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Glory: A Sign for You m.19 || Christmas Service

The True Light m.19  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

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Introduction

Open your Bibles to John chapter 2…if you don’t have a copy of God’s Word hold raise your hand and one of our ushers or deacons will give you a copy. If you don’t own a copy of God’s Word consider that our free gift to you.
*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.
There is more than one way to tell a story—even the most important story of all. The Gospel writers crafted their individual stories of Jesus using genealogies, prophecies or narratives of historical events to convey His identity and mission.
The Gospel writers: Matthew demonstrates that Jesus is the heir of the covenant promises of David and Abraham and the fulfiller of ancient messianic prophecies, Mark emphasizes that Jesus is the Messiah of a kingdom even greater than Rome. In his Gospel and Acts, Luke shows that Jesus is the Christ of all nations, whose gospel breaks down barriers between Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, and male and female.
While —Matthew, Mark, and Luke—tell the story of Jesus from within the perspective of human history, John takes a different approach. He writes from a viewpoint that transcends human history and time.
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John establishes Jesus’ divine nature and His eternal significance before he records any of His words or actions. The opening words of John’s Gospel echo , taking us back before the creation story, before the fall of man or the first prophecy of God’s plan to restore His creation to Himself, and before the star of Bethlehem appeared: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (). John proclaims that this Word “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (1:14).
The narrative then swoops down into first-century Palestine and places the incarnation within human history.

Definition of incarnation 

(1): the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form (for some to live perpetually in this state of embodiment and based on your works—reincarnation…)

Exposition

(2)capitalized : the union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

Exposition

Exposition

Signs of Glory
When telling the events of Jesus’ life, John selects those that reveal His divine identity and the purpose of His incarnation. He records only seven miracles, six of which are not told in the Synoptic Gospels. John describes Jesus’ acts not as “miracles” (dynamis, δύναμις— “power; to contain power”) but as “signs” (sēmeion, σημεῖον, — sign; as a means of Confirmation), inviting us to see what Jesus’ actions reveal about Him.
ἀρχήν, σημεῖον— “sign--), inviting us to see what Jesus’ actions reveal about Him.
John’s descriptions of the signs connect Jesus to the fulfillment of Old Testament promises and point to the significance of His crucifixion.

1. The first sign of Jesus’ deity (): He records Jesus’ first miracle—changing water into wine at a wedding in Cana (2:1–11)

Let us read this and understand its significance. Starting in v.1
John 2:1–11 ESV
1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
John 2
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the first of his signs“first” ( ἀρχήν, archēnbeginning; signs” (sēmeion, σημεῖον, — sign; as a means of Confirmation), — this is a a symbolic act that reveals His divine nature and the purpose of His incarnate life (2:11).

Definition of incarnation 

(1): the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form (for some to live perpetually in this state of embodiment and based on your works—reincarnation…)
In the Old Testament, a wedding banquet and the abundance of wine symbolize the joy of the messianic age, when death itself dies and God rights all wrongs (; ; ; ; ; ).
(2)capitalized : the union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ
John in 2:11 is speaking of “the first sign” of Jesus (confirming he is both fully human and fully divine by “performing this sign of “water into wine”). Remember, last week we said that “signs—are always pointing us to something greater than ourselves.”
As a kid I used to get really excited on the way to Six Flags in Atlanta when I saw the first sign that said “Six Flags exit 10 miles ahead.” I would get excited and my grandmother or aunt, whoever was taking me, didn’t pull over at the sign because they saw I was excited, say, “Whew, isn’t this great…take it in kid, that was worth it right there…let’s load up and head home.” How cruel would that be?
he excitement of the sign meant we were closer to the “greater thing.” The sign confirmed the “greater thing” was ahead…it was coming. If we keep going the signs pointed the way but the actually reality of this incredible experience was yet to be realized. “Church are you tracking with me?”
The excitement of the sign meant we were closer to the “greater thing.” The sign confirmed the “greater thing” was ahead…it was coming. If we keep going the sign continues to point the way, but the actually reality of this incredible experience that awaits in the destination was yet to be realized. “Church are you tracking with me?”

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

In the Old Testament, a wedding banquet and the abundance of wine symbolize the joy of the messianic age, when death itself dies and God rights all wrongs
In the Old Testament, a wedding banquet and the abundance of wine symbolize the joy of the messianic age. The age when death itself dies and God rights all wrongs...
Isaiah 54:5 ESV
5 For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
Isa 54:5
Isaiah 61:10 ESV
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Jeremiah 33:10–12 ESV
10 “Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11 the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord: “ ‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord. 12 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks.
Isa
Jeremiah 33:10-
Jeremiah 33:10 ESV
10 “Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again
Jeremiah 31:12–14 ESV
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more. 13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 14 I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.”
Joel 3:18 ESV
18 “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Shittim.
Amos 9:13 ESV
13 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.
John shows that this promised age dawned with the coming of Jesus ().
He reports that this miracle revealed Jesus’ “glory,” pushing His disciples to believe in Him (2:11).
John shows that this promised age dawned with the coming of Jesus (2:11). He reports that this miracle revealed Jesus’ “glory,” pushing His disciples to believe in Him (2:11). He also invites us to believe this revelation, become a disciple of Jesus, and cross over into eternal life (20:31).
John 2:11 ESV
11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
The Apostle John is also inviting us to believe this revelation, and to become a disciple of Jesus, and cross over into eternal life (20:31). Yet me must realize...
John 20:31 ESV
31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

Jesus as the Son of God
Jesus as the Son of God
All of the Gospels demonstrate Jesus’ identity as Son of God by showing His power and wisdom. Yet such an identification can be difficult to reconcile with the concept of monotheism (the belief in One God): How can God the Father and God the Son be one? John answers this question by identifying Jesus as God and by explaining that not only did the Word—Jesus—exist “in the beginning,” but the Word was God, through whom all things were created (1:1).
John further demonstrates Jesus’ identity by showing His involvement in the covenants that God made with the Israelites. While Jesus was in Jerusalem speaking with Abraham’s biological descendants, in , He exclaimed, “Very truly I tell you before Abraham was born, I am!” (8:58).
In addition to reasserting Jesus’ pre-existence, this statement alludes to two Old Testament covenants. The first is the covenant established with Abraham and Sarah as the parents of a great nation [of Israel] through whom all others would be blessed (; ).
Jesus also refers to Himself as “I Am,” the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush and set into motion the redemptive plan that led to the exodus and the covenant with Moses at Mt.Sinai ().

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

Tragic Irony
Tragic Irony
Those who heard Jesus’ statement in “Very truly I tell you before Abraham was born, I am!” (8:58). Him as claiming to be God, and they picked up stones to kill Him (). This scene is repeated in after Jesus declares, “I and the Father are one” (10:30–31).
When Jesus questioned why He deserved such punishment, they answered, “We are not stoning you for any good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (10:33).
And that is the power of John’s perspective on Jesus. For if Jesus truly were a mere man claiming to be God, He would have been a liar or a lunatic. The tragic irony of John’s message is that Jesus was executed for being exactly who He claimed to be: the eternally pre-existent Son of God who stepped into human history to bring God’s saving love to us. John’s hope is that you and I would read his account (follow the signs of OT prophecy and NT reality), and believe this report of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and have new life in Him
John 20:31 ESV
31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The Apostle John was connecting dots for the people of his day and the people of today…here’s the thrust of that connection...

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

But let me bring you to another account… the one in which is most popularly proclaimed as we celebrate the birth of Christ…which Cole read at the beginning or our time of worship...

2. The first to hear of the gift of Jesus ():  Jesus was first revealed to the lowly shepherds as a “sign for you” (), which resulted in “glorying and praising God for all that had been heard and seen” ().

2. The first to hear of the gift of Jesus ():  Jesus was first revealed to the lowly shepherds as a “sign for you” (), which resulted in “glorying and praising God for all that had been heard and seen” ().

Luke 2:8–20 ESV
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 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 among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Luke 2:8-20

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

(12) Angles revealed Jesus birth to the lowly shepherds as a "sign for you."
(13) The multitude of Angles of the "heavenly hosts praising God saying..."
(14) "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
(15) The angles left and the Shepherd's said, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
(20) "And the shepherd's returned [returned to what? Shepherding!], glorifying and praising God for all they had heard ad seen and that had been told to them."

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

Conclusion

Conclusion

Just like the signs that excited my childish heart that Six Flags was a little closer. The first sign of who Jesus was in (turning water into wine) was a sign that was confirmed by what the OT prophets spoke to about the time of the Messiah.
In at the birth of Christ, the angle said to the shepherds, this is a sign to you”; confirmation that the Messiah; the incarnate Christ —the One who embodies the union of both Divinity and humanity in the person of the babe “wrapped in swaddling clothes” is here.
Both were signs pointing us, the lowly sinners, who have rebelled and are rebelling, against God that he has not forgot us.
Just like Six Flags, if you stop short and marvel at the sign without pursuing the actual gift of the greater thing…it is temporarily exhilarating. Yet will the excitement will fade. We must keep pressing forward in the hope of what the sign points to! We must not let our hearts grow weary as we read about signs, yet feel we are not seeing the signs. We have all the signs we need in the Authoritative Word of God. As we read them we must be stirred to the excitement of the true Gift. The signs are always pointing to something greater—a greater reality for you and I.
The greater reality is the gift of Jesus Christ. And everything in this broken world is a sign pointing you to the reality of your need for a Savior. The incarnate Christ. Where Divinity and humanity collided in the glorious gift of the person of Jesus Christ. Who was born to a Virgin and placed in a through that feeds animals, was revealed to the lowest of humanity, the Shepherd’s as hope for the glory revealed.
Jesus is not something we are simply waiting on. He came he lived a sinless life, He died a cruel death, but he defeated death by the power of the Holy Spirt by being raised to death on the Third Day. Jesus is Alive.Jesus is coming back to restore His heavenly Kingdom and rescue us from this broken place. For now some of you see Him only as a sign of something greater to come. And you wouldn’t be wrong totally. However, Jesus is the gift of God. Although He is a sign pointing to a greater reality. He himself is the greater reality.
The miracle; the power that changes our reality is the Holy Spirit awakening us to the reality of Christ. Knowing this…hear me people…and understand where you are in a season we celebrate both the signs and the miracle fo Christ. The truth you and I must understand is this...
You can’t stop at the sign and worship.
You must go to the destination and worship.
Our destination is not a place…it is a person, and His name is Jesus.

*The true miracle wasn’t the signs of Jesus, it was the gift of Jesus Himself.

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