christmas by lighting the “Christ candle” in the center of the Advent wreath. In some churches, the Gospel is read from the center of the church on this day, rather than from the lectern—symbolizing the presence of God, the Word made flesh, in our midst.


The first mention of December 25 as the day of Christ’s Nativity appears on a Roman calendar that was prepared in the year 336. Some theories suggest that the date was chosen to counter the pagan festival of the birthday of the sun, celebrated on the same date during the winter solstice. Others suggest that December 25 was chosen by counting nine months from the traditional date of Christ’s conception, March 25. Either way, it is clear that the church saw a need to commemorate the birth of Christ on its own holiday, emphasizing the unique importance of the Incarnation event. On Christmas, we celebrate the mystery of humanity and divinity becoming one.



The early church theologians stressed that the Incarnation should not be seen as condescension, as the “descent” of God to man, but as the lifting up of humanity into the divine life. As the ancient creed of St. Athanasius puts it, Christ is both divine and human “not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.”


700 years before God took manhood into  Himself, Isaiah spoke of the great restoration that would take place through the Incarnation (taking human flesh into Himself) as he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the following words of life. He wrote of the great reversal that would take place through God taking human flesh into Himself.


“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:18-19


He first points out that the old things of the past are not to be remembered, as all things have become new in Christ.  Think how much energy we use on “former things.” We may do this in two ways, neither of which helps us. We may remember “good old days,” back when it was all right, and we remember with such yearning and nostalgia and romance. We likely remember things as much better than they really were.


Or we remember all the negatives. We go over the past in shame, wishing we had not said what we said or had not done what we did. We know our guilt, and we go over it, or we remember how hurt we were, and angry, and we remember how badly we were treated. We enjoy the past either way, in anger or in guilt, because it is so precious to us, and we treasure our hurt as we cannot let go of the past. God shouted through the angel on that Christmas Eve the Gospel of Grace to all!


2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.


  Do not remember former things. Christmas, when God speaks clearly and when God acts decisively, is a time for letting go and forgetting and giving up and releasing all that is past, for it is under the washing and cleansing blood of Jesus the Christ!


The second part of this word from God, spoken on Christmas day, is this: Behold I am doing a new thing. That word is the central fact of the Bible and the key to our gospel faith. That is the good news for us. The reason we may forget what is old and past is that it is being powerfully displaced by what is new and healing and liberating. The poet adds, with a little impatience, “Do you not perceive it?” Haven’t you noticed the newness God is working? Christmas is a day to stop and notice the newness that God is giving, that lets our life start over in a fresh place.


2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


The Apostle Peter wrote of our becoming partakers of the divine nature (of God taking our flesh into Himself) as he wrote his second and last letter to his beloved people….


“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

2 Peter 1:2-4 KJV


The shepherds, hearing the Good News, left their flocks and went to see the place where He was born in a manger, and as a result of hearing the news and seeing God in the manger, “ returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”  By returning is seems to point out that they returned back to their occupation of caring for the sheep, most likely not realizing that their occupation of caring for sheep that would be sacrificed in the ordained rites by God would soon end. For the Once for all and never to be repeated sacrifice soon would be accomplished through the death of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, born on this Night of all Nights!


The shepherds had a new song that they began to sing, as a result of the Good News coming to earth and as a result of their receiving the gift of the Savior, the forgiveness of their sins!


What is our song? How are we expressing our comprehension and experience of that which was delivered from God’s mighty throne of grace 2000 years ago? Are we seeing the new that came that night? Are we seeing that the gospel is always coming to us, making all things new?


Speaking for myself, there are two Christmas Carols that I have found as having words to express that which I have experienced anew and afresh this Advent and Christmas season.


Hark the Herald Angels Sing


Hail! the heaven-born

Prince of peace!

Hail! the Son of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

Risen with healing in his wings

Mild he lays his glory by,

Born that man no more may die:

Born to raise the son of earth,

Born to give them second birth.



Wow! “Light and life to all he brings….born to raise the son of earth, born to give us second birth.” We are made new creations in Christ by His raising us up!!!!


Hark! the herald angels sing,

"Glory to the new-born King !"



O Holy Night


Oh, holy night! The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Savior's birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn



Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices

Oh, night divine

Oh, night when Christ was born


Truly He taught us to love one another

His law is love and His gospel is peace

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother

And in His name, all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we

Let all within us praise His holy name


Those two hymns speak of how through God taking humanity up into Himself, we as sinners were lifted out of the darkness of a godless human existence, and as a result we have an identity as the offspring of God. Just think, dear one, we are children of the most High God!! The song writer then goes on to sing of how the chains that bound all humanity in sin and death have been broken. Therefore as He opens this experience more and more to us through His Word and Spirit, we find ourselves loving others who are yet not feeling their worth in Christ. For they are our brothers and sisters in the redemptive work of Christ.

May the Lord add His blessing to His Word so that we would truly see ourselves and all others as He so dearly sees us through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Let all within us praise His Holy Name!

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

P.S. I would enjoy hearing from you and of your new song that you are singing!!