Faithlife Sermons

Following Jesus Into the Unexpected

Follow the Leader  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:11
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[IMAGE] BIL’s wedding - outside by a lake. Fisherman in boat disrupts the wedding with his outboard motor.
Strange and unexpected things happen at weddings!
As we continue to follow Jesus, we join him at a wedding.
Beginning of his ministry.
Near his family home (relatives, friends?)
Weddings in 1st. C. Jewish world: after bride and groom arrive at their new home, a party lasting several days. The groom is responsible for all of the food and drink. Potentially a social disaster to not have enough.
But there’s a problem:

Running Out

John 2:1–3 NLT
1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
Common question: Why does Mary have anything to do with this? Maybe a trusted friend or family member who is concerned for the wedding party’s reputation?
Why does she go to Jesus? Perhaps he is now considered the male head of the household?
It’s not like Jesus had a van parked outside with extra wine for “just in case.”
We’re reminded that Mary treasured the prophecies about Jesus in her heart. No mother would dismiss or forget about that.
Luke tells us twice that Mary was distinctly aware of Jesus as the Messiah
Luke 2:51 NLT
51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.
It seems like a good interpretation that Mary is expecting him to act at her behest.

Why Me?

John 2:3–4 NLT
3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
The common reaction to her request is to read Jesus’ response as either a curt dismissal or an “aw, mom!” kind of moment.
Not necessarily accurate. We have to always be careful not to overlay a 21st. C. cultural interpretation too heavily on their interactions.
The interpretation that seems to make the most sense is that Jesus isn’t allowing anyone to determine how he conducts his ministry.
John 8:28 NLT
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.

Follow His Lead

John 2:6–8 NLT
6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
It seems that Jesus’ mother accepted that he wouldn’t act on her say-so. Her direction to the staff was to follow Jesus’ direction.
Jesus takes advantage of an opportunity layer his agenda.
Utilizes a commonly used and understood tool to teach about God’s new way. Ritual stone water jars. You have to go back time after time to be made ritually pure.
He meets their need in an over the top way. (150 gallons or more of wine!)
He spares their reputation.
He demonstrates power that only God has over creation.
He teaches that God’s new way is not just basic (water) but rich and fulfilling (new wine).

Finding Faith

John 2:9–10 NLT
9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
An independent source (MC) confirm that the wine offering is excellent. Better than anything else.
Once again, there’s a spiritual lesson available.
Jesus’ answer to our needs is overabundant, rich blessing.
John 10:10 NLT
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Following Our Leader

John 2:11 NLT
11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
There are times we learn from Jesus’ words and example how to think and act for ourselves.
John 20:31 NLT
31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
In this case, the opportunity for us is the same as the first disciples:
Learn from this and grow in faith.
We get to learn how to be more observant and see where Jesus shows up with His mission and impacts our lives.
What are you “running out of” in life right now?
Jesus will bring an abundance of blessing to you. Grace, mercy, hope, relationships.
John 1:16 NLT
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.
At times, like the wedding guests, we may not fully comprehend what Jesus is doing in our lives.
Look for the “new, better wine” that Jesus brings to you in your need.
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