Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sermon: John 2: 1-11 Water into Wine

Has anyone ever held a party? What types of things do you need?
party hats
party bags
food and drink!

Jesus was going to a party, but it wasn’t just a birthday party. Let’s look at see what it was:

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

This was a wedding party. So what might you need for a wedding? Have you ever seen Family Fortunes? Here’s the question:

Name something you buy or hire for a wedding
Answers (showing by point)
1. Wedding dress
2. Suit / top hat and tails
3. Car
4. Flowers
5. Cake

So those are the top things you need for a wedding. But you need lots of other things for a wedding as well. After the service, there’s normally a dinner, and then a party, and it’s all finished by about 1am (although we normally go home earlier!)

But in the time of the New Testament, weddings went on for seven days. The groom’s family had to make sure they had enough for everyone to enjoy a whole week long party. Can you imagine it?

but there was a problem at this wedding.

The wine has run out. The bottles are all dry. There’s none left.

3 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
4 "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."
5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Mary comes to Jesus and says what the problem is. And at the start, it looks as if Jesus doesn’t want to help out. He says his time hasn’t yet come. Yet Mary knows that Jesus is able to help. She tells the servants to do whatever he says.

Let’s see what happens...

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.

Here they are. Six stone water jars. They’re used for ceremonial washing - to wash your hands before the start of dinner. Each of them holds between 20 - 30 gallons. That’s between 90 and 136 litres. Each!

They’re filled with water. Then:

8 Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.

Imagine being the servant. You put the water into the jar. You take the water out of the jar in a cup. You take the water to the master of the banquet. Do you think he’s going to want water when we really wants wine? The master of the banquet was in charge, he sampled everything first to make sure it was ok. But as he drinks * the water has been turned into wine. He didn’t know where it came from. But the servants knew. *
And look, he says to the bridegroom that normally people serve the best wine first, and then the cheap stuff later on when people can’t taste the difference. But the best wine has been saved to the last.

Jesus takes the water of the Jewish washing rituals, and changes it into the wine of his kingdom.

Jesus takes a bad situation where the bridegroom would have been embarrassed at not having enough, and provides between 540 and 818 litres of the best wine.

But that leaves us asking: * What’s the point?

Why does John tell us this story? Years ago on It’ll be all right on the night, there was a clip shown where a little girl was asked what her favourite bible story was. Listen to this...

If you run out of wine, get down on your knees and pray. Is that what John is telling us? (Maybe some people think that would be a great thing!)

But let’s think about it. *Who knew what had happened?
The master of the banquet - * no
The servants - *yes
The bridegroom - *no
The guests - *no
The disciples - *yes

11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Only the disciples saw what Jesus did. John tells us what he saw that day - that this was the first of his ‘miraculous signs.’ Signs point you to where you’re going.
So here’s a sign out on the main road - it shows you where Aghavea is. It points you to what this bit of land is called.

The miracle of Jesus changing water into wine is a sign. And what does it point to?

‘He thus revealed his glory’ - the sign points to who Jesus is. He shows his glory, he shows his power. He shows that he is God - as the one who gives wine (just as our opening Psalm verses told us).

When Jesus revealed his glory, ‘his disciples put their faith in him.’ They see who Jesus is. They trust him. They believe in him.

Jesus brings change in all sorts of situations. His power is able to turn things around. As we hear what John saw that day, we’re given the evidence, and we’re asked to believe for ourselves. Will you believe in him?

After the Sunday School lead us in singing about our great big God, Hollye is going to come and share about how Jesus brought change in her life. So let’s pray, then sing...

This sermon was preached at the Family Service in Aghavea Parish Church on Sunday 20th September 2015

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