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Ministry of Jesus III - when the wine runs out

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Ministry of Jesus III - What do you do when the wine runs out? NV 2/9/03

OS: Funny things happen in weddings – something is going to go wrong, even with all the planning.

I.       The Wedding Event in the time of Jesus

A.     Sequence of thought – first miracle in the Ministry of Jesus

B.     The wedding ceremony would take place late in the evening after a time of feasting. The father of the bride would take his daughter on his arm, and with the wedding party in tow, would parade through the streets of the village so that everyone could come out and congratulate the bride. Finally the wedding party would arrive at the home of the groom. The wedding actually took place in the front door of the groom’s house. It was no short ceremony….no the festivities lasted for days. It was a time of great celebration. After the wedding ceremony the bride and groom walked through the streets accompanied by flaming torches. Their attendants walked with them keeping a canopy over their heads. The wedding party always took the longest route through the village so that as many people as possible could wish them well. There was no such thing as a honeymoon! No, the couple kept open house for a week. They were treated like royalty. They dressed in fancy clothes and many times actually wore crowns on their heads. Whatever desire they spoke for…they received. Their word was law! The groom’s family was expected to provide all the refreshments for this week of festivities.

II.    John 2:1-11

III. We’ve asked the wrong questions about this text. (2 Facts)

A.     #1- Jesus really made real wine? (yes, and the best wine)

                       1.       Our society is very different from theirs. They didn’t have the conveniences we enjoy. (sweet tea, cola, refrigeration, etc.)

                       2.       Wine was the common drink of their day.

B.     #2 - The Bible condemns drunkenness.

                       1.       Galatians 5:19-21, drunkenness is an act of the sinful nature, and those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

C.     The abuse of alcohol has destroyed the lives of many people in our country. Families are destroyed, children are abused, many (over 400 in our state alone 1998) are killed in car accidents related to someone driving under the influence of alcohol.

                       1.       Seek peace through alcohol – (Prayer is the key to peace Phil. 4:6-8)

D.     It is just as wrong to take this text and say there is nothing wrong with alcohol, as it is to take this text and say Jesus didn’t really do it.

IV.  Message – Jesus has power over this physical world, and He is able to make full what is empty.

A.     A wedding was a celebration. There was a saying by the rabbi’s “when there is no wine there is no joy”

B.     There are many people in our world today who like the wedding party in Cana – their wine has run out.

TS] Life has its empty spots, in spite of all the glitter and glamour; deep beneath the surface lays an empty reservoir of lost dreams and hopes. Void and lack, plague many lives and forbid the pursuits of fulfillment and satisfaction. All of us, in spite of our ages, wages, and whatever, have to wrestle with the issue of emptiness. Empty marriages, ministries and even empty careers sadly are the norms of our times. Life with all of its commotions and promotions still leave many empty. Nike says “Just Do It” yet many are empty. Burger King says “Have It Your Way” yet many are empty.
The question that confronts us all today is how do we deal with those empty spots in our lives? How do we deal with failing and faulty finances, bankrupt relationships, broken homes and hopes? This morning the wedding at Cana is a textbook case of how to deal with emptiness. When the wine runs out I need to remember three things:

I.       Jesus cares about my everyday needs.

A.     Text – He cared about the embarrassment of the groom’s family.

B.     He cares about your everyday needs. (birds/lilies)

                       1.       Matthew 6:25-34

C.     He knows you.

                       1.       He knows all that you do. He knows when you lie, cheat, cry, hurt, and even knows when you sit on the back row at church and act up.

                       2.       Luke 12 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

TS] When your life gets empty start the filling up process by remembering that Jesus cares about your everyday needs.

II.    Jesus extravagantly provides for my needs.

A.     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.”

                       1.       Jesus didn’t just provide for the typical basic need.

B.     He always goes extravagant - I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jn. 10:10)

                       1.       Feeding of the 5,000 – 12 baskets left over. (Matthew 14)

                       2.       Catch of fish – not just a few, but so many the boat was about to sink. Luke 56 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.  7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

C.     Don’t try to put God in a box when you’re praying

                       1.       Illu - When Momma prayed for Daddy

D.     When you serve in His name do it with excellence.

TS] So when you feel life is getting empty remember that Jesus cares about your everyday needs, and extravagantly provides for those needs.

III. Jesus can transform my everyday experiences.

A.     Jesus is all about transforming power. Jesus did not come to give us information; he came to give us a transformation. He did not come to bring new ideas; he came to make new people.

                       1.       He transforms your everyday experiences because He transforms you!

                       2.       Romans 12 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

B.     Our God is in the transformation business. The world wants us to get a new hairdo or a new wardrobe. Society wants us to get a better job or learn a new skill. People want to lose weight or get a face lift. But Jesus does not want to change your looks, he wants to change your heart. He doesn’t want to give you a new suit; he wants to make you a new person. He does not want to rearrange you; he wants to transform you. You want to look better on the outside, and he wants to make you new on the inside. And when that transformation on the inside takes place, it will show up on the outside.

                       1.       2 Corinthians 5 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

                       2.       You don’t have to settle for an empty life! You don’t have to buy into the face lifts of this world – you can have something real!

Trying to fill your life with things of this world is like trying to have a balanced diet on potato chips.

Illus. If I were to say to you the name, “Earnest Hemmingway” today. You might not know in detail who he was, but most of us would know that he was a famous writer. Hemmingway was a great storyteller. Many of his books are considered to be classics. The Old Man and The Sea, a story he wrote while living in Cuba reveal his genius. He was a Nobel Prize recipient. From the very early years of his life he was a person who went for it all. He was a newspaper reporter and an ambulance driver during WWI. He was involved in the Spanish Civil War. He had friendships that ranged from bullfighters to authors. Whatever he did, he went for it all, he was drinking long at the natural wine of life. But there came a day when those wines ran out. Carlos Baker records it in the biography of Hemmingway like this,
Sunday morning dawned bright and cloudless. Ernest awoke early as always. He put on the red “Emperor’s robe” and padded softly down the padded stairway. The early sunlight lay in pools on the living room floor. He had noticed that the guns were locked up in the basement, but the keys, as he well knew, were on the window ledge above the kitchen sink. He tiptoed down the basement stairs and unlocked the storage room. It smelled as dank as a grave. He chose a double barreled shotgun with a tight choke. He had used if for years to shoot pigeon’s. He took some shells from one of the boxes in the storage room, closed and locked the door, and climbed the basement stairs. If he saw the bright day outside, it did not deter him. He crossed the living room to the front foyer, a shrine-like entryway five feet by seven feet, with oak-paneled walls and a floor of linoleum tile…he slipped in two shells, lowered the gun butt carefully to the floor, leaned forward, pressed the twin barrels against his forehead just about the eyebrows and tripped both triggers

How could a man who accomplished so much be so empty? There is a void in your life, a God shaped vacuum that only He can fill.

1 John 2 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.  17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

If you’re here this morning and your life is empty then follow the instructions of Jesus’ mother when she says, “Do whatever he tells you.” If you do, something wonderful is about to happen. He stands and knocks at the door of your heart, and if you open He will come in.

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