Title: MIRACLES ENCOURAGE FAITH
Text: John 2:1-11
If you recall from our last lesson, we are still in the first week of Jesus’ ministry following His baptism. John has been careful to note the transition of days so that we could get a glimpse of how Jesus’ ministry escalated (1:19, 29, 35,43; 2:1,12) John’s purpose in writing this gospel is so that the reader may believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that belief produces our salvation (Jn. 20:31). Throughout chapter one John has appended 5 titles to Jesus. See if you can find them. (1:20,29,49,49,51)
Within the first week of His ministry, Jesus produces His first miracle – turning water into wine. The purpose is to teach something and to produce faith in His disciples. Following this event, Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the first Passover of three He attended during His ministry. He chases out the merchants and moneychangers, which produces conflict. He will repeat this once again in the final week of His life. So His ministry begins and ends with the Passover celebration…pointing to the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. So we can definitely mark His ministry in exactly a three-year period. Only via John can we get this perspective. Read Text.
1. How would you define a true miracle? (A supernatural event that transcends the laws of nature, that cannot be produced or duplicated by man. A supernatural event that points beyond itself to something greater.) Do you think everything that gets called a miracle is a true miracle? Does it matter?
2. What do the miracles of Jesus tell you about His character?
Insight: There are seven miracles listed in the Gospel of John, all followed by a discourse to show how the miracle reveals the divine character of Jesus. Look closely at the discourses and you will see a window into the heart of your Savior.
3. How would you describe the exchange between Jesus and His mother?
4. What does the fact that Jesus and His mother received an invitation to attend this wedding tell you about their relationship to those present? Was it really necessary that Jesus supply such an abundance of wine? (This miracle did not bestow any lasting benefit on those who were present. On the surface it only helped out the wedding party from an embarrassing situation. But NONE of the miracles of Jesus were kind actions to alleviate human distress and nothing more. They were signs displaying the glory of Jesus and the wonder of His redeeming love.)
5. What does verse 3 tell you about what Mary thought of her son’s abilities? Jn. 20:30; 21:25
6. Is Jesus being rude to His mother in verse 4? Is rudeness in Jesus’ character? Why did she feel it was important that Jesus provide the wine? What do you think could possibly be the meaning of this verse? (This may refer merely to, “It’s not my turn.” “You and I have different concerns.”)
7. How do you feel about Jesus creating an alcoholic beverage?
8. What does the phrase, “My hour has not yet come” refer to?
Insight: John writes with many poetic, unusual words that have much meaning (as well as symbolism) behind them. Such is the case here. Though the “hour” is not unique with John, his progression to “that hour” is very clear in his gospel. Look at that progression in these verses. Jn. 5:28; 7:6,30; 8:20; 12:23,27; 13:1; 17:1 So, according to these verses, what is the “hour”? (The hour of His Passion.)
Insight: Clearly Jesus knew the purpose for which He came, and the hour it culminated at. What an inspiration for us to face even the most difficult of tasks! Lk. 9:51
9. There is some deep meaning in turning water into wine, especially because of verse 6. Can you figure out what it is?
Insight: The six waterpots of stone were for the purpose of ceremonial washing of hands as well for cleansing of drinking utensils. Jesus wanted to use this transformation of water into wine to expose the inadequacy of that practice to make clean the heart of man. Rather than the weakness of such Pharisaism, Jesus wanted to offer the guests the wine that gives life, and as the Psalmist said, “makes glad the heart of man.” This wine that was lavishly provided and freely offered is a fitting symbol of the new spiritual power available through the Messiah.
10. What did this first miracle do for the disciples according to verse 11?
Our title for this study is “Miracles Encourage Faith.” It did so in the hearts of Jesus’ new tag-along disciples. Did a deeper look into the miracle encourage your faith?
Not all of the miracles produced this affect in the hearts of those witnessing them. Some believe at first, but then later fall away. Jesus knew the hearts of men and knew who to entrust with saving faith. 2:23-24
Based on the evidence, would you say it is foolish not to believe in Jesus?
Why do some people fall short in trusting people all the way? What can we do to help them bridge that critical distance between searching-doubt and entrusting-faith?