Sunday, October 15, 2023 - A Sign of a Better Time Coming - Pastor Paul Vallee

Sunday, October 15, 2023 - A Sign of a Better Time Coming - Pastor Paul Vallee
Living Stones Church, Red Deer, Alberta
Sunday, October 15, 2023 - A Sign of a Better Time Coming - Pastor Paul Vallee

Oct 16 2023 | 00:48:57

Episode 42 October 16, 2023 00:48:57

Show Notes

John 2:1-11

John is the only gospel writer who tells us about the wedding celebration at Cana. Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding where an amazing miracle took place. It is a significant story because it is the first miraculous sign that Jesus performed. This miracle came not just as a result of a great need but was the opportunity for Jesus to reveal a powerful truth and the nature of who He is to His disciples.

Jesus' miracles, as told in John's gospel, point to something significant about Jesus.

In John 2:1-11, we find the first miracle or sign of which there are seven found in the gospel of John. It is the miracle of turning water into wine.  While God used Moses to turn water into blood, Jesus is seen here performing a sign to bring joy into people's hearts, as wine symbolizes joy.

From this promise of seeing God work more extraordinary things, John begins this story about the wedding at Cana. It is a sign of a better time coming; though many rejected God's kingdom, others embraced it, and their lives were filled with joy. So, what are some things we can learn from Jesus performing signs, particularly this sign of turning the water into wine?

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] So let's just have a word of prayer right now as we open God's word. We're going to be in the Gospel of John. I'm going to continue this series. We're in chapter two, verse one. So, Father, what a powerful text of scripture. Actually, the Bible is exciting. Everywhere I turn, it just seems it's living, it's alive. You're communicating, you want to speak into our lives. And Father, give us a heart to hear Your voice. That's not my voice. Your voice. As we hear Your words, Lord, may you speak right into the very depths of our being. I believe today you want to do a powerful miracle in our midst, collectively and even as we're going to hear about a miracle that you did, Jesus. I pray that the symbolism of this miracle, the significance of this miracle, Lord, will become self. It will become evident to us and that we will experience this morning the purpose of this miracle. And we thank you for that. In Jesus name and God's, people said amen. Amen. John, chapter two and verse one. Ken Hughes is a pastor and he shares a story, basically an explanation of the Hebrew wedding celebration, probably the most important event in the life of the poor. He said the marriage ceremony took place late in the evening, followed by following a feast and the ceremony in which the bride and the groom were escorted to their home in a torchlight parade complete with a canopy over their heads. I think we still see that in Jewish celebrations they took the longest route home possible, or route so that everyone would have the opportunity to wish them well. And instead of a honeymoon, they held open house for an entire week. They were addressed as king and queen. They wore crowns and were dressed in their wedding garments for an entire week. These guys really celebrated. For people whose lives would contain much poverty and difficulty, this was the supreme occasion of their lives. Many would plod through life and never again have a celebration equal to their wedding. Is there any wonder that when Jesus uses the analogy of marriage, when he talks about us as his church, he says, one day we will be celebrating the marriage supper of the lamb. You see the beautiful picture he's painting? What is he saying? He says, you and I are going to have an experience unequal to anything we've ever known in our life. How many are looking forward to that? [00:02:32] There's something to look forward. It's a sign of a better time to know. John is the only Gospel writer who tells us about the wedding celebration in the little town of Cana of Galilee. It was actually Jesus'first miracle. Jesus and his disciples were invited to that wedding where an amazing miracle took place. And it's a significant story because it's the first miracle and first sign we're going to talk about that the miracle came not just as a result of his great need. There was a need, but was the opportunity for Jesus to reveal a powerful truth and also the nature of who he is among his disciples. I still believe Jesus wants to reveal who he is among his people. He still does. FF bruce points out an interesting element about John's gospel that makes it unique. [00:03:26] The first three gospels are called synoptic because they're very similar. But this gospel is different in so many ways. John never uses the word for power in speaking of the miracles that occur in this gospel. Rather, it's the idea of signs. Several words are used in the New Testament. Did you note Jesus'mighty works? The word which actually means mighty works, dunamaeus is not found in this gospel. In fact, the word dunamis, power, of which dunamaeus is the plural, is totally absent from it. The New Testament miracles are not all signs sorry, they are not merely miracles, but they are all signs of some underlying reality. So if you look at John's gospel, there's only seven miracles recorded. That's why he says at the end, I could tell you about many more miracles that Jesus did that are beyond the scope of what I'm writing about. There's only seven he chose, and afterwards he usually has a teaching connected to the sign. I want to look at that. That's a very significant thing. How many already can tell this is different. There's a reason for what he's doing here. These miracles are all pointing to something significant about Jesus in John chapter two, verses one through eleven. This first miracle first sign is the miracle of turning water into wine. That's interesting. Now, while Moses was used by God to turn water into blood, jesus is seen here as performing a sign to bring joy into the hearts of people, as wine was actually a symbol of joy. As a matter of fact, we read this in the Psalmist. The Psalmist describes it this way in Psalm 100 and 414 he makes grass grow for the cattle and plants for man to cultivate, bringing forth food from the earth, wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart. Now, so we see here it's described as bringing joy. So first of all, I could just say when Jesus comes, so comes joy. How many here could say, I really could use a little joy in my life? Anybody? Or are we allowing what's happening in our world to rob us of joy? Because I believe one of the things the enemy wants us to do is focus in on all the heartache and heartbreak and difficulty in our world and in our personal lives to rob us of joy. Because the joy of the Lord is our what? It's our strength according to Nehemiah, right? And so if you and know what happens is when there's a lot of problems, we start becoming faint hearted. We weaken. How many say that's true? We get discouraged, we start despairing. We start wondering, where is this all going to turn out? What's going to happen? I want to tell you that when Jesus comes, so comes joy. And I think we all need a good dose of joy today. How many here could say I could use a little more joy in my life? Anybody here say I could use a little more joy in my life? Well, that's good. We're going to find out a lot about that. [00:06:45] This concept is certainly reinforced when the prophet Isaiah is calling for the people to respond to God's gift of salvation. Notice how he describes it. This gift is likened to wine which enriches life. It's a call to come to God to be satisfied. Listen to Isaiah 55. One, come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters and you who have no money, come and buy and eat. Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Now it sounds like I'm promoting wine, but I want to make a little caveat here. [00:07:18] Before you run off to the liquor store and say, I'm going to get a little joy, let me point out something to you. [00:07:28] First of all, wine in the ancient world was highly diluted with water up to a third and sometimes a 10th of its strength. Okay? And as a matter of fact, undiluted wine in the Scriptures was viewed as a strong drink and earned a much more disappropriation that's simply strong disapproval on moral grounds. And how many know? A lot of people, I mean, you read Proverbs, people are abusing wine and it's to their detriment. Okay, so what is the scripture really saying here, Pastor, then? Well, it's basically telling us that there is a wine that God wants to give humanity and it's not just the fruit of the vine kind of wine. God wants to give us a new wine and it's the wine of the Spirit. [00:08:24] Isn't that beautiful? That's why Paul writes to the Ephesians. He says, do not get drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery, but rather be filled with the Spirit. And one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit is wine. He's the one that brings us real joy. So yeah, you can get maybe actually alcohol is a depressant. Most people don't realize that. A lot of people, when they're depressed, they start drinking. I go, my goodness, that's making it worse, right? But how about getting a little bit more of God's spirit? That'll lift your soul. That's the new wine that God wants us to experience in our life. But let me move on from that. I just want to clarify that now this miracle doesn't happen in a vacuum. In chapter one, we just read about Jesus calling certain disciples. And the last one he called was a man by the name of Nathaniel and he came from a little town called Cana. And this is where the miracle happened. So the whole story is in a context. It's related. Remember, the last words in chapter one is jesus said to Nathan, you believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You should going to see greater things than that. And then he added, I tell you the truth. You're going to see heaven open. The angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man. That's an allusion to the story of Jacob when he's fleeing from his brother's anger and he goes to sleep and he has a dream and he sees heaven open. And he names the place Bethel. This is found in Genesis. Now, from this promise of seeing greater things, john now tells us this story and it just happens to be in Nathan's hometown. So it's a sign of better time coming. Though many rejected God's kingdom, others embraced it even in the first century. And that's the way it's been through every century and their lives. As soon as you embrace Jesus, joy comes in your heart. That's one of the things that will happen immediately. All of a sudden, he's going to lift something inside of your soul. There's going to be a hope that comes within you that you have never had before. So let's take a look. [00:10:32] So what are some of the things that we can learn from Jesus? Performing signs and in particular, this particular sign of turning water into wine? Well, the first thing we can learn from the signs of Jesus is that signs authenticate who the messenger is so it's authenticating who Jesus is and his message, that's what we need to know. Watch what happens here jesus is coming. His first coming is that God's kingdom had come. Now how many know that when the king shows up, really the kingdom is represented just by the person of the king? So Jesus shows up on the scene and the kingdom of God has come. A lot of know they're in the first century, they got the Romans over top of of problems, right? Slavery is a problem. They are oppressed by the Romans. There's greed, graft. [00:11:34] Some of these guys are upset. The Zealots are killing Roman soldiers. There's revolt. They feel they're patriots and all the rest of it. We still have all this stuff going on in our world today. People deem themselves as freedom fighters and they're murdering people. And everyone thinks that that's how you do it. And I'm going to argue today that there's another kingdom with a whole new set of values. There's another whole approach to the situation. Jesus comes on the scene, he goes, the kingdom of God has come. And they're looking at Jesus. One person going, really? [00:12:08] But let's find out who this person is because when he comes everything changes that's what we need to understand so some of the people when they started watching what Jesus was doing started buying in and saying, god's kingdom has just come to earth because now we're seeing things happen, miracles started happening and here's the first one. But we're going to see even more than these. In the three and a half years that Jesus was doing his public ministry, there were people that were deaf and they could hear. People that couldn't see, could see. People couldn't walk and walk. People who had died came back to life. How many know God's kingdom had invaded the planet? And Jesus said, listen, my kingdom has come, is coming and will come again. And sometimes we get so locked into the fact that 2000 years have gone by and we see the kingdom seems to be growing. And I'm telling you, it is growing all over the world. God's kingdom is growing and the battle seems to be intensifying. Everybody notices that it's a spiritual battle. We keep thinking it's physical, but forget that it's a spiritual battle and Jesus is going to come back again. And boy, will things really change then, because now he's going to invade the planet and stay on the planet with us. [00:13:23] Yeah, we're going to have a new heaven and a new Earth. Read Revelation, it'll tell you that. So the kingdom of God has not come in its totality. So why does God choose to confirm pronouncements with signs? Well, one reason is that there are false messages and false messengers. True prophets, according to the Old Testament, had to validate their message by either performing a sign to show that they had divine approval so that their message was from God. And Moses actually had warned about people even being able to perform signs, but then their messaging was still wrong. Notice what he says in Deuteronomy. He said, if a prophet or one who foretells by dreams appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place and he says, let us follow other gods, gods you have not known, and let us worship them. [00:14:20] Okay, what is he saying? Well, there's still people that can still perform signs, but their messaging is wrong. It's leading you away from God. He says this, you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord. Your God is what? [00:14:34] What is he doing? He's testing. [00:14:38] So we're going to be tested. We need to understand that. And then he says to find out whether you will love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. So it's more than just the signs. The messaging has to be accurate. So it's signs and message everybody see that? [00:14:55] It's interesting. John the Baptist didn't really perform a sign, but certainly his message was dead on and he pointed people to Jesus and as soon as they connected with Jesus, then they saw these signs. Okay, now it's interesting. [00:15:10] Let me go back to I'm going to just skip over this because I think we all know about this sign of the virgin being with child and give birth to a son. They'll call him Emmanuel. Actually that first time was actually in Isaiah's day and it didn't even speak about the Messiah Jesus. There was a first fulfillment but then later on Matthew takes that and applies it to Jesus. I'm not going to go into all those details because I got more to say today. [00:15:39] Okay. Of all the signs, this particular sign of turning water into wine showed that this new thing that God was doing was superior to what was in the past. That's the main point of this sign. I want you to see this. This is dynamic. This is so powerful. I don't think we fully grasp it. Okay, let's take a look at it. He's basically saying that what he is going to do is going to speak of something very symbolic and that's what I want to focus in on. Let's pick up the story. On the third day a wedding took place at Canaan Galilee. Jesus'mother was there and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. And while the wine was when the wine was gone, jesus'mother said to him they have no more wine. This is now a crisis in the wedding party know they had been preparing for a long time but to run out of one of the main featured items on the menu was not a good thing in a wedding party. [00:16:39] Some people have suggested that Mary must have had a role in the wedding because she knew there was a problem. Most people, the guests probably didn't even know what was going on so she was probably maybe connected somehow. [00:16:49] She knew how embarrassing that situation would be. And it has even been suggested by some writers that Jesus and his disciples may have been late additions to the guest list. [00:17:01] Maybe that's one of the reasons why the wine had run out. I don't know about that. [00:17:07] It's really fun reading commentators because they have all kinds of interesting ideas but I thought I'd throw that one in. [00:17:14] The reality was the wine had been consumed, the party wasn't over and Jesus'mother said we've got a problem. And Jesus'response is extremely interesting. He says, dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet. [00:17:31] You know, it's interesting he didn't call her mom, he didn't call her Mary. This reference to woman he only uses one other time. It's at the cross and it almost seems like there's a distancing but the title seems rather impersonal and cold to us. But the term was used with utmost respect towards his mother Mary. What Jesus was saying that he would not respond to her request based on family obligations. In other words, I'm not doing this because I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it in the Father in Heaven's time. I don't really have options here. See, we have this idea that if we bug Jesus, he's going to do everything we want. No, he's got to operate like we do under the Father's will. As a matter of fact, we'll read that in a moment. FF. Bruce says if she sought his help now, she must not seek it on the basis of a mother and son relationship. [00:18:23] So Jesus'response is alluding to the fact that he was working on the Father in Heaven's schedule and timetable. The glory which Jesus speaks of here is ultimately going to be expressed in his death, resurrection, and exaltation with the Father. [00:18:39] And another occasion, Jesus gives the explanation for his action this way. Jesus gave Him this answer I tell you the truth. The son can do nothing by himself. [00:18:49] He can do only what he sees His Father doing, because whatever His Father does, the Son also does. In other words, Jesus says, I'm not acting independently of my Father. I'm not speaking independently of Him. I'm totally fulfilling the purpose and the will of the Father. Isn't that amazing? Absolute obedience. So, you know, she came to Him, and Jesus goes, in other words, I can't just do this because you want me to. That's what he's telling us here. He's got to check in. He's got to figure out, is this what the Father wants Him to do? Now? D. A. Carson says by now that he had entered into the purposes of his coming. Everything, even family ties, had to be subordinate to his divine mission. [00:19:34] I would even argue that's true for all of us. [00:19:38] That's shocking for me to say that, but a lot of us, we think the highest priority I have is my family. And I'm going, no, that's your second highest priority. Your highest priority is God's will. [00:19:51] And here's what I'm going to say to you. If you love God wholeheartedly, you'll love your spouse better. If you love God with everything in your being, you'll love your family far better than you're currently doing now. Because when we put anything above God, it diminishes what we're actually doing in life. It's not a healthy thing. We can make our family an idol. Yeah. We can make ministry an idol. We can make all kinds of things an idol. It's the relationship with the Father that has to be preeminent in all of our lives. [00:20:21] Let me just mention this. [00:20:24] Mary's response seems to be she's not even deterred by Jesus's response. We see from her text she knows who he is. How many know that Mary knew that Jesus was not normal, and I mean in a good way. [00:20:39] Come on, let's face it. [00:20:41] How many people have angels appear to you and say, you're going to have a child, but no human being is going to touch you? What's being deposited in you is from the Heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit's doing this, and you have this birth. How many? Go, that's pretty impressive. She already knew this was not an ordinary kid. And how about raising Jesus? [00:21:01] Perfect kid, never sins. [00:21:05] Though he did give her a little fright when he was twelve years old and didn't show up with his folks and he was busy doing his father's business at the temple. A little foreshadowing of what Jesus was all about, right. [00:21:16] So she says to the attendants, she says, whatever he tells you to do, just go do know. I love what d a carson. I actually like d a carson. He says this. He suggests that Mary was likely at this point a widow. And Jesus, being the eldest, was the one whom she had relied upon for his resourcefulness. She probably just leaned heavily on Jesus. By the way, that's probably a good person to lean on. How many think that's good? If you're going to lean on anybody, let's lean on Jesus. So Mary just said whatever he tells you to do, just go ahead and do know he'll handle the situation. I'm out of here, I'm checking out. I can't handle this. Too much pressure for poor Mary. Let Jesus handle know some of us. We need to learn that too in our know. Sometimes when the pressure gets too much for you, just say, hey, I'm checking out right now. Jesus, you're taking over. I don't know how you're going to deal with it, but I'm letting you handle it. She says to him, do whatever he tells you. One thing we can learn from Mary is that obedience brings blessing. If we do what God says, we can expect God to respond. So let me close with Carson's response here. In the first point he says this. [00:22:19] Jesus'mother shakes off the gentle rebuke and exemplifies the best kind of persevering faith. So Mary is rebuked for presuming on the family tie, yet displays faith that is perfectly content to leave the matter in Jesus'hands. Isn't that great? Faith. I'm just going to trust Jesus with know some of you right now. You've got things in your life and here's what God's saying to you. Would you please trust me with that? I can handle it. You're stressing, you're worried, you're frustrated, you're uptight about it. Why don't you just turn it over to me? I've got it. [00:22:56] Some of you did you just hear that? God's telling you right now he's got it. Just leave it with Him, okay? Hopefully you'll get that. In short, Mary approaches Jesus as his mother in two three and his reproach. But in two five she responds as a believer and her faith is honored. God always honors genuine faith. Let me move on to the second thing we can learn from the sign is that they are an announcement that the kingdom of God has come. So first of all, he's authenticating Himself. This is who I am. The Father wants you to know that my message is authentic. It's real. It's from God. Now kingdom of God has come. This is so beautiful. I love this part. [00:23:43] So what's going on here? Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonially washing, each holding 20 to 30 gallons. There's a lot of water contained in this thing. Jesus says to the servants, hey, now, it's interesting what he says. Go fill the jars with water. What does that tell you? They had all used the water for purification. How many? That's the logical conclusion. Anybody follow that conclusion with me? So they're empty. Go get some water. Put them in. So they filled the ceremonial purifying jars with water right to the brim. [00:24:23] Then he told them, now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. And they did. [00:24:30] Now, the very means of performing the miracle, I think, is filled with significant the requirements for purification were very detailed in the Old Testament. [00:24:41] I don't think we understand a lot of things because we don't see the story in the New Testament from a Jewish lens. We're looking at it from a 21st century Western lens. But I'm going to take you back in that how many are going to jump in the time capsule. We're going to go back to the first century. We're going to start looking at how the Jews thought about purification. Okay? How many are joining me right now? You're going to jump in? Okay, let's go back there. Over time, you see, the Jews became extremely scrupulous about purity, observances. They were just really into it. As a matter of fact, they were bickering amongst themselves is that strange. Whole bunch of Jewish people. They get together, they're all bickering. They all have different viewpoints. Sounds like a bunch of Christians getting together, and they're all bickering, and they have different viewpoints about all kinds of stuff. [00:25:31] Oh, did I make that application out loud? [00:25:36] I'm sorry. I did it on purpose, because I think it's true. [00:25:40] We do that. Come on, let's be realistic. You had the essenes. You had the pharisees. You had the sadducees. You see? Who are the Essenes? Well, they were actually Sadducees that said that the other Sadducees were a bunch of nincompoops. They were terrible. They were defiled. They were ripping people off at the temple. So they marched down to the Dead Sea and created their own little community called Qumran. And they did all these purity things, and they felt like the rest of the guys know they were out to lunch. [00:26:12] Jesus kind of agreed with the Essenes at times. He kind of rebuked these guys. And the Pharisees, they just went over the know. They were so concerned about getting every detail right that they were caught up in the outward actions. And in their minds, it became more important in the attitude of their hearts. [00:26:30] Sometimes we can do that. We get caught up with the outward things, and we forget that what's really important is on the inside we'll get back to that. Many of the divisions between these sects were over what was considered pure and impure. And I mean, some of it's really minutiae. I can tell you that. It's unbelievable. I've read all this stuff. I shake my head. Jesus now abrades and corrects them regarding this kind of overscrupulous behavior because what they were doing was they were neglecting what was the real issue. [00:27:05] You know, sometimes as Christians, we get so locked in on a peripheral thing that we miss out on what's the real thing. It's a temptation. The enemy, he doesn't have to get. You turn your back on God. He just pushes you on the track a little bit. Pretty soon you're going off on a tangent and it's leading you away from God and you don't even know it. How's that? The Pharisees. It says, and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, and they saw some of his disciples eating with foods that were unclean. Were hands that were unclean. That is, they were unwashed. They didn't do the ceremonial washing, okay? [00:27:42] The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing whole to the traditions of the elders. These guys were so concerned about the tradition of the elders and doing everything properly and in its order. Then Jesus says this to them when they come from the marketplace. They do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles. I mean, they were scrupulous. [00:28:08] So the Pharisees and teachers of the Law asked Jesus, why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with unclean hands? [00:28:17] And he said to them, you have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your traditions. In other words, you guys are so caught up with what's really not important, you're missing what God says is important. Here's what Jesus goes on to say. He called to the crowd and he said, listen to me, everyone. Understand this. Nothing outside a man or a woman can make him or her unclean by going into them. Rather, it's what comes out of a man or a woman that makes them unclean. Wow, what's coming out of us? [00:28:48] After that, the crowd left. After he left the crowd, he entered the house. His disciples asked him about the parable. He said, Listen, are you guys so dull? This is Jesus talking to his disciples. [00:29:03] I read this, I go, Am I so dull? Am I getting what Jesus is laying down here? Am I picking it up? Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean? For it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach and then out of his body. In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean. So already he's. Dealing with purity and impurity, what's clean and what's unclean. This is a big deal, guys. You don't realize that. But that's what all of this bickering is about. In the first century, he went on, what comes out of a man or woman is what makes them unclean for within, out of their hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. [00:29:50] All of these evils come from inside and make a person unclean. So Jesus is now telling us, okay, everybody are following what's going on. Does everybody catch what Jesus is doing? He's moving them from this ceremonial cleansing, purity stuff to saying what needs to be clean is inside of us. There's where the real cleaning needs to happen. This stuff doesn't change you. [00:30:19] Oh, now we're getting closer to the meaning of this miracle. That's what I like. This is powerful stuff. [00:30:27] Really? Yeah. Hang you with me. [00:30:31] What Jesus is pointing out to the Jewish people was that the ceremonial does not transform a person's life. [00:30:40] How many said, It's true doesn't change you. It takes a spiritual power greater than that to change us. We tend to focus on externals. God sees what's transpiring within us, the human heart. What needs to change is inside of us, not what's outside. We get so worked up about what's happening around us externally. We're all fired and upset and fired up. And Jesus is looking down. He's going, there's the problem. [00:31:11] That's the fruit result. And symptom. Here's the root. If you want to change this, you got to change this. What's on the inside? That's why John came along and said you got to cut the tree at its root. You got to deal the problems at the root issues, because if you don't, you're never going to deal with the problem. [00:31:35] Many, many problems in our world today are never going to change because people are all dealing with it superficially. [00:31:41] If you want to see change, it's got to be from deep within the human heart. [00:31:46] True change comes from within. It takes Christ coming into our lives to change the essence of who we are. And Jesus is going to change our very nature. [00:31:59] You see, Jeremiah said the heart is deceitfully, wicked. [00:32:06] We're deceived as human beings. Oh. All of us think we're okay. [00:32:12] Really? [00:32:14] That's a deception. [00:32:16] Do you know Isaiah was standing in the temple of God? He's a prophet of God. It says, in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up. [00:32:29] What was the first thing out of his mouth? [00:32:32] Woe is me. [00:32:36] What's wrong with you, Isaiah? I'm a man of unclean. [00:32:42] Oh. [00:32:44] Let me ask you a question. [00:32:48] Where does the problem originate? The unclean lips? [00:32:51] The heart. [00:32:53] The heart. [00:32:55] I live among a people of unclean lips. And what does God do in the picture? It's very symbolic. He takes from the altar coal and he puts it and he places it on his lips and he cleanses. Isaiah beautiful. [00:33:09] Who cleanses him? [00:33:11] God. [00:33:13] You and I can't cleanse ourselves. [00:33:15] Doesn't work that way. [00:33:18] God has to change us. God creates the change. Matter of fact, in Corinthians it says, therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he's a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. [00:33:29] Something's happened. It's powerful. Peter explains that when we give our lives to Jesus, we participate in the very nature of Christ. I love it. He says he's writing to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, have received a faith as precious as ours. Grace and peace be to yours and abundance. Through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, his divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness. Through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness. [00:34:03] Through these, he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate. In the what? [00:34:12] In the divine nature. Okay, I want to stop here for a minute. We have a sin nature, and when we come to Christ, we get a divine nature. And now we get to participate with the divine nature. Now we have an opportunity to do the right thing. Prior to that, we couldn't do a thing. We were dead in trespasses and sins. We only had a sin nature. You know, why do we get so frustrated with people who are doing the wrong thing when they're not believers, they're dead. [00:34:42] They're dead. [00:34:44] That's the wrong people to be after Jesus. I didn't come in the world to condemn it. I came into the world to save it. [00:34:52] People need to know there's hope. God wants to change people from the inside out. God wants us to have his nature inside of us so we can participate with it and escape the corruption in the world caused by what? [00:35:07] Evil desires. Evil desires. That's what's creating the problem. Okay? Now when Jesus turned the water into wine, what he was saying was that he was bringing what was greater than what they had ever seen before. [00:35:23] Jesus was basically saying, I'm able to change the very elements of this world for your benefit. [00:35:30] I'm able to supernaturally change water into wine. Isn't that beautiful? I can change this. And it becomes this. I can change how you think you're going to get cleansed through ceremony. I'm going to bring about a transformation that will bring change, real, lasting change into your life. [00:35:52] He's basically saying the old what you guys have been living under never will never be able to change you. [00:36:02] But I can change you. [00:36:04] Jesus can change us. This is beautiful. I love know ken Hughes goes on to say they have no wine. Goes beyond the lack of refreshment at the Cana wedding. It defines the human experience. Without Christ. Life without Christ is life without wine. In scripture. It's a symbol of joy. [00:36:26] Wow. [00:36:30] As we're going to see, this new wine is better than the old. It's a picture of the supremacy and the superiority of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant over the old covenant. I don't for the life of me understand why people would even want to go back when it doesn't do anything. But you go through outward motions. It's beautiful symbolic pictures, but it's all pointing to Jesus. [00:36:53] Now look what happens, Master. The banquet tastes the water that had been turned into wine and he didn't realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. And then he called the bridegroom aside. He said, everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink. But you've saved the best till now. [00:37:16] Wow. Isn't that interesting? [00:37:18] We've already given that verse there in Ephesians 518. So what happens when we drink of the old wine? Or we even drink of the fruit of the vine? [00:37:35] It leads to what? [00:37:38] Debauchery. [00:37:40] See, if he says don't get drunk leads to debauchery. [00:37:44] Interesting, isn't it? [00:37:47] Now, what is debauchery? It means to be seduced and led astray from moral virtue and duty. [00:37:55] Sometimes we think of just people that are inebriated or being led astray. But I think we can be led astray from moral virtue and duty. When we go back to the old wine, we're missing the point. [00:38:06] How many know that alcohol lowers people's inhibitions? We're commanded not to be under the influence of the old. We're to be commanded to be under the influence of the new. [00:38:17] What's the new? The Spirit. Be filled with the spirit. Instead, be filled. In the Greek tense, it means continuously being filled with the Spirit. [00:38:28] What's the result of the Spirit? It's love. [00:38:32] You know, when people behave in a certain way, I can tell what spirit they're operating from. [00:38:37] Are we loving? Are we joyful? Are we filled with peace? Are we patient? Are we kind? Do we have goodness? Are we faithful? Are we gentle? Do we have self control? See, that's the work of the Spirit. When you see that characteristic manifesting that's when you know the Spirit of God is at work, it's powerful. [00:38:57] Okay? It's very opposite. Let me go to the last point. [00:39:02] It reveals God's glory and stimulates our faith. It reveals his nature. This is the first of his miraculous signs. Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory and his disciples put their faith in Him. You know, John had earlier recorded that they had the privilege of witnessing God's glory. In chapter one, he said it this way in the beginning was the Word. The word was with God. The word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. And we've seen his glory, the glory of the One and only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Now they're about to see so many expressions of God's glory. Know. Can you imagine seeing Jesus walk on water? [00:39:46] How many know? Do you know? [00:39:48] I've preached on this text before and I said, that miracle reflects back to a psalm where it says, God treads the waves. When Jesus was walking on water, he was basically saying, I'm God, I'm walking on water. Nobody else can pull that off. And I'm not talking about wintertime, guys. I'm talking in the summertime. [00:40:11] When we see his authoritative word, he's just calming the storm. He tells the wind and the wave to stop weather change. [00:40:21] I mean, he's telling the demoniacs to leave. He's healing the sick. He's raising people from the dead. [00:40:30] John saw Jesus transfigured on the Mount of transfiguration. He saw the glory of Jesus. [00:40:38] But here, for the very first time, they witnessed in this transformation of water into wine the first expression of his glory. And as a result of this confirmational sign, they put their faith in Jesus. [00:40:51] But Carson points out the glory was not visible to all who had seen the miracle. The glory cannot be identified with the miraculous display. The servants saw the sign, but they didn't see the glory. The disciples, by faith, perceived Jesus'glory behind the sign and they put their faith in. [00:41:11] You know, I was thinking about this. How often do we let the wines of this world to try and deaden the pain of our know? I remember going to a seminar on alcoholism, and this is what I got out of it. [00:41:27] When people start drinking, they drink to live, but end up drinking to die. And that's so true. It's so tragic. [00:41:36] I believe that there is an ache in all of our lives. Jesus said this let anyone who thirsty come to me and drink whoever believes in me. As the scripture said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit whom those who believe in him were to later to receive. Up until that time, the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not been glorified. [00:42:02] I think there is a thirst in all of our souls that can only be quenched by experiencing the joy of knowing Jesus. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we'll now experience a sign of a better time coming. And I know ultimately it's going to happen when he returns to our world and he's going to right all that has been wrong. But, you know, as I was sharing with the guys when we were praying this, I'm going to have a stand right now. As I was sharing with them, I had this sense in my spirit. [00:42:31] I said, so what difference does this sermon make? Well, first of all, if you don't know Jesus, you need to, because if you want to see change in your life, it's very frustrating. [00:42:45] It's difficult to change apart from Him. The moment you surrender your life to Christ. His nature comes inside of you, and he gives you the power to overcome how many go? That's important. [00:42:57] But here's also what I'm going to say to us as Christians. [00:43:01] You know, it's interesting in the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet. Remember that story? [00:43:06] Jesus said, all of your feet are dirty. God Danny starts, wash me. Jesus go, no, Peter, I don't need to wash all of you. You're already clean. I just need to wash your feet. [00:43:20] Here's the problem in the Christian life. If we're following Jesus, he's purifying us. I don't know if you know that that's what he's doing. Here's a verse of scripture we quote when we sin, if we confess our sins, he's what? Faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But you know, that word cleanse in some translations is purify. I don't know if you know that. You can read it. It says, purify us from all uncleanliness. God is in the purification business and in our lives. What happens is we believe in Jesus, we've given our life to Jesus, but then things creep in. [00:44:06] We have dirty know. Or in Isaiah's case, he realized he had unclean lips. How many here probably say to yourself, you know, this past week I probably said some things out of a wrong attitude and a wrong heart, and it's defiling, it defiles me and it defiles other people. Anybody relate to that? Are we catching on? Is that possible? [00:44:32] Here's what I'm going to say to us. I know for a fact that there are Christians walking around with unforgiveness in their heart. [00:44:41] Let me ask you a question. [00:44:43] When you have that kind of an issue in your soul, what's going to come out of your mouth? [00:44:49] What's going to come out of your mouth? [00:44:52] You're going to defile people with your mouth. [00:44:55] You see, if our hearts are not pure, what's going to come out of us is going to defile not only us, but others. [00:45:03] You know that I believe that's true in all of our lives. [00:45:08] And I'm just using that as one example. Whatever it is in our lives that's wrong, it's going to come out of our mouth eventually. We're going to say things, we're going to do things, and we need to be purified. [00:45:23] So, you know, this morning here was my prayer this morning. I just said, Lord, we need an Isaiah experience. I believe if we were to stand right now before Almighty God, the first thing we would see is our true condition. And it probably would unhinge us a little bit. We'd probably come know, Isaiah came unglued immediately. I'm a man of unclean lips. I live among a people of unclean lips. What did God do? He cleansed him. He purified him. We need to be purified. [00:45:55] And I'm telling you, Jesus is the great purifier. That's what I'm trying to get across this morning. That whole miracle is about telling you that the past, the way the Jews went about trying to be clean didn't work. They weren't cleansed. But Jesus comes along and he goes, I have the ability. I can give you a brand new nature. I can give you a heart after my heart. God says why? He puts himself in us, and now we have to participate with that divine nature. And sometimes we don't always do that. Isn't that true? [00:46:24] So every head bowed right now, this morning. [00:46:27] Why don't you pray this little prayer, Lord, as the psalmist did? Search me, O Lord, and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me to the path of everlasting. It's a path of cleansing. [00:46:46] I believe that Jesus, this morning, in one sense, a figurative sense, wants to wash people's feet today. Some of you say, you know, I think my feet are a bit dirty. Pastor, I think I've said a few things this week that weren't right. I think there's some things in my heart that are wrong. I think I have some attitudes that are out to lunch that need to be taken away. I need God to cleanse me. I need God to purify me. I need God to purify my life. [00:47:12] And with every head bowed, is that you this morning, God? Speak in the hearts right now. I believe that. Just raise your hand. I'm going to pray right now. God speaking to people right now. Just raise your hand. That's you. God wants to cleanse. He wants to purify. So beautiful. So beautiful. [00:47:27] Lord, we just open our hearts to you this morning. [00:47:30] We invite you, Holy Spirit, to invade our lives. We want to experience this purifying work of grace in our soul, Lord. If there's unforgiveness in our heart, I pray that you would just reveal that and eradicate it. Give us a forgiving heart. Give us a loving heart. Give us a caring heart, Father. Give us a pure heart. Create in me, O God, a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Would you do that, Lord? I believe you can. [00:48:03] Lord. I just pray today for a beautiful work of Your spirit. I sense, Lord, that you are preparing a bride to be pure. This is what it means to be pure. Our hearts are pure. That you want to do this cleansing work in our life. I just thank you for that. We've all in this room at some point in our lives. We've been wounded, hurt, we've been misunderstood. [00:48:26] We can take offense, we can just carry on, but it really messes with us. I pray, Lord, that you would give us a forgiving spirit, a loving heart, a caring heart. And that where we are wrong, Father. You will identify it and show it to us and cleanse us so that we will not be tainted and we will not taint the lives of others. And we thank you for that. In Jesus name, amen. God bless you. As you leave this morning.

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