2 1-12 Why God's Way Is The Best Way
liberty bible church 12/2/07 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“Why god’s way is the best way”
Illus. of going out to eat as a child. We rarely did it and when we did, I did not look forward to it. There were no restaurants with playgrounds. As usually wore church clothes, which was a suit and tie, we had to sit still, and it seemed like forever to get the food. It was like a long car trip; “Are we there yet?” only we asked, “When is our food coming?” We just wanted to get home and change clothes. I’m sure we made it a joy for mother on Mother’s Day. Then came fast food and eating out had a chance. Now we could get burgers and fries in a moment. Sure, they may be a little stale from sitting there a while, but it was a whole new concept that young people loved. And if Big Macs weren’t enough with their 2 all beef patties… in the spirit of good competition, Burger King came up with “Have it your way.” Now we could pick and choose what we put on the sandwich. Over the years other restaurant chains have caught on to where now you can pretty much have it your way anywhere. So much so that we struggle if we are somewhere we can’t have it our way. We like having it our way. That’s where the rub comes in for Christians. We’ve translated this to all of life to where we want everything our way and we don’t like anyone, perhaps even God telling us we can’t have it our way.
We need to get a hold of the concept that God knows what we like better than we do ourselves. What we think we like is not always what is best for us. But, God knows what is best. How do I know this?
OPEN to passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see why God’s way is better than having it our way.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. As we start John 2, we are at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. At this point, all of His disciples may not have even yet been called. Matthew does not record this event and many believe it was because he had not yet been called. Of the four Gospel writers, only John was there. Nonetheless, it is the first miracle of 35 recorded in Scripture. So, why is God’s way better than man’s way the best way? First…
i. his plan is prompt vs. 1-5
Illus. of “Free Calendar Turned Out to be a Real Turkey” Cathy Mullikin’s bird is cooked, and her calendar is toast. Mullikin had her Thanksgiving turkey dinner already cooked on Thursday, “and my friends and family are coming on the 28th and they’re going to think I’m a kook,” she said. She should never have believed that free calendar. Jackson-Madison County General Hospital gave out 40,000 of them last year and every last one said Thanksgiving was on the 21st instead of the 28th. Associated Press - Jackson, Tenn, Spokesman-Review, Sunday, November 24, 1996, p. A4 We may mess up dates and forget appointments, but God never does. His timing is perfect. We understand this, but the problem is sometimes we struggle waiting for Him. We see that here and it comes from a somewhat unexpected source. Here’s the problem.
A. man is sometimes impatient
V 1-2 1. The timing of this event comes three days after the calling of Philip and Nathanael. It would have taken of couple of days to travel from where we saw them previous near Jericho. Now they are in the north in Cana of Galilee. Its exact location is unknown, but no doubt it was near Nazareth.
2. Mary was there, but John never used her name nor his own throughout this Gospel. Jesus was there with His disciples also. The fact that they were all there may indicate that it was a relative.
3. In this culture, weddings would have lasted for seven days. The feast was during the groom’s taking of the bride for the consummation of the marriage. Explain custom and how it pictures Christ’s relationship to the church. To run out of wine would have been very serious and embarrassing to the hosts. They were to be prepared and the guests were to be served properly.
V 3 4. Mary was concerned about the situation and wanted to what she could about it. Even though Jesus had not officially begun His ministry yet, she knew that He was her only hope. In light of verse 11, it was unlikely that she expected a miracle since none had been done by Him yet. But, no doubt she remembered the circumstances of His birth and knew that anything was possible. She and the rest are about to learn that…
b. god’s timing is perfect
V 4a 1. The term woman may seem disrespectful, but it really was not. It is used also in John 19 when Jesus hung on the cross. What’s more strange than woman was the next phrase.
V 4b 2. “Why was he getting Jesus involved?” This was a common Greek phrase that pointed to different realms and relations. The demons are recorded as using this phrase when they were confronted by Jesus. “What do you want with us?” Jesus was teaching His mother that His days of submission to her were over. He was now in submission to the Father and whether or not God wanted Him revealed yet was not clear.
V 5 3. This may appear as if she was ignoring Him, but in reality she was in submission to Him. She told the servants to do the same. What He would do she did not know, but she revealed here that she trusted him.
Trans. We see here that GOD’S PLAN IS PROMPT. God is right on time and we can’t push Him. We can ask, but it’s up to Him. We need to be in His will and submit in a trusting relationship. Second, when we do this, we see that…
ii. his provision is perfect vs. 6-12
Illus. of the top five most overheard comments regarding bad Christmas gifts…
5. Hey, now there’s a gift.
4. If the dog buries this, I’ll be furious.
3. I love it – but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.
2. To think – I got this on the year that I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.
And the #1 comment regarding a bad Christmas gift… 1. This is a perfect gift, for wearing around the basement.
God knows exactly what we need and want and always has the perfect provision. How does He work?
a. He can use what we have available
Illus. of some once said that with God, the best ability is availability. That’s true here.
V 6 1. These would have been large pots used for before and after the meal for Jewish purification rights. Cf. Mt. 15:1-2 Jesus was question by the religious leaders as to why his disciples didn’t wash.
V 7-8 2. He tells the servants to fill the jars and then take some out and give it to the master of the feast, the host. He wouldn’t have known that these were ceremonial jars or would not have drunk from them. This would have been unthinkable to a Jew.
b. He makes it better than we can
V 9 1. As the host tastes the wine, he immediately notices that something is different. It was different than what was customarily done.
V 10 2. Normally the best is served first. We would do the same with food. When people are full, any more that is needed can be the inferior stuff. Imagine the surprise of the groom. He wouldn’t have had a clue, but his servants did.
c. What can we learn from this miracle?
V 11a 1. John calls this a sign. The focus shouldn’t be on the miracle itself, but on why it is significant.
2. This shows that what Jesus does is superior to Judaism and the Law and in revealing Jesus now, God has kept the best for last. Here, John says we see a manifestation of His glory. Jesus is contrasted with the old way. Moses turned water into blood as a sign of judgment. Jesus turns water into wine and brings life and joy.
V 11b 3. As a result, the disciples believed in Him. They didn’t understand everything this entailed yet, but they did see His power.
V 12 4. Capernaum was to become His home base during His ministry, since from now on He would become alienated from His blood family and hometown of Nazareth.
GOD’S PLAN IS PROMPT and HIS PROVISION IS PERFECT. He knows what we need and when we need and can even use what we already have to provide it. So, how do we find God’s way and follow it? Many books have been written on this subject, but let’s stick with the main points that we all need to follow.
1. God’s way of salvation is best. GOSPEL
2. God’s way of loving is best. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord God…
3. God’s way of living is best. That way is found in His Word. But, be careful…
Illus. of “Misuse of Scripture” When the preacher’s car broke down on a country road, he walked to a nearby roadhouse to use the phone. After calling for a tow truck, he spotted his old friend, Frank, drunk and shabbily dressed at the bar. “What happened to you, Frank?” asked the good reverend. “You used to be rich.” Frank told a sad tale of bad investments that had led to his downfall. “Go home,” the preacher said. Open your Bible at random, stick your finger on the page and there will be God’s answer.” Some time later, the preacher bumped into Frank, who was wearing a Gucci suit, sporting a Rolex watch and had just stepped our of a Mercedes. “Frank.” said the preacher, “I am glad to see things really turned around for you.” “Yes, preacher, and I owe it all to you,” said Frank. “I opened my Bible, put my finger down on the page and there was the answer—Chapter 11.” Reader’s Digest, March, 1993, p. 71.
Man tells us to trust our heart, to believe in ourselves, yet the Bible says that the man that trust his heart is a fool. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We each need to consider whether our way is God’s way. If it’s not, we need to make an adjustment for God’s way is the best way.
“Why god’s way is the best way”
In this passage, we see why God’s way is better than having it our way.
i. his vs. 1-5
A. man is sometimes _________________________
b. god’s timing is __________________________
ii. his vs. 6-12
a. He can use what we have ______________________
Cf. Mt. 15:1-2
b. He makes it _______________________ than we can
c. What can we learn from this miracle?
How do we find God’s way and follow it?