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The Wedding at Cana

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The Wedding at Cana

John 2:1-11

I.                      Introduction

a.        Have you ever wondered who you really are?

                                                               i.      Some of you may not even waste a single precious minute posing such a question

1.       But one particular member in our church often wondered if his biological parents are truly his

                                                              ii.      I was surprised to see the leading story on ABC World News with Charles Gibson this past week was on the story of Toby Dawson

1.       He was separated from his parents when he was 3

2.       He was adopted by two ski instructors from Colorado, the Dawsons

a.        While growing up, he struggled with an identity crisis

3.       He went on to win the Bronze medal in the Turing Olympic Games

4.       Due to his notoriety, many Korean families came forward to claim they were his natural parents

a.        Thanks to technology, paternal DNA testing, he found his true family and this past week they were reunited

b.       His identity secured

b.       Today, we are going to look into a passage also secure the identity of Jesus with some

                                                               i.      But it will not be a DNA test with His paternal father, God the Father

                                                              ii.      It will of another sorts

Reading the Passage

Opening Prayer

1.       The Identity of Jesus

a.        Has been and will always be under scrutiny

                                                                           i.      This past week- James Cameron has claimed that the archeological team he is leading has found the ossuary of Jesus and his wife, Mary Magdelene

1.       If this is true, then as Paul said, we live the most pitiful lives and our message is dead

2.       It will deny one the most miraculous event of all, the resurrection of Jesus

b.       Throughout history, many have distorted the supernatural aspects of Jesus Christ

                                                                           i.      Shortly after the death of Jesus, so called Christians, formed heresies into the nature of Christ

1.       Nestorians- who would not accept the union of both humanity and divinity

2.       Eutychains- who did not believe in the separation of persons in one body,

                                                                          ii.      Most world religions accept Jesus even into their own religion

1.       Islam- he was a prophet

2.       Hindu- he is an incarnation of Vishnu

3.       Jehovah Witnesses- he was a man, nothing more, nothing less

c.        Even today-

                                                                           i.      There are liberal studies done to humanize Jesus Christ

1.       To say he was merely a man, to do away with the supernatural realm of his ministry and personhood

a.        It is His supernatural powers, the miracles, signs and wonders that legitimized His ministry and also His identity


II.                    The Scene, vv. 1-2

a.        “On the third day”

                                                               i.      The wedding took place in sequence of events from the previous passage

1.       Day one began with His baptism

2.       Day two His first converts, Andrew who seeked out his brother Simon

3.       Then He called Phillip and Nathaniel

a.        Middle of events described in John 1 & 2

b.       And the town was Cana

                                                               i.      A little town located 9 miles north of Nazareth, it is in ruins Khirbet Qana is now in ruins

c.        Wedding

                                                               i.      Like many other places in the world, a wedding in Palestine in the 1st century is a major social event

1.       I just have to ask, “Why are Korean weddings so boring?”

a.        You ever been to or seen Jewish weddings or eastern orthodox weddings- “Deer Hunter”

2.       It was a party that lasted as long as an entire week

3.       Unlike modern weddings where the expenses are paid by the bride’s family, the expenses are the responsibility of the groom

                                                              ii.      Wedding itself was the culmination of the entire betrothal period

1.       That period lasted for several months, even up to 12 months

a.        And the only way to end the betrothal was a divorce

b.       However, as the coupe are seen as man and wife, they do not live together nor consummate their marriage until after the ceremony

2.       It is at the end where the grooms friends would go the bride’s home and escort her and her attendants to the groom’s house where the ceremony and banquet took place

a.        The wedding ceremony itself would end the wedding celebration

                                                            iii.      Part of the guest list

1.       That Mary, Jesus’ mother was present

2.       So was Jesus and his disciples

a.        Since both Mary and Jesus are specifically mentioned

                                                                                                                                       i.      It seems the groom was a family member or a close friend of the family

1.       Mary knew the situation of the lack of wine and took the initiative to address the problem

III.                  The Situation, vv. 3-5

a.        Wine

                                                               i.      Was the staple drink in the ancient world

1.       Due to the warm climate, the fruit juice would ferment quickly

a.        Which led to drunkenness

                                                                                                                                       i.      At this point, I do to make a clarification

1.       Drinking alcohol is not a sin

a.        There are instances in the Bible where drinking alcohol is commended

                                                                                                                                                                                                               i.      Paul suggests Timothy to drink to soothe his stomach

2.       Nor is smoking

a.        These acts in themselves are not sins

b.       But they can be sinful

                                                                                                                                                                                                               i.      The issue is dependence, addiction

c.        I know I have made references in the past in regard to mentioning problems with smoking or drinking but I just wanted everyone to know for the record and have full clarity

3.       Saying that I don’t condone smoking nor drinking

a.        I believe as the Bible says our body is the living temple of the Holy Spirit and thus we should honor our bodies

                                                                                                                                      ii.      You must also understand that since there was no bottled water or any type of water purification system, drinking wine was more profitable for health reasons

1.       But the wine was diluted for this purpose, 1/10 its original state

                                                              ii.      But it must be emphasized the gravity of the problem of running out of wine

1.       It was a great source of embarrassment

None but those who know how sacred in the East is the duty of lavish hospitality, and how passionately the obligation to exercise it to the utmost is felt, can realize the gloom which this incident would have thrown over the occasion, or the misery and mortification which it would have caused to the wedding pair.  They would have felt it to be, as in the East, a bitter and indelible disgrace. 

a.        Others have suggested that this particular problem may even bring a lawsuit against the groom’s family in failing to meet their responsibilities

2.       Knowing of the gravity of embarrassment it may bring to their family, Mary suggests that her eldest son do something

a.        Even though He may have never performed miracles in the past, she knew who He was

                                                                                                                                       i.      She was aware of His miraculous birth, things said by Gabriel, the shepherds, by Simeon, by Anna prophetess, she has witnessed His sinless, perfect life

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Now was the time

1.       As though Jesus was some sort of superhero, now was the time in the eyes of His mother to reveal His true identity

2.       Mary knew it was miracles just as in the OT that would authenticate His identity and His message

3.       We see this in the NT

a.        There are prophetic miracles and powers

b.       Notice they were only for a temporary time

                                                                                                                                       i.      They were used to authenticate the gospel message

1.       Just as Jesus would perform miracles to authenticate his Messiahship, so the Apostles had such powers, but only for a time

                                                                                                                                      ii.      Never were they used for personal purposes such as making more wine when a party ran out

c.        They had powers to heal, just as Jesus

                                                                                                                                       i.      Just as Paul was not able to heal himself when he was smitten by a thorn in his flesh nor heal Timothy when he had an ailing in his stomach, powers had a purpose

d.       “They have no wine.”

                                                                                                                                       i.      I wished we could see their expressions, their faces

                                                            iii.      Notice Jesus’ reply:

1.       “Woman, what does that have to do with us?”

a.        This signaled a major change in their relationship

                                                                                                                                       i.      As Mary was desiring her son to make a grand entrance

1.       She was personally greeted with a new identity

b.       “woman”

                                                                                                                                       i.      Was not a statement of disrespect, but of formality

                                                                                                                                      ii.      It was not an occasion that He had to show himself in front of His new friends, to impress them

c.        The question is one of idiomatic expression, asked rhetorically what the two parties had in common and in effect distancing themselves

2.       Calling her mother, woman

a.        He was in effect cutting the ambilical cord

                                                                                                                                       i.      The relationship we had is no longer, He has now entered His ministry and earthly relationships will no longer determine His actions

b.       Mary must now view Him no longer as her son, but the Messiah, the Son of God

                                                                                                                                       i.      This is something you will begin to see in the ministry of Jesus

1.       Everything is one of a kingdom mindset

a.        Including families

b.       Matthew 12:46, your mother and brothers are waiting for you

                                                                                                                                                                                                               i.      “who is my mother and brothers?

2.       Earthly families, relationships serve a purpose, a very limited purpose, but heavenly families, church families are eternal

                                                                                                                                      ii.      If we had any idea of harshness of Jesus’ rebuke of His mother, that would be erased by His denial of her not her request.

3.       And His reasoning: “My time has not yet come”

a.        Mary knowing of His identity, she was imposing on his behalf

                                                                                                                                       i.      “it is time Jesus”

1.       Jesus replied that His time has not yet come, that no man can ever presume upon the timetable of God

                                                                                                                                      ii.      I cannot express to you the danger of walking ahead of God’s timetable

1.       Ex. Of Moses, killing the Egyptian guard

2.       Ex. Of King Saul, 1 Sam. 13:1-14

a.        Not only is there an appointed time for all things, but even as when circumstances may dictate for us to take matters into our own hands, we must trust and obey

b.       It was not the appointed time for Jesus to reveal the full Messianic glory

                                                                                                                                       i.      Yet the miracle He would perform would make His divine authority unquestionable before His disciples and it served as a preview of what was to come

c.        Undeterred by the mild rebuke, Mary then instructs the servants to do whatever Jesus says

                                                                                                                                       i.      You must understand the word here for servants

1.       diakonois (deacons)

2.    doulois, slaves

a.    These were not household servants , but those who were there, friends, family members

b.    That must be the directive, the recourse of those who truly confess that Jesus is Lord

                                                                   ii.   Mary got the timing off, but she nailed it on the head in terms of our response to Jesus as our Savior and Messiah, we must obey, we must comply fully

1.    Our salvation cannot be separate from Lordship Salvation, they are one in the same

a.    Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all that I commanded you” [1]

IV.          The Supply, vv. 6-10

                                i.   Jesus then commands the servants to fill the waterpots

1.    Which were used for ceremonial cleansing, usually 20-30 gallon waterpots

a.    To be filled to the brim

                                                                    i.   This insignificant detail is added so that nothing else could be added to the water as for anyone to doubt the authenticity of the miracle

2.    And to further reveal His power, he commands the servants to draw some out and for I to be taken to the head waiter

a.    Even though he did not know where the wine came from, those who filled the waterpots did

3.    Here is the testimony

a.    “Everyman serves good wine first, and when they have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine”

                                                                    i.   When you start to get drunk, can you tell the good stuff from the bad stuff

1.    When I was in college living in sin

a.    We would buy some of the cheapest beer

                                                                                                        i.   “it’s not bad”

b.    This was no ordinary wine that went through natural process of trying to nurture the soil, the right amount of sunshine, water, growing grapes, aging them, the proper formula for fermenting them

                                                                    i.   This was supernatural wine

                                                                   ii.   It was wine that was made form nothing

1.    Proving that He is the creator

c.    When Jesus turns water into wine do you think it would be the cheap $6 Trader Joes?

                                                                    i.   I think he makes wine, He makes the expensive stuff, the Dom Perpignan

4.       the point I am making is why do you doubt the quality of your conversion?

a.        Sure you are not perfect, sure you are a sinner, we all will be until we die, that is because of our sinful flesh

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war (H)according to the flesh,  4for the (I)weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful (J)for the destruction of fortresses. 5We are destroying speculations and every (K)lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the (L)obedience of Christ, 2 Cor 10:3-5

b.       Know that our conversion, one from sin to life is pure, it is righteous, it is perfect and holy

                                                                                                                                       i.      So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.  2 Cor. 5:16-19

                                                                                                                                      ii.      And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Eph. 2:6-10

1.       If we are God’s workmanship are we not his masterpiece?  Would our sanctification be flawed?

                                                                                                                              iii.      I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Phil. 1:3-6

5.       Philippians 2

a.        Key is to obey in fear and trembling

a.       Just as Mary knew, she instructs all to obey

V.                   The Significance, v. 11

                                                               i.      Jesus placed his deity on display, not for all to see at the wedding, just those around Him, those at that time in God’s appointed time needed to see His manifestation

b.       Have you ever wondered why everyone just don’t get it?

                                                               i.      Why they just don’t see the love of God, that Jesus is the only way?

                                                              ii.      As we want to get in the tradition of sharing testimonies, there is one fact

1.       We all came under differing circumstances

2.       We all have different stories

a.        Even if you attend a Billy Graham Crusade or Harvest Crusade

                                                                                                                                       i.      See hundreds, thousands coming to Christ

1.       They all have different stories

b.       Each soul is different, each soul, each person is intimate in their own way to God

                                                            iii.      I do remember one revival service- preached the gospel message and had an altar call

1.       Not one single person came forward

a.        It would seem embarrassing, if you didn’t know how God worked

2.       I also remember another revival service

a.        One particular young man came forward, he gave his life to Jesus Christ

3.       We also know it is not signs, wonders, miracles that alone that will convince people to believe, it is the HS

a.        Therefore for us who do not know the appointed time for those to come to Christ

b.       Let us not be dependent upon such signs and wonders but the power of the Holy Spirit, He is the only One who can open the blindness of men’s hearts- keep praying and keep obeying your Lord and Savior


[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mt 28:19-20). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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