11 February 2013

GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF THE SON



John 2:1-12

The Bible is full of accounts that teach and edify us, in our day to day routine. And what’s beautiful is that though we benefit from the precious pages of scripture; they ultimately display and speak about the glory that belongs ONLY to God.

FOR EXAMPLE:
  • The Creation Account in Genesis
  • The Deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt
  • The Glimpse of God's glory by Moses
  • The Conquest of the Israelites over larger nations to receive the Promise Land by Joshua
  • The Contest on Mt Carmel between Elijah and the false prophets of Baal
  • The Promise of a Savior by Isaiah
  • The Visions of  the Future by Ezekiel
  • The Protection of Daniel in the Lion’s Den
  • The Promise of Restoration of Israel by Zechariah and the list could go on and on, this is just a small portion to the Glory of God
Glory by definition is all that God is, in all of His Character, Deity, in all of His Person, in all of His Attributes. "the Father of glory" describes Him as the source from whom all Divine splendor and perfection proceed in their manifestation, and to whom they belong. Basically "Glory means All That God Is"

HIS GLORY IS EXHIBITED IN:
  • His Name    (Deut 28:58)
  • Him Majesty    (Job 37:22)
  • His Power   (Ex 15:1)
  • His Works    (Ps 113:3)
  • His Holiness    (Ex 15:11)
HIS GLORY IS DESCRIBED AS
  • Great    (Ps 138:5)
  • Eternal    (Ps 104:31)
  • Highly Exalted    (Ps 8:1)
WE AS CHRISTIANS GET TO SEE THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH HIS CREATION. In Ps 19:1 “……The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” In Roman’s we read “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Rom 1:20

NOW WE COME TO A PASSAGE THAT DISPLAYS THE WONDROUS POWER OF OUR LORD. And what’s amazing is that John, James, Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathanael had the wonderful privilege to see God in action displaying His glory. This being the first of 7 miracles that John records in His gospel letter! See we need to stop and remind ourselves that only God can create something from nothing! SO I ASK THE QUESTION! WHY DID JESUS DO THESE MIRACLES? We find the answer to this question, found in (v11) “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. Jesus wanted to manifest His Glory to a fallen and broken world and especially for His disciples to know Him for who He was and is. Jesus did this to reveal and authorize His Deity.

THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND……Why? Because many people even today claim to be Jesus or can perform many miracles as Jesus did. And Jesus even warned His followers to be very careful of this in the future…..Matt 24:3-12 “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains." Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.  And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” John identifies this miracle in his gospel that constitute “a sign" or "a conformation" of who Jesus truly was and is still today…….."GOD" As we continue through this gospel we will see that each of the 7 miracles were very different! No two were alike!

LET’S GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THIS EVENT AT THE WEDDING SUPPER. A wedding celebration was considered to be the grandest event, especially among the poor. Typically Hebrew wedding ceremonies took place late in the evening following a feast fit for a King and Queen. But something was about to go south for this family and the newly married couple. Mary said “they have no more wine” (v3). In Jewish wedding feasts wine was essential, not so guests could drink to excess…..but because it was a symbol of exhalation and celebration [a symbol of joy]. Kent Hughes said in his commentary “it was so important to have enough wine. Why? A lawsuit could be instituted if no wine was provided.”This event or soon to be disaster provided that setting for the Lord’s first miracle. AND THROUGH THIS MIRACLE WE SEE JOHN'S GOSPEL TEACHES US A COUPLE OF IMPORTANT TRUTH ABOUT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Jesus’s power over the elements......Jesus’s confirmation of His Deity.

JESUS PERFORMED THIS MIRACLE IN ORDER TO MANIFEST "REVEAL" HIS DIVINE GLORY TO A FALLEN AND BROKEN WORLD

WHAT DO I MEAN BY FALLEN AND BROKEN?
  • We are universally lost
  • We are spiritually ignorant
  • We are naturally rebellious
  • We are morally corrupted
  • We are dead in our sins and trespasses
  • We are totally depraved
  • We are wicked at heart

There is not one single person who has ever lived that is righteous, apart from the sinless Lord Jesus! NO ONE! 2 Cor 5:21 “For He made Him (meaning Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. The world is totally wicked and depraved and very much lost and in desperate need of Him! 

Mary immediately went to the right person who could do something about this problem (v3). Only Jesus can bring something from nothing! Again this miracle displays His Power over the elements, proving His Deity. This miracle displayed and spoke of His Glory. As Ps 145:11 says “They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power,”. THE AMAZING THING IS THAT ONLY A FEW REALIZED WHAT HE JUST DONE (V9) I can only imagine the look on the faces of these men who did what Jesus instructed them to do. It is estimated that He produced over 180 gallons of wine.

Wine in the Greek (means oinos) which means wine. This word “oinos” is used more than 230 times in the scriptures. AGAIN THIS IS WHERE WE GET HUNG UP ON THE IDEA THAT JESUS IS PROMOTING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. On the contrary Jesus is displaying the best for last! (v10). The bible nowhere claims that drinking alcoholic beverages is a sin! I know this may shock some of you, but you will not find anywhere in Scripture that speak of abstinence….except in the life of a Levite or Elder [pastor teacher]

YOU WILL READ PASSAGES THAT WARN US ABOUT TO MUCH CONSUMPTION…….

Prov 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise”

Eph 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery [in excess or rioting], but be filled with the Spirit,”

1 Cor 6:9-10 “….do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Titus 2:3 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,”

1 Tim 3:1-3 “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Drinking excessively leads to heart ache and sorrow for the soul. BUT REMEMBER WHAT PAUL SAID TO TIMOTHY!

1 Tim 5:23 “(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)”

1 Tim 4:4 “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,”

Noah planted a vineyard [Gen 9:20] Again Jesus isn’t promoting or endorsing  Budweiser commercials. This saddens me personally, because we lose focus and the blessing of this miracle over our humanism and bad hermaneutics’ to the text before us. Instead what we should be doing as good stewards of the word is to allow the text to speak for itself….. according to the scriptures. He did all of this to show His supernatural, one of a kind power; something that can only be done the God Himself. The second reason for this miracle was in order men might believe mainly at this time His disciples]

JESUS PERFORMED THIS MIRACLE TO OPEN THE EYES OF HIS DISCIPLES

Believing in your heart by putting their faith to action. This is a divine schedule decreed by God before the foundations of the world. Jesus did this glorious and supernatural act of water into wine, so that the faith of these men might grow and believe and never doubt the claims of whom Jesus was and is.
  • The Word whom became flesh
  • The Lamb of God
  • The Son of God

DO YOU KNOW THAT GOD DOES THIS TO US TODAY, BY THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! How? Through His revelation (the Bible). You want to hear God speak to you…..open up His book and read the pages before you. This is His desire that we never doubt, but believe by reading and mediating on His precious Word. REMEMBER THOMAS when he doubted his friends about Jesus resurrection…a man who witnessed these miracles and more than what the bible records…..John 20:26-31 “And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"  Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"   Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."  And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

See John wrote “this was the first of His signs” (v11) When John uses the word “sign” he always uses it with the idea of a miracle that conveys deeper teaching. The miracle of Christ was not simply to gain attention or achieve credibility. The miracle served to authenticate Christ as who He claimed to be, and to display to His disciples a foretaste of what's in store in the future. He did this to show His disciples and confirm to them who He was and is…. GOD in the flesh. Why? We live in a world that is lost and wicked, and in a desperate need of His redeeming grace. How do we believe? By believing who He claimed to be like He did with the disciples. Rom 10:9-13 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED."


(v11) ".... And His disciples believed in Him"

He gets the Glory, because He is glory in itself
He gets the Praise for His glory
He gets the Credit for your salvation
All we need to do is believe and walk by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ


The Problem: We are out of wine; the world is dead in trespasses and sins. The Solution: The Miracle of the wine is power over the elements, to display His glory to a fallen and broken world. The Result: The conformation of His Deity and strengthening of His disciple’s faith in Him. THE SCRIPTURES USE WINE AS A SYMBOL FOR JOY! In Ps 104:15 “and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart.” Judges 9:13 says “But the vine said to them, 'Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?'” The rabbis had a contemporary saying “without wine, there is no joy.” What John is trying to tell us this morning is that…… “a life without Christ is like a wedding without wine.” Disastrous and devastating. True joy only comes from God and His redeeming and sanctifying work found in the Son of God. WHY DID JESUS PERFORM THIS MIRACLE? To manifest "reveal" His Glory to a Fallen and Broken World and that men might believe. He has revealed Himself through this miracle, so that His disciples would “believe”. And for us today, Jesus has given His written word, to shine a light into our dark and depraved hearts….by revealing the miracle of salvation. 2 Cor 4:6 “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

See this was just the beginning of what the disciples were in for, this goes the same for us if we are a Christian here this morning! They were going to see things that no else in this depraved world would ever see. We need to understand something as we close the glory of our Lord was before time began and will continue into the future, and well into eternity! As the prophet Isaiah said “And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.” Isa 6:3-4. “Not to us. But to Your name be the glory"

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