2022 Intoxicating Grace (John 2:1-11)April 17, 2022 | Brandon Cooper
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Good morning, you’re gonna go ahead and grab your Bibles open up to John chapter two. As you’re turning there, let me just say is one of the shepherds here at this church that it is good to see some faces that I haven’t seen in a while and a couple of years in some cases. So I hope that this is not a one off, and we’ll see you next Christmas Eve, but that we will see you here next week as well. So every year, a few weeks before Easter, my wife asked me the same question. She asked me if this year I’m going to preach on the resurrection for Easter. And every year I give her the same answer. I preach on the resurrection every Sunday. To preach the Bible, any passage in the Bible is to preach Jesus because every passage in the Bible, Jesus Himself tells us either points to or directly proclaims him. But to preach Jesus is to preach, all that He came to do that is you cannot isolate his life or his death or his resurrection from each other. They belong together, they are part and parcel of a whole. But it’s a fair question still, I mean of all Sundays, like maybe this time we could turn to the empty tomb. So I think, why am I not preaching a an explicit resurrection text this morning, it’s for this reason, because I’m exceedingly jealous that you would know Jesus as he really is, then you would know what it is that he came to do. And I’m worried that a lot of us have a false impression about Jesus. And part because we hear about him from a lot of different voices, not always from the Word of God. It’s a little bit like that telephone game he used to play as kids, right? Somebody would whisper a sentence and then you know, pass it down the line. And by the end, you’re like, that’s not right. That’s not what I said at all. We want to make sure we’re not playing telephone here. And so we’re gonna look at an unusual story this morning and a shocking one at bat. But I’m hoping that the the shocking nature of it will jolt us out of our familiarity to some extent so that we can look at Jesus, maybe from a different angle than we have before. Who is Jesus? What did he come to do? Why do we need him? We’re going to head to a wedding in Cana to answer those questions. So let’s read together. John chapter two verses one to 11. On the third day, a wedding took place at Kanaan Galilee, Jesus’s mother was there and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’s mother said to him, they have no more wine Woman, why do you involve me? Jesus replied, My hour has not yet come. His mother said to the servants, Do whatever he tells you. Nearby stood six stone water jars, the Cayenne used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from 20 to 30 gallons. And Jesus said to the servants fill the jars with water, so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet, they did so. And the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine, he did not realize where it had come from the servants who had drawn the water new. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, 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. What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. All right, let’s take our first pass through this story. And we’ll look at what seems to be the centerpiece of the story, the wine to begin with, well, let’s let’s make sure that we get what just happened. So this is a Jewish wedding, which back then was a multi day affair. And on one of the later days they have run out of wine, which would be a major source of embarrassment for this family. No wonder then that Mary asked Jesus to help. It does seem like this is a close friend of Mary’s, you notice even says that she was invited and she was there, and like Jesus and his disciples also got a tag along there like her plus 12 or something like that. So she asked Jesus to help after expressing some reluctance he then performs his first miracle. But notice verse 10, because this is key. Here’s the master of the banquet again, everyone brings out the choice wine first, and then the cheaper wine after the guests
have had too much to drink. So they’re out of wine. Because the guests had been drinking all have the wine. Not because as we sometimes see is the story is retold. A bunch of extra guests showed up or something like that. No, they’ve been guzzling To the point where they feel the effects of the wine. And are I don’t think the word is too strong, intoxicated, to some extent, at least now this is Jewish society. So they’re not full down drunk, that would not have happened back then. But tipsy sure says red wine means they’re gonna have a headache in the morning. That’s how much they’ve had to drink at this point. And it’s for this group that Jesus makes fine wine, wine that would be the envy of the Rothschilds, both Nutone and Laffite. I heard somebody say, in teaching on this passage that if Jesus had been a bartender doing this, he would lose his liquor license. That’s a bit strong again, I don’t think they’re falling down drunk. They’re not driving home, but at least it raises the question for us, right? What is Jesus doing? making wine for these people? If you’ve never asked that question, reading this passage, you’re not reading carefully. Because this just blows up our preconceptions of who Jesus is, especially, by the way for those of us who are religious. Because, you know, the religious people are the ones who make sure nobody else drinks too much. That’s our job as fundamentalists, right. But this blows up perceptions for those of you who are here this morning. I know some of you are who are not religious, because you know that Jesus was the original fundamentalist, the cosmic killjoy, who came to make sure that you know, people didn’t drink too much. And yet here we are dealing with something totally unexpected. In fact, German commentator Martin Hangul says that the profane nature of this miracle I love that, by the way, what a great oxymoron. It’s a profane miracle. The profane nature of this miracle should really knock us off balance. Now, we do want to be careful. We want to be reverent at the same time, this is not Talladega Nights, this is not you know, party, Jesus, the party Jesus that John C. Riley’s character is hoping exists. Now this is much subtler. And deeper, but still unexpected. So what happens exactly, let’s take another pass through the story and get some of the cultural backgrounds see if it helps us understand, again, the wine runs out. This is not just an embarrassment, by the way, this would have actually risk shaming this family for the rest of their days. Very difficult for us to understand how serious that is. Because we don’t live in an honor shame culture, we live in a guilt culture. So there are rules and so long as you follow the rules, you’re good. And there are by no rules in our culture that you must have a certain amount of wine at our wedding, we had champagne for the toast and no wine. So not because we’re teetotallers. It’s because we’re poor. Right? Like when we got married, my salary was negative $12,000 a year. So no alcohol. Okay, that’s about it. But an honor shame culture where this was expected, they would be shocked for all that, what a bad way to start the marriage. Oh, the happy couple, we can never talk to them again. And that’s what at riskier and importancy This is the bridegroom’s fault. Okay, so in our culture, usually it’s bride’s family that pays but no, it’s the bride groom himself, who is responsible to provide this so that he is at fault. So Mary approaches her son and lets him know about this dire situation. And she expects him to help or at least expects him to be able to help. Why? Well, because of things like Luke Chapter Two, you guys remember Christmas. And the angels are like this guy in your womb. He’s kind of a big deal. And she’s got that in her mind. She’s been pondering this in her heart for three decades or so. And so she expects him to be able to help but Jesus’s response is more than a little interesting, isn’t it? Woman? Why do you involve me anyone spots misuse with that?
What Jesus is saying here it is gentle. But it is a clear rebuke at the same time now, woman, let’s start there, both better and worse than we expect, in some ways better in the sense that woman grates on our ears today. It feels unbearably chauvinist. And it was not in this culture. Maybe another translation that would help us understand that would be something as simple as ma’am. Like, it’s a title of respect. But it is also a title of distant respect. What makes us a little worse than maybe we expect is, this word would never be used of one’s mother. And that’s different from man like if you were raised in the south, and we got some southern gentleman here today. You call your mom, ma’am. But you would never use this word in Jewish society for your mother. So he’s, he’s putting some distance between him and to her. In fact, we see that in the question then again, why do you involve me? This is a question that assumes separation. Like you got things that matter to you and I got things that matter to me, and there’s no overlap in this situation. That’s what’s being said right there. So how is this a rebuke? Jesus is letting Mary know that she can’t dictate the terms of their relationship any longer. This is no longer mom asking son, you know, can you clean up your room? Can you make some more wine for the guests that kind of stuff? Mary must come to Jesus in faith, like all others. But Mary’s response is equally interesting, isn’t it? So well, then why are you involving me in this? Hey, guys, just do whatever He tells you to do? Well, he seemed to say he wasn’t going to do anything. So what’s going on here? What has happened is that she understands Jesus’s rebuke. She understands that she can no longer presume upon the family tie that she needs to approach Jesus as Lord and Savior. She is after all sinner like the rest of us. So she gets this. She She understands this rebuke, and then she shakes it off, right? She doesn’t mope like a kid who is told he can’t have cookies before dinner. No, she, she receives it, and then displays the best sort of faith, which is this waiting trust. It says, If she says to the servants, look, I don’t know what he’s going to do. But I know that whatever he does, will be best. So just go ahead and listen to him. And it is best, we know that, even if it’s not what we want, necessarily what we asked for directly what God gives us if we are His children is always best for us. We’ve got proof of that. Because again, look at how much he loved us that all of this stuff we’re going to talk today is happening, we will be best. This is how we much must approach Jesus still today. Like we can’t approach on our terms. We can’t come to Jesus and go, Look, I’ll let you be my God. If you do these couple of things. For me, no, this is a great day to act like Mary. And to draw near to God, with this sort of waiting, trust surprised me, Lord, because I know that you know, best. And surprise her he does. So he has the servants fill these stone jars for ceremonial washing. And these were the jars as you wash your hands and stuff in case you touched something that would make you unclean, you touched a dish and a Gentile had touched touch that dish earlier that day or something, and now you’re unclean, you’re not fit to approach God. And so you got to cleanse beforehand. That’s what these jars are for. Now, these are massive jars. So this is a massive amount of water here, like 150 gallons or so the jars are filled brim full. And then Jesus says Okay, now that they’re full, draw some out, take it to the master of ceremonies, and we’re all picturing the servants going to those big stone jars, you know, ladling out a cup of wine or something like that. Here’s the only problem with that image. The word that’s used here for draw out is used specifically of wells. This is not ladle or pour out or something like this, this is go back to the well, from what you got all the water to fill the jars and draw some more out only this time, it’s going to be a little bit different. More than a little odd, right? Like if I’m a servant, I’m thinking why all that energy and time to fill these jars up, if you know, you’re not going to use them, at the end of it.
Well, they do what they’re told to do, and they take the cup to the master of ceremonies, who is, by the way, the first one who would be upset about the lack of wine, because he’s kind of running the show and all of that. So he’s aware of the issue. There’s this little bit of suspense because the servants know what just happened, but he doesn’t. And so what’s, what else is going to shake out what what’s going to happen here? Well, don’t miss what happens. This wine is so good. That even though he’s a little bit tipsy, he can tell that this is superior wine. In fact, so superior that it is literally remarkable. He’s got to call the bridegroom over and go, dude. That is legit wine right there. Okay, thank you. So Jesus doesn’t just make more wine for the revelers. He makes the finest wine they’ve ever had. And then we come to verse 11, which feels key to understanding all this what Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee, was the first of the signs. The first of Jesus’s what? Not miracles. That’s a different word. Yes, it’s a miracle. But John could have said the first of his miracles No, he uses the word sign. And sign is significant. Because a sign always invites you to look beyond it to what it’s telling you about or pointing to. I’m taking my daughter to yellow stone in about a month, there’s a good chance we will take a selfie in front of the Welcome to Yellowstone sign. And then we’re gonna go into the park. Right, we’re not gonna turn around and go home at that point, you got to look beyond the sign you got to enter into where it’s pointing. That’s so helpful for us understanding Jesus’s miracles. He’s not doing magic tricks to impress people, even if these are real magic tricks. Every miracle is a pointer to something greater. And so we got to ask the question to what, to what exactly. Alright, so we’ve got the wine. Let’s look at the sign. Another pass through the story, if you don’t mind. So the first hint that we’re dealing with assigned as income in verse 11, it’s actually in Jesus’s response to marry. Now nevermind that sort of Curt reply woman while you’re involving me in this, but he also says something else I didn’t look at last time out. He says, My hour has not yet come. There’s no explanation here just leaves that you better understand what he’s talking about. Well, if you were to read the rest of John, which of course you should, and like all good books, it’s meant to be reread. And as you reread it, you catch more and more. So you read through it the first time and you go, wow, he keeps talking about this hour, and then you go back, you read it again. And you go this is the first time I’ve heard this. Okay, interesting. So what exactly is the hour? It always refers to the climax of Christ’s ministry, his crucifixion, His resurrection, His glorification, everything we celebrate this weekend. So here you have it in John chapter 12, for example, verses 23 and 24. The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. There’s the glorification, right? Very truly I tell you, Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, there’s the crucifixion, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, produces many seeds hinting out the resurrection, of course. Okay, so My hour has not yet come. But Mary’s not asking him to die and rise again, right here. She’s not saying Well, look, there’s across our back, let’s just do this thing. She’s talking about making wine.
So why does Jesus say My hour has not yet come in John’s gospel, especially sitting on four Gospels, Jesus is almost always talking on a different plane than everybody else. Like they’re talking in literal terms. And he’s got this deep spiritual understanding of all that being said, so Mary, saying, hey, I want to make sure my friends aren’t embarrassed. And Jesus is saying, I’ve read the prophets, they were talking about me. And when they describe the age that I will bring, they describe it in terms of an abundance of wine. We got to talk about that. It’s what Jesus is saying, Robert, read the passage for us, Amos 913. And 14, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the Reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman and the planter by the one treading grapes, you see what is being said there, the harvest that’s coming is going to be so plentiful, you won’t even have finished harvesting it by the time you need to start planting, again, new wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile, they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them, they will plant vineyards and drink their wine, they will make gardens and eat their fruit. And Jesus says what you’re asking me to do, that’s a wine dripping from the mountains sort of moment. And it happens at a wedding. That’s really significant to Jesus’s first sign takes place at a wedding. It is no coincidence. There are no coincidences with Jesus. This is a sign pointing to the wedding yet to come. How Jesus describes the coming age, the wedding supper of the Lamb of God and His bride, the Church. That by the way, he tells us his last supper is next time he’s going to drink wine, actually. So he’s waiting for us and tell them don’t miss the point that unlike the unnamed bridegroom, in this story, Jesus provides abundantly he doesn’t run out. He’s in no danger of shaming himself, or any of us He is the true and better bridegroom. In fact, he provides not just 150 gallons of wine, which would be impressive. But uh, well, from what you can keep drawing why? That’s the abundance of His provision. It’s kind of the point, isn’t it? I feel like now we’re starting to get the message of this story. We run out. But Jesus comes to bring more and better if we run out of not just wine but all sorts of things. We run out of pleasure and joy and security and comfort and all these things. Usually, like the guests in this story because of bad choices we make not exclusively, but oftentimes are bad choices other people are making around us. Like I think the parable of the prodigal son, he ran out of his inheritance and all of his money he because he was squandering it wine and prostitutes and things like that and yet how does God respond? You ran out cuz you’re making bad choices come to me. I can give you more in the prodigal comes home and his dad doesn’t say no that was under your inheritance, man. Sorry. And pig’s lap. Wish we could presumably says slaughter the fattened calf like it’s time for a feast. I will give you more and better this takes us back to the original question. What is Jesus doing? Providing wine for a group like this is showing us what he came to do? The intoxicating grace he came to bring. I’m always worried that people think that following Jesus means missing out on something in this life. What we learned in this story is it’s exactly the opposite. It’s those who don’t follow Jesus who missed out but it goes deeper even than that. We got to go back to those stone jars remember ask the question why all that energy to fill them and not use them? And just sort of left you hanging there hoping that was irritating to you actually and that you like you’ve been waiting for the answer that question for a while. Okay, preacher trick and all that. Now remember, these jars are for the ceremonial washing, where you try to make yourself pure enough to come before God. This ceremonial washing is itself a pointer. Now the washing is the sacrificial system, all of this the Old Testament is a pointer saying
we got to we got to be made right in order to approach God but that’s the point. Okay, these these stone jars are filled to the brim it says not just filled up, but filled to the brim, like I’m picturing, you know, cohesion, how that works and stuff that you got that like convex little bubble going at the top of these jars and stuff, it’s so full that it’s actually above the rim. Like that’s what Jesus has just had the servants do to indicate that the time for the ceremonial, the merely ritual sort of purity is over. How does the Bible by the way talk about a time being finished, fulfilled, as in, filled, full, that’s what just happened. The time for all of that it’s fulfilled now. Now, go draw some fresh water from the well, and see what it has become a new age has dawn, the old has gone, the new has come with Jesus, this is hugely important. This is a big sign, right? A couple reasons. First, it is an open acknowledgement here that the merely ceremonial doesn’t work. In fact, all of these laws again, sacrificial system, and the washing all that was never meant to make us clean. It was only ever meant to show us that we need to be cleanse, you cannot take a bath to wash away evil. We are all Lady Macbeth take as many showers as you like. And the damned spot of sin is still there, our sin and the sins done to us. But now, the dawning of the new age, we have true cleansing available, Jesus Himself comes to purify us at the level of the Soul so that we can stand before God we talked about this a lot. Friday night, I won’t repeat myself, you can go back and listen to that one if you missed it. So that’s one reason this is so important. But second reason to is that this then puts an end to our striving. Because those jars represent our trying to get ourselves right with God, I can do this. I can make myself clean enough to stand in His presence. But is it ever enough? Have I done enough? Have I scrubbed hard enough? Or if I mess up tomorrow? What happens then? Do I have to start all over again? No, this is a sign. You cannot do it. So Jesus came to do it for you. It is all of grace. Now. This, by the way, is what I said at the beginning. You cannot separate Jesus’s life and his death and his resurrection. They have to go together because what happened there in Jesus’s death, he substitutes himself for us. He takes our place the punishment that should have been ours to bear because of our treason against the Most High God falls on him instead. But it’s more than just that. Because if that’s all that happened, that gets us back to zero wipes the slate clean. It does not give us anything that merits are welcome in heaven. So it’s not just that Jesus substitutes himself for us. He substitutes us for him. He takes our place we get to take His place that perfect for life that he led. We now get to claim it as our own. But none of that works without the resurrection of Jesus still just lying in a tomb. If for no other reason the nobody be listening to him at this point we go on. Clearly he wasn’t right, because he died. And that was sort of the end of it. No, we need the resurrection, as well. For as good news as the cross brings, it only works. If it looks like the cross behind me.
It’s got to be an empty cross. Like we need Jesus off that cross and out of the grave, is vindication of his message, and a sign of his victory over death and evil. That is the last piece of the sign. And think of what we’ve been talking about so far. In this miracle, the old has gone, the new has come. We’ve got Jesus bringing something out of nothing, or as one of my daughters put it this way, because we’re talking about this passage, Jesus takes a bad situation and turns it into a really good thing like all of that sounds like the resurrection, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what happens in the resurrection. In other words, this first sign here in Cana, points to the final sign the resurrection, no resurrection is more than a sign Absolutely. An empty tomb. He defeats sin and death and evil and all that is more than a sign but it is not less than a sign. The resurrection is a sign specifically pointing to the truth of all that Jesus proclaimed. He is actually God, not just good man prophets. And I know he is God. He proved it by walking out of that tomb he is Lord, whether we acknowledge it or not, our allegiance is owed to him, he died for us. And that substitution that sacrifice God the father accepted it, which is why he raised Christ from the dead and He will come again. We always want signs, don’t we, as humans, like even today, people ask for signs. It’s got that coming to Jesus on our terms sort of feel like Lord, I’ll believe in you if you do this for me first. This happened back then too. So a group of people who did not believe in Jesus’s message came to him and said, Hey, how about you give us a sign so that we know that what you’re saying is true. And Jesus says this, Matthew 1239, a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. What exactly is the sign of the prophet Jonah? Okay, what happens to Jonah? So he spends three days in the belly of a fish. And then on the third day, the fish vomits him onto dry land. Okay, there’s some overlap. Because Jesus spends three days in the belly of the Earth. Only the grave does not vomit him out. It’s more like he breaks the jaws of the grave and walks out of his own volition casting off deaths, shackles. And rising triumphantly, the resurrection is the sign that they ask for it is the great proof that what Jesus said is true. We can believe him, we can trust him. Like one of the most important questions we all have to ask ourselves about what we believe and we all believe something, you can be the most most hardened atheist that still means you got metaphysical opinions, right? How do you know what you believe is true?
I can ask the flip side to what would falsify your belief so that you will Oh, shoot. I gotta reevaluate what Christianity is saying, This is how we know the resurrection of christ jesus is how we know that this is true. What would falsify Christianity is if there were no resurrection, that makes this a really important question that and by the way, doesn’t it? That’s why we got copies that book your verdict on the empty tomb, on the table out in the lobby, please grab one it’s most important question you have to answer. Have you looked at the evidence so that you can render an honest verdict? Because it is proof that what Jesus said is true? How does the New Testament speak of the resurrection? Paul uses words like it’s the first fruits of the coming harvest. It’s the guarantee it’s down payment, it is proof of what’s coming, that there will be a wedding supper of the Lamb, and the wine will drip down from the mountains. That should matter for us today. Here’s what Martyn Lloyd Jones The Great Welsh revivalist says about he says, because we are with Christ in the heavenly realms, those of us who belong to Christ by faith who have been raised with Him, we are already enjoying something of the life of heaven even now. Paul talks about having a foretaste. The Great Harvest has not yet come but the first fruits are available. You want Put that in the language of our story today. We’re not at the supper, but we can drink the wine. We should have the occasional glimpse of glory, we should occasionally have heard something in the music, we should have some sensation of a life that will be lived there. That’s the resurrection. It is the vindication of Christ’s message in ministry. It is victory over sin and death and evil. It is also a vision of the life to come that day when there will be no more death or mourning. No more suffering or pain, no more evil or in justice. What we need is glimpses of that glory, signs and pointers. Because in this life, we run out go to have a glass of wine and cup has run dry. This world is a terrible bridegroom will leave you unsatisfied in the end. How do I know that? Here’s noted atheist, Yuval Harare, he’s writing in 2017. That’s an important year keep that year in mind. This is a book called Homo Deus. So he’s saying, you know, we used to think of ourselves as Homo sapiens, wise people. But you know, it’s time for us to reimagine ourselves, we really are God people, we have made ourselves God in the sense that we are now in control. So he writes this 2017 At the dawn of the third millennium, humanity wakes up to an amazing realization. Most people rarely think about it. But in the last few decades, we have managed to rein in famine, plague, and war. Of course, these problems have not been completely solved, but they have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. We don’t need to pray to any god to rescue us from them. We can do it ourselves. Oops. Right. Like, I don’t want to put this all at his feet, but it’s possible we had the Coronavirus just so that God could go seriously. Y’all think you got this under control? Okay. Okay. Humanity is not so good at this. Right? Like we have this myth of progress, that history keeps proving false and the most prosperous nation on earth, in the history of the world. In fact, life expectancy has declined in the last few years. That’s how much control we’ve got over our life. Is there technological progress? Sure. Not always good for us, but it’s progress. What about in the human heart, though? There have been progress there? Let’s visit Ukraine and see how we feel about that question. There is something fundamentally broken in all of us, so that we not just as individuals, but as humanity, keep running out of peace, hope, love, joy.
But Jesus comes to bring more and better, like, we are rarely at peace, there is constant internal and external conflict in our lives. And yet Jesus says, I’ve told you these things, so that you might have peace in me in this world, you’re gonna have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world. Where does that piece come from? It comes from the fact that we know the end of the story already. Circumstances threaten us unceasingly. There are no guaranteed outcomes in this life. And that can produce a feeling of despair and hopelessness in us. Except that the resurrection guarantees the most important outcome for those of us who believe there is our hope. Selfishness, severs relationships, day in and day out our selfishness, their selfishness. And even if you’ve got one of those relationships where that doesn’t happen in the end, death severs every relationship. But what do we see in the resurrection, the proof of God’s unfailing love, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, Paul tells us, and by the way, if those we love die in Christ, then that relationship is not severed, at least not in the end, we will see them again, we keep messing up. Or even if we don’t mess up, we just, it’s never enough. We don’t ever quite measure up. And so we’re always hankering for approval and acceptance. And yet, what is the resurrection tell us that we have God’s approval if we approach him in Christ, again, we get Christ’s perfect life as our own. Even pleasure and pleasure is always fleeting. Like the hangover always comes afterwards. Even if you’re not talking about alcohol, pick your whatever type of pleasure, it ends. And yet the Psalms tell us we find pleasure forevermore at God’s right hanged. Why? Because we were made for him. He is the One in whom our pleasure is found. We keep running out of all that matters to us. But Jesus came to bring more and better. So what do we do now we got the wine, we got the sign. Last gotta make it mine. This is our response. Like we’re big on this, you don’t just want to hear what people say, on Sunday morning, you want to make sure that you’re doing something live. In fact, we got a little part of our bulletin each week at the bottom of the left hand side it says make it yours. The whole idea there is you read the passage in advance so that you’re engaging with it at a different level. This is the Make it yours part of the sermon except I had to say make it mine because otherwise it doesn’t rhyme. And, again, English Lit major can’t help it. That’s how we roll. Okay, there is an invitation implicit in this story. This story calls for a response. Look at verse 11. Again, what Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee, was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. So this sign reveals who Jesus really is, so that his disciples believe in Him. To some extent, they’re still pretty dumb. But you know, it’s gonna take some time for them to figure this all out. But they begin to believe when we know who he is, we must respond. What is the response? What is the invitation? It is simply come to Jesus, come to Jesus. Now, why would we come to Jesus, that story gives us at least three really good reasons. First, because he speaks what is true. Like he’s telling us the truth, and the truth that he proclaims is good. Again, this is better wine than you’ve ever had before. But why would we want to live in light of truth, know what the truth is, and make sure we’re living because you got to live in reality. When you try not to live in reality, you’re going to bump up against reality at some point in your life and get really difficult. So you could wake up tomorrow and decide, You know what, instead of motor oil, what my engine needs is orange juice, because it’s organic, and it’s got vitamin C, you’re gonna bump up against reality, orange juice is not nearly viscous enough to do what it needs to do. And I’m not a scientist, English Lit major, but pretty sure the acid will corrode your engine also. And the flipside is true, too. If you decide to drink motor oil tomorrow morning, your day will not run smoother. We have to live in light of reality. So we got to know what the truth is, and live in light of it again, it’s why I would encourage you to read your verdict on the empty tomb and actually come to a knowing conclusion, it’s like a 30 minute read, you can do it. Second reason we should come to Jesus because He satisfies He gives us what we’re seeking in abundance, longing for that joy and approval, and peace and pleasure and all the rest. It’s all found in him. And then third reason to come to Jesus is just because he loves you.
That’s the heart of Islam, and what we desire most, I think we would pretty much all be willing to give up peace and comfort and pleasure, so long as we knew we were loved. Well, look at what Jesus came to do. There’s his love, and at what cost the proof of his love, again, symbolizes behind me right now. These are good reasons. When I say come to Jesus, I don’t just mean believe though, like lawyer speak, I acknowledged these facts to be true, not just believe but to receive. Don’t just look the miracle but drink the wine. This is a historic moment by the West, we the first and last time ever in a Baptist church, your Easter main point was drink the wine that he can turn water into wine is amazing. Absolutely. But that he can turn rebellious sinners and hopeless messes like me and you into saints. Plus, beyond all imagining, and that’s exactly why he’s come not just to bring you more and better, but to make you into something more and better, forgiven, purposed love. So how will you respond? Now’s the point. We’re going to ask the question the flippin jailer asks Paul and acts 16 What must I do to be saved? And I will give you the answer that Paul gave that jailer then repent and belief repent. We’re just means turn. It’s not a complicated word turn from your former way of living, just characterized by self will and self fulfillment. Right so like you’re the the means and the end of your whole life is all about you. I do what I want for me, turn from that and believe trust in Jesus. Now I got to be really careful this word belief because again, it’s not mere be intellectual. Like there is a head element to belief. There’s a head and a heart and a hand element, we got to talk about all three, there’s the head element, which is belief, there are some things you do actually need to believe. You need to accept the very bad news of who you are completely unable to stand before God. But then accept the gloriously great news of who Jesus is, and what he came to do for you, to make you pure, so that you can stand before God again, that’s the belief. But that’s got to get to the heart, which is expressing trust, trust, this is the difference between saying you are God and I will follow you. We got to get to that second point. And then that shows up in our hands, belief, trust and fidelity. We do what he calls us to do come to the table. The resurrected Lord stands ready to receive you a welcome you accept and embrace you. He came to bring you something better, because he is the someone better? Let’s pray. Lord, we stand in awe of all that you have done for us. Your great love for us, expressed concretely in the death of Jesus on the cross, the life he lived leading up to that moment, and the great exchange that happens when we trust in Him. And the resurrection, that is the proof, the vindication of all of that. God, I pray for those now, who are here in this room, who do not know you like that. And I pray, Lord, that You would move them from unbelief to belief, from self will to trust from going our own way to fidelity. I pray that you would open hearts and eyes to behold you as you really are. something greater than what this world has to offer. Everything we desire everything we seek, like a pray God that you would bring people from death to life even now. That this would be the day when some sitting in this room. Choose to live for you. We ask this in Christ’s name,
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