- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 16, 2005

The following are excerpts from a sermon preached recently at Grace Community Church by Pastor John Slye.

Today’s message is titled “Drinking with Jesus” and is based on John 2:1-12. In John 2, Jesus performs His first miracle and turns the water into wine.

What we’re really focusing on here is what Jesus said about Himself. Who did he say he was? He called himself a ladder. Jesus is the ladder to God.

Today’s message is titled “Drinking with Jesus.” We are going to figure out what it means to drink with Jesus.

Is the point of this passage that Jesus drank? That’s not the point. Is the point that Jesus changed the water into wine or into Welch’s grape juice? That’s not the point either.

The Bible is very clear when we talk about drinking alcohol as in drinking alcohol to get drunk. The Bible says very clearly that we are not supposed to get drunk (Ephesians 5:18).

But that’s not the point of the passage either. The point is not about whether Jesus liked to party. The scripture is very clear about that. Jesus was in the middle of these social, festive occasions, and the Bible isn’t saying that he was down in the middle of the party dancing. But what is very clear is that Jesus liked to party.

This is a powerful passage. John loves symbolism of words and objects. But in this passage the symbolism is clear and simple.

What is the symbolism we find here? It is right in the beginning:

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding.”

John the writer points this out very clearly that this happened on the third day. But what is the symbolism of the third day?

In Genesis Chapter 1, on the third day God creates the land and calls it good, but the second day wasn’t good — its blessing was carried to the third day, and it receives a double blessing. What day did Jesus rise from the dead? On the third day. What day did he perform his first miracle? On the third day. It is a day that really does receive a double blessing and the Jews knew that.

I’m praying that today is your third day, your double-blessing day.

How about wine? Wine is very symbolic in the Bible. It is symbolic of joy, new life and of grace. God gives us the wine that makes us happy; it brings us joy. It also brings us grace and new life.

In John 2, John is talking about the new wine — Jesus is the new wine. He brings us life and grace.

Then there is the symbolism of weddings. What is the big deal about weddings? In Jesus’ day, there was not a lot to be happy about. Weddings were that little brief moment in time between the suffering and the time. It was the time to party and, man, they went for it big time. The bride and the groom were treated as kings and queens.

What does wine have to do with the wedding? It was a must in the midst of the wedding. If the wine ran out in your wedding, you were disgraced for the rest of your life. You were ashamed.

So what happens in this passage? The wine runs out. Because of this, Jesus’ mother spoke to Him about the problem and told Him the wine ran out.

So what do you do when the wine runs out of your life? When it runs out of your spirit and out of your hope? Look at what Mary did when the wine ran out. This is what you do: You trust Jesus with your problems.

You also must trust Jesus with your obedience. Mary told the servants at the wedding to do what Jesus told them to do even though she felt indifferent. You have to trust even if it doesn’t make sense.

You must trust Jesus with your life. When you do that, you’ll find that with Jesus there is always enough. Just like there was enough wine at the wedding when Jesus stepped in.

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