Have you ever run out of gas? Food at a party? Money on a trip? Share about your experience.
Read John 2:1-12. As you read, keep your eye out for things in the story that may appear different than many common understandings of Jesus.
As we look back at the scene in John chapter 2, Jesus is where?
The first thing that may be unexpected - Jesus is at a party.
How does it feel to think of Jesus at a party? What do you think he was like at a party? Was he holding the wall up, or starting the Conga Line?
· Jesus wasn’t the Swedish guy with long brown hair, chiseled facial features, and eyes so blue that they turn you into ice (the kind of guy we see in the cheesy Christian movies). Jesus wasn’t even the distinguished guest at this party.
· Jesus also wasn’t this social outcast; a misfit, with an untamed beard, torn clothes, and a crazy eye as he talked to you.
· Jesus was, for all intensive purposes, a normal guy, that enjoyed being around people—he was a part of people’s lives, enjoying moments with them.
But, Jesus didn’t just blend in, he brought light. He elevated the room. What do you think that looked like? What could that look like for us today in social settings?
The second thing that may be unexpected - Jesus turns water into wine as his first miracle.
What would you have expected the God of the universe to do first for the world? What miracle would you have done first?
There is a practical side to this story that we can easily miss. Jesus stepped into a wedding of good friends and fixed a simple problem. They were out of wine and the crisis could prove socially tragic unless a remedy was found.
It is easy for us to think that Jesus is only in the business of the “big stuff.” But is he really interested in the commonplace events of my life? Is he really interested in the simple problems of everyday living? This encounter says “yes.” We can invite Jesus into dilemmas that seem embarrassingly inconsequential—dilemmas that seem ridiculously practical—and ask him to help.
The third thing that may be unexpected - Jesus made an absurd amount of wine for a party that was coming to a close.
Look back at the story…how many stone jars were used? Ceremonial jars in that day were used for washing, being ceremonially clean before God. About how much could they hold? (could’ve been up to 180 gallons of water, now turned into wine. To put it into perspective, the equivalent of 11 kegs. Aka, a rager)
What does the amount of wine that Jesus made tell us about who he is? Do the ceremonial jars say anything about how Jesus will forgive and cleanse us of our sin? And, why this absurd amount at the end of a party?
If this story shows us one thing it’s that God is unexpectedly generous.
Beyond this party, Jesus is symbolically showing that he would save the world when his time came. He would pour out an overabundance of his blood to forgive any and every sin. His grace is more than enough, and it will always be more than enough. He isn’t stingy with his love, he’s lavish, he’s impractical, he gives way more than we deserve!
The fourth thing that may be unexpected – The wine is way better than anything that had been served previous.
‘A host always serves the best wine first. Then when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” (John 2:10)
What might Jesus be showing us about himself by giving the party not only much more wine than what was needed, but most importantly, the best wine (way better than anything served previous)?
Have you experienced this in your life? Ever settle for the cheap stuff, had your fill, ran out, the party was dying? But now, with Jesus, you’re experiencing the good stuff? If you feel comfortable, please share…
Jesus brought life to a dying party to show us that he IS the party. You’ll only find your greatest fulfillment, enjoyment, pleasure, fun, when you follow Jesus.
The fifth thing that may be unexpected – Without the faith of the servants, the miracle wouldn’t have happened.
Jesus performed the miracle, but the servants carried the water. If they had chosen not to, the miracle wouldn’t have happened. They risked their jobs and reputations on Jesus’ word. If the water hadn’t turned into wine, the servants may have been beaten or fired. But, because of their faith, the servants got a front row seat to Jesus’ first miracle.
Jesus will call us into some unexpected territory and ask us to have faith in him. And, it’s not just an invitation into the unexpected. It’s an invitation to see him at work in the world in ways we never thought possible.
Bold servants are needed.
The lives of many people around us are falling apart; they’ve run out of wine in some area in their life, they’re on empty.
- Family member recently passed
- Relationship has blown up
- Stuck in addiction
- Sickness or injury has left them debilitated
- Feel stuck in a pit of depression
God’s plan has always been to use people to bring his love to others. We get to be the servants that walk the “good stuff” (the Good News) to others.
Living it out this week: Make space in a day this week for a conversation with someone that needs to know how Jesus came to bring the best life imaginable. Maybe even talk about what you learned from John chapter 2 with them.
**For further discussion on the relationship between Christians and alcohol, study Romans chapter 14, and ask Jesus to help you understand the rule of love.