Hey. Please take a seat. And if you have a Bible in front of you, please open it up to John chapter 2. And we're gonna be reading from verses 1 to 12 in John chapter 2.
Starting from verse 1. On the third day, a wedding took place at Kaina in Galile. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, they have no more wine. Women, why do you involve me Jesus replied, My hour has not yet come.
His mother said to the servants, do whatever he tells you. Nearby stood 6 stone water jars, a kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from 80 to a hundred and 20 liters. Jesus said to the servants, fill the jars with water, so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.
He did he did not realize where it'd come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 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 What Jesus did here in Kaina of Galile was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. After this, he went down to capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples.
There they stayed for a few days. Well, let me encourage you about the media fast bible feast but encourage you about the prayer meetings. They're ridiculously early, if you're a student. But it's worth knowing that that time does exist. And so if you wanna go on Zoom, you don't wanna move from your room, then it's at 6 30 till 7.
Just half an hour praying, and part of that is to read so for for tomorrow morning, we read chapter 1 of Romans and then pray. If you wanna go to a place, then they start at 7 till half past. I really want to encourage you to do that. You can go back to bed. And what what whatever.
It's it's it's worth it's worth a go, I think. It's it will be really encouraging. To start the day with prayer, reading the scriptures, and prayer. So let me reencourage you with that Let me pray. Father help us now.
This fantastic, true event, this story, the life of Jesus help us to learn that we may grow in love with him in Jesus' name, amen. Now many years ago, I was at a wedding a wedding reception where it was pretty seriously looked like the caterers were running out of food. The size of the portions that you were getting as they served you, you you got up and you were served, were very, very small, right from the beginning. I mean, seriously small. They were like that sort of fine dining stuff.
They were that they were that small. And there was a sort of buzz around the room that was a big embarrassment to the to to the couple that I knew very well. And people were sort of joking on the tables about about the lack of food and how small a portion were. So it was a bit embarrassing. So I thought I would step in and do something, and I'd have had a word with a caterers.
They were called Jack and Jill. Catering services. So what do you expect? And I had a word with the service servers and they said there was no more food. That was all there was.
And I thought this was well out of order, so I decided to go into the kitchen. And as I opened the kitchen door, Jack was there himself. He was an extremely large man, and I saw loads of food on the counters we and he had 1 of those big catering spoons full of food, and he was putting it in his mouth. He was eating it all. That is absolutely true.
And I'm I'm deadly serious. I had a go at him. And Jill who came in. And they they they I was absolutely furious, and they then started serving, and the seconds portions were bigger than the first. Now that's a sort of now I'm no Jesus.
Right? I'm not trying to tell you that story to say, oh, I've just thought of that. I didn't mean that. I just want to introduce what's going on here. Here's Jesus and his and his disciples and and his family, and that they're at this wedding.
They're at this wedding at Kaina. And it's not food that runs out, but it's wine that runs out. So verse 3, you see this. Look, when the wine when the wine was gone, Jesus mother said to him, they have no more wine. Now we don't know why the wine run out.
Perhaps there was a jack and a jill in the back just creaming off the wine and sending it to somewhere else. I don't know. We don't know why the wine run out. But actually, culturally, This was a bigger embarrassment than my friends that I've just told you about at their wedding. Cultural, this was big news.
Because for the bridegroom, that was his job to provide the wine in this culture. And for him not to do that, here's the beginning of their marriage and he's already failed right at the beginning. He's a failure to provide for his wife. What's he gonna do in the future? That's the sort of thing that would be said.
In fact, some historians believe that he could have been taken to court and fined for dereliction of duty. So this was an important job for the bridegroom to provide for his wife and his family and show that he was a man that could provide in the future for for for his wife and family, but they run out. And you can imagine the sort of panic going on. Certainly through the the the the sort of master of ceremonies, he was the man in charge The bridegroom was in charge of supplying the wine to the master of ceremonies, and it they run where did they put it? Is someone taken it?
Is there a bloke called Jack around anywhere? As someone creamed this off, what could be done? Well, Jesus mother had an idea. Again, verse 3, look. When the wine was gone, g They have no more wine.
Expected Jesus to even though Jesus reply is is slightly odd, verse 4, woman. Why do you involve me? Jesus replied, my hour has not yet come. It's a very odd reply. Nevertheless, he does go on and sort it out.
He does sort it out. There are 6 stone water jars, therefore ceremony or washing. He gets those water jars full of water, the servants fill them with water, 20 to 30 gallons each, Calls the servants, fills them up with water, and then says draw now from those jars. And they pour they pour what was water from those jars, and it's turned into this magnificent wine. They take this for the master of the ceremony is to taste and he says I've tasted nothing like this.
This is amazing. He goes up to the bridegroom Now we don't even know the bridegroom knows what's going on. He's oblivious perhaps to the fact that they've run out of wine. He thinks he's a pretty good bridegroom. And he doesn't know what's going on.
It's the master of ceremonies, and the master of ceremonies now is plotting him on the back for something he didn't do and says, man, you are cool. Normally, it's the Tesco Value wine they bring out to at the end when everybody's sort of drunk, but you've brought it in The best wine left the best till last. This is Goldman's. He's getting slapped on the back. He may not even know there wasn't any wine.
So that's what's going on. So here is this miracle. Jesus without vines, without grapes, without earth to grow the vines in, without the sun to ripen the grapes, Without people to pick the grapes, without something to ferment the grapes in, without time to mature the grape juice into wine, Jesus creates ordinary water into vintage wine. He does this miracle. And not only quality, but quantity.
I mean, it's the equivalent of 800 bottles of it. Yeah. It's amazing. Jesus saves the day. He saves the day at this wedding.
I mean, I don't know, as I say, I don't know whether the bridegroom really realized what was going on. He was probably too much in love with his new wife. But, I mean, I don't perhaps, he reads John's gospel later, I think, oh, that's what happened. I didn't realize Jesus did that. We don't know, but Jesus saves the day and he saves the embarrassment of this bridegroom and he brings the best out.
But it's not just about that. It's not just that Jesus is the life and soul of a party. He is, He saves the day. It's much more than that. Look at verse 11.
This the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Kaina in Galile. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith, their trust in him. This is the first, says John, of a series of miracle signs that John's going to show us as we go through. This is the first miraculous sign. It's a sign.
It's a sign post. It's a miraculous signpost, and signposts point away from themselves to something else, don't they? You're not meant to stop at a signpost and say I'm here. You're going down the you're going down the a 3, and there's there's a signpost saying Kingston, You don't stop at the signposts as how I've arrived at Kingston. The signpost is pointing away from itself.
Kingston is that way This is the first of the miraculous signs and it's pointing away from itself to something bigger and greater and grander and more beautiful. It's trying to make a sea, reality, something more real than it is. Something clearer in our minds. The miracle of water into wine at this wedding reveals something, and what does it reveal Well, we're told, it reveals the glory of Jesus so much so that the disciples who were there say, wow, I'm gonna trust him. This sign makes people trust in Jesus.
Now in John chapter 1, which we looked at, for some time. In verse 14, we're told this, John writes this. The word and we know that the word is the creator of the universe. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, the word became a man Listen, we have seen his glory, the glory of the 1 and only son who came from the father full of grace and truth. So the writer John said, we've seen the glory of this word of God and now we're seeing the glory.
This sign is pointing to the glory. Right at the end of chapter 1, where you have Jesus have all these followers of Jesus following Jesus. Jesus says this, verily, I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the son of man. He's saying that I am the 1 who opens there's a lot of stuff in that in in John nearly every sentence. Is full of old testament references, and that's an old testament reference to Jacob.
But don't worry. There's this ladder to heaven and and and the angels are descending and ascending. They're coming down and they're going up on the son of man. He's opened up the gateway to heaven, the stairway to heaven. Yeah?
And you're gonna see this. Well, this is what this wedding thing is. At the end of at the end of John, John 20, verse 13 31, John tells us why he wrote the book. He says Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name. Why did the word become flesh?
Why did God the life and life of the cosmos make his home amongst us. What is the business of the visible form of the invisible God? Coming to this earth, why that we may see his glory and believe like the disciples? That we may see the signs and believe and have life in his name. That's the point of this miracle.
Yeah? Now let's have a look at some of the the signs here. Now I have I'll tell you that we could spend a long, long time on this on on on this miracle, but I'm gonna try and whiz through the various things that go on without going too many references. You could you could fill this evening up with bible references that's going on here. But let's just have a look at this site.
First thing is this, you see here. Here's this signpost pointing to something is the third day. First first thing is the third day. Yeah? Look at verse 1.
On the third day, a wedding took place in Kaina in Galile. So this this wedding feast is going on on the third day. Now, when you read John, you'll know that he doesn't just throw in things. It's about night and day and times of years and times of the week and festivals, they're all there to show us the meaning of something. And third day is apt absolutely vital.
It's a big, big, big, big deal in the bible. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says that of first importance, 1 of the things of of first importance is that Jesus rose from the dead. He came alive again after being killed by professional executioners. He rose from the dead on the third day. And when you understand that, that's resurrection day.
Third day is life day, from death, life day. When you understand that, then you see that phrase third day, and you read through the bible, you'll see it all over the place, and it will click resurrection day, life day, life day. Genesis chapter 1, on the third day, what did God create? He created seed bearing fruit seed bearing, fruit trees, and things. Sead bearing.
Yeah? That means it's got life in it. A seed when planted turns into a tree turns into a life On the third day, there is this life bearing fruit, new life comes from the seed. Yeah? The story of Abraham and Isaac, if you know that story.
Isaac was going to be sacrificed. Aram comes in his way. And on the third day we're told, emphasized the third day It was like Isaac could risen again. Yeah? Exydus 19, where the cloud of God comes upon Moses, a thick dark cloud.
And on the third day, God speak from the cloud and makes himself known to Moses. And then you go through I mean, I have no time to take you through all of them. You get it in leviticus, you get it in Ozaea. This whole idea that the third day is the life day, is resurrection day. So that's something of the sign.
The second thing you see is this phrase my hour has not yet come back to that strange conversation. Between Mary and Jesus. Look at verse 3. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, they have no more wine. Then he says this woman, Why do you involve me?
Jesus replied, my hour has not yet come. It's a very funny way, you know, she requests something. Yeah. And instead of saying, look, look, yeah, I'll see to it. Don't worry.
I'll sort it. No problem. I'll beat Jack up for drinking that wine. I'll get it out of his belly, put it back in the bottle. He does he doesn't say anything like or he doesn't even say, look, It was not like I'm not in the catering business.
What are you talking about woman? He he he says this strange phrase, my time or my hour has not yet come. What's he talking about? Well, that's where you've gotta go through John's gospel again. Because you see this phrase my time or my hour has not yet come throughout John's gospel.
And what he's talking about is the time that he'd come for specifically, the hour that he'd come for specifically, which is to bring new life by his death. The hour is his death on the cross. So he says My hour, my death day, hasn't come. Just go to John chapter 12 a minute. It's a couple of references I want you to look up.
I'm deliberately not putting these on online on anymore because I wanna get people turning the bible again. Turning to the bible. So John chapter 12, and verse 23, and 24, and then verse 27. And here's the phrase again. Look, verse 23.
Jesus replied, it was in mid conversation, then he replied, the hour has come for the son of man to be glorified. So you'll understand why he came but the hour has come. He's talking about the hour of his death. Verily, I tell you unless sorry. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.
But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Talking about his death. And again, he's talking about the fact that a seed dies and then life comes from the seed. When you plant a seed, it doesn't grow into a great big seed. Does it?
You plant the little little seed, let's say an acorn. You plant an acorn. It doesn't grow, and there's a massive acorn The acorn dies splits open. It dies and turns into a tree. So he's talking about death here.
Look at verse 27. And he's showing you how how horrific this death is. Now my soul is troubled And what shall I say? Father saved me from this hour? No.
I'm not gonna say that. It was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name. In his death, there is new life, he's saying. As a seed dies, and turns into new life.
As a grape is crushed and turns into wine, it has to die and be crushed. It turns into new life. It turns into wine. So Jesus says to Mary, look, my hour when the lamb of God that he called himself, remembering chapter 1, that takes away the sin of the world, that hour has has not yet come yet When I take away the sin of the world and then there's new life for people that have had their sin cleanse, it's not for you woman to call that out. That's between me and my heavenly father.
Yeah? It's not for you. Just start saying my time has come. That's between me and my heavenly father. But to show you what I'm about, I will show you the sign of my death and what it will do.
It will bring new life, and so he does the miracle, which brings me on to the next point. They all bleed into each other. The next point is water into wine. If you go you don't have to turn to this, just listen carefully. In Matthew 26, Jesus says this just before he goes to the cross.
With his disciples. It says then he took the cup of wine gave thanks and offered it to them saying drink of it, all of you, this is and it's wine. This is my the blood of the covenant which is poured out for for the poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. So wine, he's saying, just before the hour of his death is a symbol of his blood, and his blood is the thing that's going to cleanse you from sin. In order to have new life, He has to die.
In order to bring new life of the seed, he has to die. The lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world is the sacrificial lamb that will die the wine is like my blood. So when Mary comes up and starts talking about wine, he's thinking about Yeah, that's right. My death, my blood, the wine of the new covenant. It's the thing that cleanses everyone from sin and then brings new life.
But it's not up for you, Mary, to start telling me when that happens. That's between me and the father. You see? Then he goes on in Matthew 26. I hope this isn't too complicated.
And he says, I tell you, I will not drink of the this fruit of the vine from now on until the day when I drink it are new with you in my father's kingdom. So the wine represents the blood of Christ that cleanses us from sins and brings new life, but there's now a party that he's looking forward to when he'll drink it in the father's presence This new wine which says, that's the future with the father, in the house of the father. And so Jesus turns water into wine to show you the future to come. The resurrection future, which leads me to my fourth point, the water jars. Do you see that?
Look at verses 6, nearby stood 6 stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding 20 to 30 gallons. Jesus said to the servants, fill the jars with water so they filled them to the brim. Now these aren't just any old jars. Remember, this is a sign. Well, we keep on reminding us that this is a sign in the third day, resurrection day.
The water into wine, we've seen. The hour of his death, all of this miracle is a sign of what he's come to do and to bring us into the new world. But this is a sign. These these aren't just any old water jobs. These are religious ceremonial washing water jars.
Yeah? They're they're back to the old testament book of leviticus and stuff like that. You need to wash yourself, ceremony because you're full of sin. You can't come before God, unwashed. You can't come back before God in your sin, and so this is a picture of washing.
So they would wash using the water from these jars to to as a picture that they're they're clean before God, but it was only ever a picture. Never really washed. You can go and have a shower, but your heart is filthy. You think of filthy thought doesn't go away when you rub yourself with a bar of soap, doesn't oh, no. Well, you don't use bar of soap.
You ought to. It's much better for the environment. But, you know, the squidgy stuff you use, shower gel. It doesn't wash away your heart, does it? Doesn't cleanse you on the inside.
That was ceremonial. That was just an outward washing which was a picture of what. Why Jesus doing this using these water jars. Is he saying he's going to wash everybody at the wedding. Yes.
With the wine, because his blood is the thing that washes you. The lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. That's how you're washed. Yeah? And so this is another part of the of the of of of the sign.
That he's the 1 that will wash us. There's new wine here. This isn't an old ceremony. This is a real washing by the blood of Christ that will bring new life, which leads me onto my fifth point. It's at a wedding.
It's at a wedding. Jesus is at a wedding. And the entire universe is heading towards a wedding, we're told in the bible, all God's people will be married. The universe is heading towards a wedding. He's starting his ministry with a wedding because the end is a wedding.
It's marvelous. In the bible, God wants a profound and intimate and loving relationship with us, and he images that relationship as a bride and a bridegroom. We're the bride. If we're brought by the blood of the hem, we're the bride if we're washed and we are moving towards a better thing. The wedding day.
Just just have a listen to this. This is this is this is revelation 19, right at the end of the bible. Right? Listen to this. Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, thousands of people.
Yeah? Like a roar of rushing water. And like loud peels of thunder, shouting. What is this noise? It's overwhelming.
Hallelujah. For the lord, our God, all mighty rains, let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory. Why? For the wedding of the lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready, fine linen, and bright, bright and clean, was given her to wear. Wedding of that's where the whole universe is going.
That's the future. Good news. Bought with a price cleansed, made the bride of God, the bride of Christ, which leads me on to my 6 point. The master of the banquet, just have a look at verse 8. Then Jesus told them, now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet, so they did.
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 and said, everybody 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. Now as I say whether the bridegroom knew what was going on. I don't know, but he's child master of the banquet, his job is to make the feast go well. But who's the master of the banquet here?
It's the word that became flesh It's the created God of the universe who creates water into wine. He's the master of the banquet. He's the 1 that sorts it all out. He's the 1. He's the bridegroom.
Who never fails. In the the book of Isaiah in the old testament, Isaiah 25 verse 6, listen to this. On this mountain, the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine the best of meats and the finest of wines. That's we're going to. That's the master of the banquet.
That's the bridegroom. That's what he's buying for us. But just look at verse 10 again. It is a remarkable verse. There is a fantastic sermon by spurgeon on this 1 verse.
Only spurgeon could do this. 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 best till last. And spurgeon says that is completely different to everything anyone else does. If if someone wants you to buy the car, they show you it nice and spanking new, don't they?
They spray stuff in it so smells really nice and if there's leather, they've polished it. Yeah? They talk about the color of the car, don't they? And it's it's you've never seen tires so shiny as when you buy a car, a second hand car or whatever. Yeah.
That's what they do. They show you that. And from then on, it gets worse, doesn't it? From that moment on comes the money. It hits the first MOD and there's everything That's how it works.
They tell you, the big beautiful, they show you the best, then they leave the worst, they lost. That's how it happens. Spurging books about life, you're young, you're virile, you've got life, energy, blood. Your legs are working properly, and then he takes you to Ecclesiastes where your legs are dragging in your old and dribbly and you've got no life. You start off you start off fresh.
You end up moldy. Yeah? That's what he said. That's what he does. And he's brilliant.
And that happens and then he goes and says, Satan particularly does this. Satan brings you into a banquet and says, taste this young people. Taste this temptation. It's good. It's beautiful.
It's tasty. And he gives you the best. And then in the end, he brings death. That's what he does. But not Jesus, it's a complete opposite He brings the best outlast.
You see, this is the difference between resurrection reality of in the bible than than any other world religion. You you read the masters that read will will tell you about resurrection. They never believed in resurrection. This was a new concept that came with Christ. Yeah.
It's an amazing thing. Everybody else says that the next world is like a ghostly world. You're like a ghost. You're less than you are here. Not with the Christianity, you're more than you are here.
The best is lost. The bridegroom, the master of the banquet, the lord of the universe, The word of God says the best is lost. There is more beauty and more grandeur and more to enjoy. After death. Not less.
You're not in a ghost world. You're not missing out in anything. All this world with all its dissatisfaction and its longings fulfilled there in Christ, wonderful thing. That leads me onto my seventh point. I haven't told you how many points I've got over you.
Have I? Which is back to verse 11. This, the first of his miraculous signs Jesus performed in Kaina in Galile, He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith, their trust in him. He's revealed his glory. He's revealed his true character.
You wanna know what Jesus is like, well, look at this sign. This is this is the beauty, this is the glory, this is the shining outward demonstration of the character of Jesus. What is he about? What is he about? He's about dying for you to bring you resurrection.
To bring you life. He's about cleansing you so that you can stand before God He's about dealing with your sin so that you are right with the living God He's about life, he's about wine, he's about vintage wine, he's about the best He's about the best for your life. The living God has come into the world. To bring the best. And when we're in it, we'll know it.
And we're glory in him, and like the disciples just glory. So what are you gonna do? You're walking in this life, a bit disappointed. Other people are getting stuff you don't get. Hey, listen.
The best is yet to come. Yeah. Who's that horrible American preacher that says the best is now or whatever it was? Big teethy bloke? What?
Joel, teethy ostrich, the thing. It's Austin or Austin. Yeah. Your best life now. Does he know anything?
Has he ever read the bible? I doubt it. It's extraordinary, isn't it? And thousands go to hear him and think he's good? It's poor, isn't it?
It's nonsense. But Jesus, he will bring the best. The best is yet to come, and this miracle points to that. So be encouraged, brothers and sisters. What an amazing savior we have.
And that's the first sign. We've got many signs to come. Of thought on that, perhaps thank the Lord for it and over to Ben. That's fantastic news, isn't it? What a gospel we have and totally freeze you from the rat race of this world, isn't it?
There's, you know, there's nothing this world can offer that will be as good as that or satisfying as that. And it's it's it's it's so helpful to remember that Satan's tactic is to try offer us this world. That's what he did with Christ, wasn't it? I'll give you the world. And yet, Jesus knew there's a greater thing coming Let's just pray.
Thank the Lord for his word to us tonight. Father, thank you for what we've heard. Thank you for this amazing pick Thank you. When we look at this story with gospel eyes with natural eyes. We can just see meaning, color it, and fill it with life.
Thank you that it was on the third day Thank you that it was a ceremonial washing jars that were filled with wine, that we might be cleansed from our sin by Jesus' blood. Thank you. That the bridegroom, Jesus is the 1 who provides fully and is the 1 who provides the best that this world can offer. Thank you, Lord, for just the the weight and depth of your of your word to us. And thank you for showing it to us tonight.
I pray that this would encourage us that we would be excited about the wedding banquet that we're heading towards, help us to share the invitation to others. Many people are invited to this. Who don't yet know who maybe haven't even received their invitation yet. Lord, give us a passion to take this out, to invite people in. Come in here about Jesus.
Come in here about the 1 who gives you the best things. Come in here about the 1 who's who's just willing to die to be that seed in the ground. To give up his life, that life might come to you through him. Lord, what an amazing gospel we have. Thank you so much for it.
Thank you for Jesus. Thank you that he knew the hour that he came for. Thank you that he said that this was not it, but that the cross was it father, thank you for the cross and for the foreshadow of it we see here in the story. Help us lord, not just to forget these things, Would you help us to consider them, meditate on them this week, enjoy them, and praise the Lord Jesus Christ because of them in his name, amen?