Jesus’ 1st Miracle – Feb. 17, 2019

Daylight Savings Time was enacted on March 19, 1918. It established standard time zones and set Summer Daylight Savings Time to begin on March 31, 1918.

Summer Time, as it was called, started in the United States in March, most farmers, however, opposed it. They argued that their work was regulated by the sun and their view prevailed in August, 1919, when the Federal Daylight Saving Time Law was repealed over the veto of President Woodrow Wilson.

Nevertheless, a number of states and individual communities, particularly in industrial regions, continued to observe Daylight Saving Time. This became more widespread in World War II. and after VJ Day, In 1966, the Uniform Time Act was passed and Daylight Savings Time became a permanent fixture in the United States unless individual States voted it. 

Others also fought the implementation of Daylight Savings Time. Take for instance, William Bell and Jacob Rosenwasser, two men on death row at Sing Sing Prison. On Sunday, April 30, 1922, nine days before they were to be executed in the electric chair for murder, they woke to find that the clocks had been moved ahead one hour. Bell and Rosenwasser protested to the warden and hired an attorney to fight for their extra hour.

The Boston Evening Globe reported their story on May 1, 1922. Their argument that ‘ever moment, every hour is precious’ failed to convince the presiding judge and they were eventually executed as scheduled. 

Queen Elizabeth before she died said, “All my possessions for a moment of time!”

Yet, time is not ours to ration or buy. All we can do is use it well. In the end, everything happens in God’s time, not ours.

There is an old adage that says, “Timing is everything”. Even in God’s time, there is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads, “There is a time for everything, – and a season for every activity under heaven.”

This is true in our lives and was also true in the life of Jesus. Galatians 4:2,4 reads, “He (Jesus) is subject to guardians and trustees until the time ‘set by his father’.  But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”

No other place do we see this issue of time and timing being so important than in the Gospel of John. John introduces us to Jesus, the Word made Flesh. ‘John the Baptist’ testifies that Jesus is the Son of God.   John does not mention the Temptation in the wilderness and moves directly to the calling of the first disciples.

One of his new followers is named Nathanael. John 21:2 reveals that he is from Cana in Galilee. While the exact location of Cana is unknown, the name Cana in Hebrew and Aramaic means ‘place of reeds’. Scholars have pinpointed 5 areas close to Nazareth were Cana may have been located.

Nathanael is known for saying, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” But he quickly changes his mind once he meets Jesus.

Cana is also the place of Jesus’ first miracle. It took place during a wedding. Invited to this wedding, was Jesus’ mother Mary, Jesus and his disciples and most likely Jesus’ brothers and sisters. Many scholars believe this may have been the wedding of a relative of Jesus, since Mary had some oversight.

First, I will start with a little background on weddings in Jesus’ day. On the evening of the wedding, usually a Wednesday, the bride-to-be would be led by a procession through town ‘from her home, to the home of her husband-to-be’.

This procession would include music, laughter, and loud shouts of joy and approval; along the way, the entire village would join in. The crowd would carry torches or oil lamps on poles along with Myrtle-branches that they waved and colorful flowers. After they arrived at the husband’s parent’s home, the bride and groom would be crowned with garlands.

A legal document was signed, there would be a ceremonial washing of hands, then a prayer would be offered to God – and finally, the wedding feast would begin. The feast would usually last 3 to 7 days, depending on the financial situation of the family. At the end of the party, the bride and groom were sent off to consummate the marriage.

In the East, hospitality was considered a sacred duty. To run out of food and/or wine was considered a legitimate crisis. If the groom’s family misjudged how much food and drink was needed, this would bring disgrace on the family and was considered a curse on the marriage. In fact, the bride’s family could even sue them over this.

John 2:3 reads, “When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” While this was simply a statement of fact, it implied that they needed help. The question is, what did she expect Jesus to do about it?

Which explains Jesus’ response, “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Then Jesus added, “My time has not yet come.”

Mary, slightly rebuked by Jesus, doesn’t seem to mind or notice, she just turned to the servants and said, “Do whatever he tells you to do.”

Why was Mary ignoring what Jesus just said, “My time has not yet come?” Some scholars believe she may have been giving him a needed ‘spiritual nudge’. Others argue that Jesus would never do anything, if it was not in God’s planned time. So, what are we missing?

According to John’s Gospel, Jesus mentioned ‘his time’ at least 17 times. He also said, that when his time came, He and God would be glorified. In other words, when Jesus’ real identity was made known, everyone would know ‘he was God in flesh’. It would be his public coming out. The Greek word ‘hour’ actually refers to an opportune time.

We see a similar discussion with Jesus and his brothers in John Chapter 7. Jesus has decided not to go to Judea because the Jewish leaders are waiting there to kill him. His brothers want him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles and they say to Jesus, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one, who wants to become ‘a public figure’ acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.”

Then Jesus said to them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you, any time is right.” Then, in verse 10, after his brothers left to go to the Feast, Jesus also went, but in secret.

I think that is also the key to what happened at the wedding.

Jesus did a miracle by turning water to wine but it was not done it public and the miracle was only witnessed by a few. We will see that as we read on…

 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 head-waiter of the banquet.”

(to draw out means to dig down deep) They did so, and the head-waiter of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. 

(Here are the key words) He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. While the waiters, Mary and the Disciples knew what happened, no one else at the wedding party did. Jesus was able to do the miracle and remain true to God’s plan.

Imagine the surprise of the groom and his family. They were worried about not having enough wine and now they were celebrated for ‘saving the best wine until last’.

I am not sure what Mary had in mind, but I am sure this passed all of her expectations. Also, let’s not forget her amazing faith in Jesus. She believed that he could help and he did. And scripture says that his disciples saw this and they believed in him.

Now, some Bible scholars interpret the shortage of wine at Cana as symbolic of the spiritual dryness of Judaism at the time of Jesus. Wine was a common symbol of God’s bounty and spiritual Joy. Others say that the water turned to wine was a foreshadow of the coming of the best gift of all, the blood of Christ that cleanses all.

Just an insight, John never uses the word miracle when Jesus does these incredible things. Instead, he calls them signs. They are revelations of who Jesus really is, and only a few are privy to them, that is, until he is ready to reveal himself, publically.

Christian recording artist Michael Card sang a song called ‘The Wedding’ listen to some of the lyrics,

Lord of light, oh, come to this wedding,
Take the doubt and darkness away
Turn the water of life-less living,
to the wine of gladness we pray.

Mother Mary’s gently requesting,
That you might do whatever you can
Though she may be impatient, she loves you
And so she asks ‘what she can’t understand’.

So amidst the laughter and feasting,
There sits Jesus full with the fun.
He has made them wine because He is longing,
For a wedding that’s yet to come.

This first miracle is a sign of what kind of kingdom Jesus had in mind. The Jews wanted a warrior, a bold public figure. Instead, we find a compassionate, benevolent, caring Savior who doesn’t need to be admired and celebrated. You see, he came as a servant. What he did was often done in private. He was not seeking praise.

He came to glorify God and to remain true to God’s plan and God’s timing. All would be revealed but only at the proper time. Romans 5:6 -8 reads, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Vary Rarely will anyone die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person someone might possibly dare to die – but God demonstrated his love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

One thing is fairly certain; mankind will always be at odds with time. Some things take far too long, others go much to fast. Time flies and time crawls. When we are young it seems like everything takes forever and when we are older we wonder where the time went. And there never seems to be enough time to do what we really want. Time is a limited thing, we only get so much.

So we must live ‘within God’s time’ and not waste it. Love while you can and let go of old hurts. Finally, trust God because his timing is perfect. And as the Bible tells us, all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Habakkuk 2:3 in the Living Bible reads, “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches – when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”

“There truly is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.”

This is our time now, we need to do what Jesus did; live it well and use it to bring glory to God. We are here to advance his kingdom on earth. So…

Your assignment is…to get out your calendar and make sure you have time to do God’s work planned out. Volunteer at the Cowan school food give-a-way, tutor a child, get some training for missions, help with the youth group, make food, visit or send cards to shut-ins.

Jesus said we were to follow him; He served others. In what way will you follow his lead?     

Pray and Take action.

Amen