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The Ordinary becomes the Extrodinary

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Good morning and welcome to another week of church online here at the Bridge. I am so glad that we could be together even if it is from a distance.
We will be evaluating this week the in person services and what the plans are and will make a decision by the middle of the week. It is obvious though that we need to continue to pray for many people as we deal with this time in the world.
This morning though i wanted to start by talking about the unexpected.

The Unexpected things

Have you ever had moments in life that were just completely unexpected. I spent a lot of time thinking about what in my life was unexpected. It is funny i can think of so many stories to share. I think of job opportunities. Children being born early. To how Angie and I met. It had me thinking that a lot of life is unexpected. Even the best planned person can’t anticipate everything.
I also thought about the unexpected things that weren’t so great. My dads cancer diagnoses. Loss of Jobs. There are so many things that come without warning that you can become quickly overwhelmed. Yet, what i think i the most interesting thing about the unexpected is that it can produce some of the most memorable moments of people’s lives. For good or bad the unexpected changes our lives in many ways. It was this idea of the unexpected that led me to this mornings passage of scripture because it is a story from the gospel that has a lot of unexpected elements.
John 2:1–11 NIV
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

The Beginning of Public Ministry

This is a moment that i am sure was an unexpected time. It makes me wonder about if Jesus expected that something like this could happen when it came to his family. I am sure that this was one of the many challenges of Jesus and his family is the expectations that might be placed on knowing who he was and is.
This passage though is interesting because of the way that we read it. There are some things that i found unexpected as we dig deeper into the passage in growing in our understanding of it. One of the first things i thought was interesting was v. 4.a
John 2:4 NIV
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
I don’t know about you but when i first read this passage my ears always perk up. The idea of saying Woman in addressing someone especially your mother in our ears often rings of disrespect. This is one are where we need to be reminded the importance of understanding the context and culture of the original audience. It is here when we study that we find that Jesus was not saying this as a disrespect but is more a general reference to who she was. This isn’t the only time that Jesus address someone this way.
It is hard to see this sometimes because this passage also has an element of jesus being frustrated with Mary for what she is asking. She was asking Jesus to do something that he wasn’t prepared to do at the time. The focus of Jesus was on God’s schedule. He was focused on the hour and time of his work.

My Hour has not Yet Come

This statement of Jesus is often thought to be looked on as Jesus saying that it was not time for him to start his public ministry. Yet, is that the only possible thing that Jesus was referring to? That is definitely a possibility. However, the deeper idea that Jesus is referencing is the not just the start of his ministry but is the entire work of his ministry. The reason that he came to this world. The goal that God had planned for him. The fulfillment of everything Jesus was going to do. The hour on the cross. This is a testament to the dedication Jesus had to the will of God not just a moment of frustration.

Mary the Disciple

Yet, Mary asked anyway. Now many would say Mary was being a mother in this moment and had some connection to this wedding and was just trying to be helpful but there is another side that is an interesting perspective. Mary was there yes as his mother and she was attending the wedding and she sought out Jesus to help with a situation that could have been very embarrassing for the host family. This could just seem like a mother asking for a favor from her child but there is a level of belief that comes into this passage that is amazing. The truth is that this is a point that we can see that Mary was not just one of Jesus’ disciples she was a disciple in many ways. She believed in him and knew that he was able to do amazing things.
Even after she asked and Jesus pushes back against the idea of helping she does something that shows her belief in who he was.
John 2:4–5 NIV
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
She heard Jesus say this wasn’t the right time but she knew that he was able to help. She believed in him and had faith that he would.
Mary came to Jesus with a problem and had faith that he would help. Is that how we live out our faith today?
Do we trust that God will help? Are we ready to ask and have faith in him?

Jesus takes something ordinary and makes it Extraordinary

Mary’s faith in Jesus and request leads us to something that is absolutely amazing to think about. Jesus responds to the request by taking something ordinary and unexpected and turning it into something extraordinary. Sitting there at the wedding are the stone jars used to perform ceremonial washing by the Jewish people. These were pretty common place but important items in a Jewish home. I can imagine that after you put them in your home you probably never really spent any more time thinking about them besides when it was time to fill them. Yet, Jesus saw an opportunity. He had them filled and he told the servants to draw some of the water and take it to the master of the banquet.
The Master of the Banquet could be thought of as the wedding planner of today. They were put in charge of making sure everything went well during the whole wedding. It is interesting because the passage doesn’t talk about when the water changed to wine. The Master of the Banquet had no idea what was happening. all the Master of the Banquet knew was that the servants were bringing him a sample of wine. Really even the servants had to think they were just taking some water to him. Yet, the water had changed. It had become the best wine that anyone had that day. H was shocked at what was being given to him.
John 2:10 NIV
10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
The amazing thing about the water that was transformed was three fold.
Its Presence
It is a testament to the fact that Jesus was there and who Jesus was. The Water was transformed because of the presence of God. It was changed not just as a party favor but to give testimony to who Jesus was that he was more than just another man or party guest but in fact he was the Son of God.
It’s Quantity
think about this for a moment. The passage tells us that they filled 6 jars that would range from 20 to 30 gallons of water. that is a lot of water. Jesus provided an abundance. In fact this wouldn’t be the only time that Jesus would provide an abundance. We can look to later and the feeding of the 5000 that Jesus provided more than enough. This helps reminded us the abundance that God is able to provide for us. We can connect this back to the OT with the Mana and Quail and see that God hasn’t changed and is still ready to provide in abundance.
The Quality of the Wine
The Wine was served was not just a watered down wine. In fact that is what some people will critique or try to explain away this passage with is that Jesus just told them to water down the existing wine. It was described as the choice wine. This sign of the transformative work of Jesus is exactly that he produced the choice wine. When we allow him to transform us and the our world we can be confident that we will get to experience the choice wine.

The Sign

This was the first sign of who Jesus was. It wasn’t some big grand display of his power. The truth is that the only people who knew what happened were the disciples and the servants. Jesus could have easily peformed his first Miracle in the audience of Kings and queens, or for the priests and religious leaders. Yet, everything about this sign of who he is, is counter cultural. The Miracle was performed among those who would be considered lowly, it was done with ordinary things, the wine was served out of order, and few actually knew about what happened.
yet this story teaches us that It isn’t about our timing or when we expect things to happen but it is about the how and when God is going to move. God moved and transformed the wine. God Made the best wine that anyone had ever seen. and this was all done to point to who Jesus is and what is to come in the future on the cross. It is a reminder that God is in control and that we have to trust in his timing for all of life. He uses the people and the things that we least expect. He is able to change and move any situation to bring his glory to light. This isn’t how we expect it but it is when God directs it.
Are we trusting in him to guide and direct our lives in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine? What might you need to give to him this morning that you need to wait on his timing and not your timing?
Let us pray.
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