Every person can understand Jesus better by learning some lessons about him from this passage.
In 1900 the Ladies Home Journal made a number of predictions of what life would be like in the year 2000. I will pass along some of the more humorous and unusual ones.
· There will be no more flies or mosquitos. By the time 2000 roled around there would be no more horses doing farming so the flies and mosquitos would be gone.
· Automobiles will be cheaper than horses. Farmers will have automobiles to do all of the work their horses do.
· Air travel will be common, but it will never compete with ground travel.
· Warefare will take to the air and forts on wheels will come. Guns will be able to shoot 25 miles.
· Photographs will be telegraphed all over the globe.
· Man will be able to see around the world. They will be able to see through cameras and screens.
· Peas and beans will be as large as beats. There will be no need of surgar beats.
· Telephones will be common around the world.
· Hot and cold air spigots will be in every house, much like hot and cold water spigots.
· Pneumatic tubes will deliver items to homes, rather than delivery wagons.
· Electricity in the ground will allow vegetables to grow year round.
· Oranges will be allowed to be grown in Philadelphia.
· Medicines will be applied directly to the organ that needs it. No more pills.
· No wild animals. Rats and mice will be exterminated.
· Ships will be able to transport people to England in two days or less. They will be electric.
It is interesting to think of the predictions people made and to realize that some of our predictions could be just a foolish. Somewtimes we can be very wrong about our ideas of how things will turn out. Just as people were very wrong in their ideas about who Jesus was. Therefore we need to be constantly make sure we are accurate in our thinking about who Jesus is.
Lesson I. He had fun
A. It seems sort of strange to think of Jesus as a guy hanging out at a party. He was at a wedding, there might have been some dancing going on, and there was wine present. It would definitely appear that Jesus was having a good time with these people. A lot of times we probably have a picture in our mind of a Jesus who is talking with the Theologians in the synagogue. Maybe we picture him on a hillside preaching to a mass of people. We can also see him healing people and performing miracles. Some of what we miss about Jesus is the times when he had fun. I think when he was alone with his disciples there were a lot of times when they just had fun. It was not all of the business stuff. It was about having fun. Jesus was a man who had fun along with the other things that he did.
B. Perhaps part of the reason this was included in the book of John was to give us a glimpse of a human being. We get to see someone who was not all business. He was also someone who involved himself in the common things of life. He attended a wedding. He might have even had a drink of wine. He was not someone who did not know how to have fun, nor was he the kind of person who refused to have fun. He participated. I think that part of the reason that he was there was because there were pagans there who needed to get closer to God. He could not have an impact on this if he did not do things that they were doing.
C. I would like to tell you a little secret about me. Sometimes I go to family gatherings and I get nervous because some of my relatives do things and talk about things that make me uncomfortable. They are not robbing banks and that sort of stuff, but they are things that I would not do. It makes me a little uncomfortable to be around them. I go because they are my family. Maybe by me being there, they might get brought a little closer to a right relationship with God. So I let myself get uncomfortable because of the possible impact I can have on them. I think that is part of the reason we see Jesus at a wedding feast. Some of us have become so isolated in our Christian life we don’t let ourselves get around pagan people. Most of us are probably secure enough in our faith that it would not hurt us to get a little uncomfortable.
Lesson II. He was directed by God
A. When they run out of wine at this gathering Mary finds out about it and asks Jesus to do something. This would have been a huge social mistake for the host and hostess of the party. So Mary looks to Jesus. I can sense a mother and son bond here. She does not even need to tell Jesus what she is thinking, and it does not look like Jesus is communicating complete thoughts either. They were family and they were communicating like a family. Mary wanted Jesus to fix the problem and Jesus wanted her to know that he was no longer under her authority. He did it anyway.
B. Jesus tells his mother, “"My time has not yet come." He had not yet officially begun his public ministry. Plus it seems that just like any young man goes from a time where he lives under the direction of his parents to a time when he has freedom to make decisions for himself. Jesus had gone beyond being under the direction of his parents, and now he had freedom to make his own decisions. Unlike other people this meant that Jesus was being directed by God. It is like what we see later in John 5, “Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (Joh 5:19 NIVUS) Jesus was not being disrespectful to his mother. He was simply stating what he life was about at this point. He was doing what God wanted him to do. It was more about pleasing God than it was about pleasing his family at this point in his life.
C. Jesus makes decisions and he follows leads based on what God would have him do. Jesus is our example of how we should live in the world. We need to allow God to be involved in our lives. He needs to be the one who is directing us. It should be our goal to say like Jesus said, I can do nothing by myself, I can only do what I see God doing. In order to do that we need to know God. We need to have a personal relationship with him by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We need to know him by studying him in the Bible. We need to spend time with him. There are a lot of times when I might offer something to my children and I know even before I ask what their response will be. I can do this because I have spent time with my children and I know them. We need to work at knowing God like this.
Lesson III. His work was exceptional
A. When a person goes to apply for a job they must make themselves stand out in some way. They must show that they are somehow better than all of the other applicants. In their resume and in the interview they must present themselves as exceptional. They cannot be mediocre, or they will be passed over. They must make themselves stand out. That is what Jesus does when he turns this water into wine.
B. When Jesus agrees to fix the problem he has the servants fill the jars used for ceremonial cleansing. This was the place where the guests would go to wash their hands before they ate. It was not one of the cleanest containers. It was probably swimming with germs and I would guess that there was some grim that had settled to the bottom of the container. Yet these are the vessels Jesus chooses to use to make wine for this occasion. Then he commands one of the servants to take a glass of the stuff from this container to the master of the banquet. This would have been the servant’s boss. The servant knows where the substance came from, but the master has no idea. As you might imagine, this could get really ugly for the servant.
C. Perhaps this was a surprise for the servant when the master of the banquet tastes the wine and proclaims, “"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." This must have been a big surprise for the servant. We are looking at Jesus today. Rather than giving these people what the expected, some cheap wine, he gives them some of the best wine they have ever tasted. He does something grand. He appears to be reluctant to do anything, but when he does do something he does something great.
D. Whenever you see Jesus doing something in the Bible it is really good. Jesus does not do mediocre things, he does excellent things. In this case he makes really good wine. When the disciples are concerned about the storm on the water, Jesus speaks and the lake becomes like glass. It does not just calm down, but it becomes perfectly calm. People are forgiven and people are healed. Jesus does an amazing job of taking care of people.
E. The good news for us is that we have the same Jesus working for us today that we had back then. He has not diminished in power. He has not become sloppy in his work. He does the same work now that he did back them. The work that he does is exceptional. It stands out as great.
Lesson IV. He continues to work miracles
A. When I was a boy my dad’s friend brought a gun over the wanted to see how it would shoot. So we set up a target and took turns shooting at the target. When it was my turn I was shot and hit the target. Up to that point I was the only one who had hit the target. I could not leave it at that. I tried again and did not hit it that time. If I would have stopped after the first try, they might have thought I was a natural. It ended up it was just a coincidence.
B. When Jesus does this, it is listed as his first miracle. The way that it is phrased in the last verse leaves us with the impression that Jesus goes on from here to perform other miracles. This was not just some quirk. It was a part of who Jesus was. He would leave this wedding feast and he would perform many miracles. He might never change water into wine, but he does calm a storm. He makes a blind man see. He causes lame men to walk. He does many miracles. This really is just the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
C. Even after Jesus was gone his ministry continued to go one. The disciples were able to do many of the same kind of miracles that Jesus had done. They saw sick people healed. They were able to perform amazing miracles. Even though history after the time of the Bible people still do amazing things. I know a man who can tell of healings and miracles he has witnessed in third world countries. The power of Jesus Christ continues on today. He has not stopped working. He has not quit. He is still at his work to this day.
D. The temptation is to develop the belief that since we don’t see God working we don’t think he is. We want to be able to see God at work. Just because we don’t see him at work we convince ourselves that he is not working any longer. Rather than convincing yourself that way, why not convince yourself that God is still working today. Look for God to do amazing things around you. Expect that he is going to do even more.