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The Beginning of the Manifestation of Jesus' Glory

John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:08
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In a few short hours I’ll be leaving and making my way, 12 hours up north, to Ontario, CA. I’m headed up there for our annual FFM trip, we have been going now for the last several years. You might wonder why I do it. Why, Pastor, do you drive all that way, spend the money, the time, and the energy, to make this happen every year. Well there are a lot of reasons! The fellowship with other believers, the food, the fishing, the beauty of God’s creation- all of these are reasons why I do it. It is almost indescribable to get you to understand what it is like to fish on a lake that hasn’t been touched by anything since the time of the flood. No cars, no houses, no power lines, no roads, no people. Just you and God’s creation, and more small-mouth bass than you can catch.
It is a glorious experience. Have a done a good enough sales pitch yet? Now after hearing that, how high are your expectations set? If you ventured up to Canada with me, what would you expect to see? How good would the experience have to be in order to live up to my claims? I am describing something pretty glorious right? The experience would have to measure up to that kind of glory or you would be disappointed. Well, I can’t take you all to Canada with me, but I can bring Canada to you in a small way. (Video)
Guys, if you come to Canada with me, I promise you- you will not be disappointed. When you experience the glory for yourself, it will live up to my claims. Don’t believe me? Experience it for yourself.
This is exactly what John invites his readers to do in John 2. He invites us to experience the glory of Jesus Christ for ourselves.
Back in John 1:14 John made some grandiose claims about Jesus Christ.
John 1:14 KJV 1900
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
What incredible event is John describing here in v. 14? What amazing thing did the Word do in order to communicate with us? The Word became flesh! He became like us, and he dwelt among us- John states. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, equal in every way to the Father, Creator of everything that exists, the One who was in the beginning, because like us. It is like you or I becoming like an ant and dwelling with them- it really is an incredible statement.
And what did John claim to behold? John beheld the glory of the Word.
What kind of glory did the Word display? It was the glory of the only begotten son of the Father, and it was full of grace and truth.
This claim is further developed in v. 18
John 1:18 KJV 1900
18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Not only does Jesus claim to be able to show us the glory of God, but here Jesus claims to be able claims to show us God. Not just to tell us about God, Jesus claimed to be able to show us personally God. What if I made that claim. What if I claimed to be able to show you God? If I was really serious wouldn’t you want to see some proof that I was close enough to God to be able to show you what God was like? If you were actually going to be believe me, what kind of proof would you require of me before you gave me the slightest bit of belief? Wouldn’t you require me to do things that only God could do? Wouldn’t it take miracle after miracle of all different kinds before you would believe me?
The problem that John continually confronts us with is, “What kind of evidence are you willing to accept as proof that Jesus is who He says he is? What kind of glory would Jesus need to display before you believed that He actually was the Son of God?
So far we have heard of the personally eyewitness testimony of John the Baptist as evidence for Jesus’ claim.
John 1:34 KJV 1900
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
We also have Nathanael’s testimony about Jesus
John 1:49 KJV 1900
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Do you remember what convinced Nathanael? Jesus supernaturally saw Nathanael sitting under a fig tree. Jesus offered this supernatural ability to see beyond the natural limitations of the physical universe as evidence that he could also see into Nathanael’s heart. Yet, this was a very small part of the glory/evidence that Jesus was going to offer to prove that He was Who he said he was.
John 1:50–51 KJV 1900
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
Essentially, Jesus told Nathanael- just wait you ain’t seen nothing yet. You will see heaven itself opened- you will see the full power of the heavens opened up and pour out upon this world. You will see angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Jesus intended to offer up such overwhelming evidence, that his claim would be irrefutable to the one who is honestly seeking the truth.
John 2 is the beginning of the manifestation of Jesus’ glory. It is the story of the beginning of the overwhelming evidence that proves that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life through His name.

I. What evidence is offered up as proof for the identity of Jesus? (John 2:1-10)

John 2:1–10 KJV 1900
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
What is the occasion of this evidence?
John 2:1–2 KJV 1900
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
What conflict is introduced in this story?
John 2:3 KJV 1900
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
(Aside: Wine in the ancient world- was diluted with water up to one-tenth of its original fermented strength. It was used for its medicinal purposes- e.g.
1 Timothy 5:23 KJV 1900
23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.
Strong drink is expressly forbidden in the NT for believers.
Ephesians 5:18 KJV 1900
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Returning to the story, the conflict introduced is that the wedding celebration had run out of wine.
Why do you think this was such a big deal? What would this have meant for the married couple and their families if the guests found out that the wine was gone?
In those days a wedding celebration could last as long as a week, and the financial responsibility lay with the groom. To run out of supplies would be a dreadful embarrassment in a that culture. It would have brought shame on the family.
So why do you think Marry came to Jesus and told him about this predicament? Apparently, she trusted in the resourcefulness of Jesus, her son, to solve the problem.
How did Jesus treat Mary, His mother, in response to her statement?
John 2:4 KJV 1900
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
Do you think Jesus is being rude or disrespectful to Mary? Do you think this was a normal way for a son to address his mother? Why do you think Jesus treats Mary differently?
What is Jesus’ response to Mary? What have I to do with thee? My hour is not yet come.
Some other translations- What does this have to do with me? What does that have to do with us? Why do you involve me? What does your concern have to do with me?
What do you think Jesus means by this statement? This is none of my business, this is not part of my purpose, this is not part of my plan.
What reason does Jesus give Mary for why this problem does not fit into his business here on earth? My hour is not yet come.
What hour is Jesus talking about? Does the text tell us? So if the text doesn’t tell us, how can we do anything except guess at the meaning? It is dangerous to guess at the meaning of Scripture if it is not clearly stated in Scripture itself. But, good news, later on in John’s gospel we find the answer to what Jesus means by his hour is not yet come.
Why do you think John does this? Why does he tell us about the “hour” of Jesus, and then give no other explanation to its meaning?
Sometimes I tell my kids, if you get all your homework done, and if you get your chores done, and if you get the whole house picked up I have something special planned for you. What do you think the next thing out of my kids mouths will be? What is it? Do you think it is better to tell them right away, or make them wait until after they have their work done to find out? Have of the fun of the “something special” is the anticipation of finding out what it is.
Jesus’ statement, “My hour is not yet come” is meant to peak your interest in the narrative. What does “hour” mean? When does this “hour” come? By whetting the readers curiosity it encourages more thoughtful reading; moreover the book becomes deeper and more complex when you read it for the second or the third time.
For now, what we do know is that solving the problem of the lack of wine was not directly related to the business of Jesus.
Isn’t that odd? If Jesus is who he claims to be, if Jesus is truly the Son of God, then couldn’t Jesus do whatever He wanted to do? Does Jesus do whatever He wants to do? Who determines the purpose or the mission of Jesus?
How does Mary respond to Jesus’ question?
John 2:5 KJV 1900
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
This is the only place in the Bible where Mary gives a command. What was commanded here in v. 5? Whatever Jesus tells you to do, do it. What does this tell us about Mary’s perspective of Jesus? Is there a difference in tone in Mary’s statement in v. 3 “They have no wine,” and her command in v. 5 “Whatever He says to you, do it”?
How does Jesus respond to her statement?
John 2:6–10 KJV 1900
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
Jesus performs a miracle. There were six large waterpots present at the celebration, each contained about twenty or thirty gallons each. And what does Jesus tell the servants to do? He tells them to fill the waterpots. And they filled them up to the brim. Then what does Jesus command? He commands them to draw out some of the water from the pots and bring it to the governor or the master of the feast.
What happened when the master of the feast tasted the water? The water had become wine. Who knew that the wine started out as water? Apparently only the servants, Mary, and Jesus’ disciples knew about the miracle.
How do we know that? The response of the master to the groom in v. 10, “Every man at the beginning sets forth good win, and then when men have well drunk, then that which is worse, but you have kept the good wine until now.”
What type of miracle did Jesus perform?
What is the difference between water and wine (a chemical and molecular miracle)?
What was required to make good wine (a quality miracle)?
So what evidence is given in John 2 to support Jesus’ claim as to His identity? Jesus turned the water into wine. Has anyone else in the history of the world been able to do this? Is this outside of the physical limits of the universe?
What kind of evidence are you willing to accept as proof as to the identity of Jesus? God does not want blind faith- He requires of you a well-thought-out faith. So what do you think?

II. What is the expressly stated purpose of this evidence? (John 2:11)

John 2:11 KJV 1900
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Most translations use the word “signs” instead of miracles. What is the purpose of a sign?
If I were to tell you that tomorrow there was going to be an large scale earthquake strong enough to level your home what would you think of my claim? Well, since we live in Wisconsin you probably would consider me to be a fool. But what if at the exact moment I told you there was going to be an earthquake tomorrow you felt a tremor in the ground? What if you felt tremors all night long? You might not believe my word, but would you believe the signs?
What specifically did these signs accomplish for Jesus? They manifested his glory!
John 1:14 KJV 1900
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
So when John says in John 1:14, “We beheld his glory” what do you think John was specifically talking about?
What kind of glory did Jesus manifest? Was it earthly/human in nature? Or was it heavenly/was it from God?
We are coming up on the NBA draft, and the first round pick is going to be Zion Williamson. One of the things that makes him worthy of being the first pick is that he is 6’6/7” 280 ish pounds and he has a 46-47 in vertical. Because he can jump so high at his size he has a glory that outshines other players. But his glory is still human in nature. What if Zion could jump 46-47 feet high? Would that glory be in a different category?
What about someone who can bypass the physical laws of nature? What about someone who can change the chemical and molecular and qualitative nature of something? What about someone who can make one thing change into another thing by means of his own power? Is that kind of glory in a different category?
Jesus performed these miracles these signs in order to manifest or to reveal to everyone his own glory.
Why didn’t Jesus make enough wine for all the weddings that year? Why didn’t He heal all the sick and lame in the whole world, while He was on earth? Why did He do any miracles at all?
What was the result of this miracle at the wedding? What does the end of v. 11 say?
John 2:11 KJV 1900
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Why did only his disciples believe on Him? How many people knew about the miracle? Did everyone? Or did only a small amount of people know about the miracle personally? Apparently this miracle was meant to provide evidence for primarily Jesus’ own disciples. This sign was mean to give his disciples a well-thought-out faith.
How many disciples does Jesus have at this point in the Narrative? 5- Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathanael and the unnamed disciple. How many of them believed? All of them. At least for these five men, this miracle was evidence enough for them. Jesus revealed enough of his glory in this first miracle for them to believe.
Are you convinced yet? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you personally truth believe in Jesus? Based on what? Is your belief blind or well-thought-out? Is your belief personal?

III. What happens when religion and the Bible conflict with each other? (John 2:12)

John 2:12 KJV 1900
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
The next paragraph of questions is important for people who believe that Mary remained a virgin her whole life. Your friends will begin to see that what “religions” teach does not always agree with the Bible. Why is that important? Is that true sometimes of our own religion?
What was the difference between Jesus’ brothers and His disciples? Why didn’t John mention Jesus’ cousins, instead of His brothers?
Who were His brothers?
Matthew 13:55 KJV 1900
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Did Jesus have any sisters?
Matthew 13:56 KJV 1900
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
How many (at least two)?
What does the word until in Matthew 1:25 mean?
Matthew 1:25 KJV 1900
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
It means that Joseph finally got his honeymoon!
Again, it is important that our friends know that our ultimate authority is not our religion. Our ultimate authority is the Bible, its God’s Word. What should we do when our religion conflicts with the clear teaching of the Bible? If the Bible is true and if it is the very words of God, then whose words are more important?
I cannot answer this question for you, you cannot answer this question for your friend- they have to answer it themselves. Don’t demand an answer on the spot, that’s not your job, your job is to get them to think.
Hebrews 4:12–13 KJV 1900
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
What are you going to do about it?
Have you been praying that God would lead you to an unsaved friend with whom you could read the gospel of John?
Have you started putting hands and feet to your prayers? Are you going into your Jerusalem to build redemptive relationships for the gospel?
Do you think if given the opportunity you could ask someone the right questions to lead them through the gospel of John? Could you help someone develop a well-thought-out faith?
John 2:11 KJV 1900
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Will you share with someone else the manifestation of the glory of Jesus Christ?
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