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Sunday, June 10, 2012

John 2:1-12
“Behold, I make all things new.”  (Revelation 21:5)
by Pastor Mark Taylor

 What Jesus did at the wedding signifies some very important things to us about Jesus and His compassion for people. He even cares about our embarrassing shortcomings.  God is working behind the scenes to meet the need.  He is solving the problem when we have only looked at it.  He is curing the cancer when we are still trying to pronounce its name.  He is providing the resources as the bills are placed in the mailbox.  He is giving us strength when we are weak. (Isaiah 40: 29-31)
To the Jewish people wine symbolized joy. The Jewish rabbis had a saying, ‘Without wine there is no joy.” At the wedding in Cana their joy had run out! In some ways it is a reminder of the emptiness of our life without Christ.  When the water was turned to wine, the shame of the bridal family was turned to joy.
That is simply the way life works. There are times we run out of joy.  But this miracle teaches us that when the wine runs out, Jesus can turn the water into wine.  The Bible reminds us that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. Do you believe that? Because if you do that means that Joy doesn’t come from anywhere else.  The change in our lives - our water into wine- is not based on our strength or efforts, it is available as we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit’s power.
Wherever Jesus went there was life and joy. He stated that His life mission was, as He said, that “His joy might be in us and that our joy might be complete” (John 15:11). He has come to bring His joy, and there is joy everywhere He is in our world. 
He is the God of irrepressible joy, and He has come to share it. He offers the wine of joy to all those who are thirsty for life — for those who will come and drink.
Perhaps Jesus could have used Mary.  Jesus could have looked to His disciples.  Surprisingly, to all who were at the wedding, Jesus did the unexpected, He looked to the servants.  Miracles meet ordinary needs in unexpected ways.    One of the deepest desires of every believer is to be part of the plan of God.  The compelling nature of the love of God creates a yearning in us to get off the bench and into the game.  We often assume that people with social, political or even spiritual status will be God’s first choice, But God does not look at things the way people do.  “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”  (I Samuel 16:7. 
In our limited understanding, we don’t understand how filling jars with water solves a wine problem.  My job is to faithfully walk with a glass of water until He turns it into wine.  When I get out of the way and walk faithfully with a servant’s heart, God turns water into wine.  There will be times in life when you feel that what you are carrying is terribly inadequate.  That is when faith becomes real as you trust God to take what you have and make it something better.  “Now unto Him, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.  Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”  (Ephesians 3:20-21).

There is no limit to His grace. What Jesus gives is never just enough, it is always more than enough, with plenty left over. He did not give just enough trees; He gave more than enough. He did not create just enough mountains; He created more than enough. He did not give just enough ocean; He gave more than enough. He did not give just enough life and joy; He gave more than enough.
Miracles happen when we understand that Jesus transforms our everyday experiences. Jesus did not come to give us information; He came to give us a transformation. He changes things. He has a way of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. He did not come to bring new ideas; He came to make new people. The water did not just appear to be wine; it was transformed into wine — the best of wine at that.  “Behold, I make all things new.”  (Revelation 21:5).  The best wine was always offered first. Isn’t that just like our Lord? The best always comes at the end. The grace we once tasted cautiously—we now drink freely. Jesus has poured out in us the richness of His love and forgiveness.  He has a lot of wonderful things planned for you and I after we leave this Earth and all of its problems.  In very ordinary places He creates extraordinary beauty. Let Jesus touch you, and see if your life is not filled with new beauty and wonder — new  flavor and fragrance.   Jesus is in the business of turning water into wine, sinners into saints, fear into courage, sorrow into joy, defeat into victory, despair into hope and death into life. 
Miracles happen when we understand that Jesus extravagantly provides for our everyday requests. There were six jars containing between 20 and 30 gallons apiece.  Though we anticipate that God may give us enough to get by, we often do not expect abundance.  Our expectations are far too low.    Filling the purification jars with water was hard work.  The servants filled each jar with approximately 25 gallons of water - bucket by bucket and step by step.  Out of those water jars came 2,500 glasses of water turned into wine - more than enough to satisfy the needs of the wedding banquet.  The Lord Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was more than enough.  His shed blood was more than enough to offer forgiveness for not just for our sins of the past, but for our sins today, and for the inevitable sins of tomorrow.   Why did Jesus give so much wine? Because He is an extravagant giver. He never gives just enough; He always gives superabundantly.
You have to use what you have before the Lord Jesus changes your water into wine.  You may have to fill some jars which requires effort and hard work on your part. You may have to go to where Jesus is working to receive the wine.  Everyone there at the wedding that day was at the right place at the right time when the Lord Jesus showed up.  But He is still working miracles today in the lives of His children when they are living right and serving Him.  “Blessed is the person that does not walk in the company of the ungodly, nor stands in the same place as sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.  But their delight is in the words of the Lord, and in His words do they mediate day and night.”They shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his/her fruit in their season; their leaf shall not wither, and whatsoever they do shall prosper.” 
  (Psalm 1: 1-3). 
(For more video and written sermons by Pastor Mark Taylor go to: )

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