Saturday, June 21, 2008

Water to wine

Long long ago when Johnny Carson was the host of The Tonight Show he interviewed an eight year old boy. The young boy was asked to appear because he had rescued two friends in a coalmine outside his hometown in West Virginia. As Johnny questioned the boy, it became apparent to him and the audience that the young man was a Christian. So Johnny asked him if he attended Sunday school. When the boy said he did Johnny inquired, "What are you learning in Sunday school?" Well, came his reply, "Last week our lesson was about when Jesus went to a wedding and turned water into wine." And while the audience roared, Johnny tried to keep a straight face as he said, "And what did you learn from that story?" The boy squirmed in his chair. It was apparent he hadn't really thought about this. But then he lifted up his face and said, "If you're going to have a party, make sure you invite Jesus!" And he was certainly on to something in a simple yet profound way.

Jhn 2:1
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there,

Alright so get your radar up. In this first verse we have a clue about what is going on here.

When does it say this wedding took place?
And Did Jesus do anything else on the third day?

Jhn 2:2
and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

We have no way of telling when it happened, but Joseph must have died at some time after Jesus’ twelfth birthday, which is the last recorded time he was with Mary and Jesus (Luke 2:41-51)

The occasion was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, the home of Nathanael, a town around 10 miles from Mary and Jesus’ home city of Nazareth.

10 Miles is a long way to walk, so this is probably an important wedding for them.

Jhn 2:3
When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

We don’t know who was responsible for the catering of the wedding at Cana, but i Mary felt some level of care and responsibility. She was told that the wine had run out before the master of the banquet. The master of the banquet didn't even know of the problem, he was suprised when the exceptional wine was brought out (Verse 9).

Hospitality was, and still is a big thing in the Middle East. In that culture it was the groom that was responsible for the wedding expenses. The family could be sued by the bride’s parents if people left the festivities unsatisfied, or thought that the catering was under par.


It was a social stain on the couple if their wedding had gone badly. It woiuld make them and their families outcasts.

People would be like... “see that kid walking down the street there. He's the son of that couple who through a banquit and couldn't afford enough food and wine for all the guests.”

The wedding is in trouble...

It was a dilemma that needed a solution. Mary did something about the problem. She went to Jesus and said, “They have no more wine.”

What do you think Mary was expecting Jesus to do about the problem?

How could Mary know what Jesus would do about this problem? Remember, this was His first miracle.

So we do not know if she expected anything miraculous, only that she was relying on Him in a tight situation, hoping that He would have an answer.

Perhaps she was expecting Him to make up a decent excuse to those attending. It’s possible that she was expecting Jesus to give a speech of some sort to get people’s minds off of drinking while the his disciples went looking for the nearest party store to buy some more wine.

The way the stewards looked to Mary for direction also tells us that the wedding was the occasion of a relative or close friend. She gave the instructions to the servants when the wine had run out as to what to do about the problem.

Jhn 2:4
"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."

Mary was confident that Jesus was more than capable of fixing the problem.

Jesus’ answer at first seems kinda harsh; "Dear woman, why do you involve me?"

Jhn 2:5
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

And you have to love Mary's response to the servants “Do whatever He tells you” (Verse 5).

Jhn 2:6
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. [fn]

The stone jars held water normally used only for ceremonial washing, a symbolic act of cleansing from sin, not for cleaning off the dust of the road or other dirt. They were placed at the door so a person would not enter the celebration in a ceremonially “unclean” state.
By dipping their fingers into the water and wiping them dry, a person would symbolically “wash away their sins” and be ceremonially clean. When we say, “I’m washing my hands of this matter,” we really mean we’re trying to absolve ourselves of any responsibility for it. The phrase comes from this practice, which was soon to be immortalized by Pontius Pilate in the matter of Jesus’ trial and conviction.
Canna was a small village 120 gallons means probably people from several surronding villages.

Jhn 2:7
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.

Jhn 2:8
Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so,

Jhn 2:9
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

Jhn 2:10
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."

Jesus told the stewards to fill each jar to the brim and then take some of this water to the master of ceremonies. They must have wondered what He was thinking! Why would they serve the guests water which they were meant to wash with? Imagine the surprise of each steward who had put water from the stream into each water pot. When they dipped in ladle and out came wine, and not just good wine, but exceptional wine!

The master of ceremonies was quite surprised at the quality of this wine and was so impressed, that he praised the bridegroom.
 Jesus was to reveal the everlasting God, some established customs and rules needed to broken. At Cana, Jesus used six large stone jars as carafes for new wine…jars that were normally filled with water for purification ceremonies, for the ritual cleansing.

Jesus claimed the authority to break the rules, and put those jars to another use.
Imagine if someone threw a party and we all went. And while the crystal punch bowl is being carried to the center of the room, it accidentally slips and smashes to the floor. Daren says, “Don’t panic. I know something we can use.” He sends two of you out of the room to get the washing dish and carry it to the kitchen where the you are told to fill it with water and the washing bowl becomes our serving bowl! Get the picture? It goes against the grain, it’s what Jesus did behind the scenes at the wedding in Cana.
It goes to show there’s no telling what rules Jesus will break in order to disclose the presence and power of God. All we can be sure of is that God’s glory will not be reduced to traditions and rituals. Jesus is not interested in maintaining religious customs and established patterns.

One last thought...
Jesus never turned the water into wine...
He simply told the servaqnts what to do, and when they did it the water became wine.
The servants do what Jesus said and the hope of the family of the couple for a future is restored
The servants do what Jesus said to do and Joy is present at the feast.

Have you ever not done what Jesus said to do?
How can we do what Jesus said to do?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Jesus baptized...

What is interpretation?
Tell us about a great leader.
Tell us about your favorite teacher.
What was the job of a first century Rabbi?
Not a priest
not a scribe
more like a school teacher (there was no public schools so most young boys would be sent out to study under the local Rabbi but more about later)
They provided/taught an interpation of the Hebrew scriptures.

Jesus is often called Rabbi in the New Testament. That’s how He was perceived. And some of His teaching simply blossoms when we can begin to see Jesus as his contemporaries saw Him, a Rabbi.

Here’s the picture...
The primary focus of Judaism is on lifestyle and action not on head knowled or book learning.
The responsibility of a Rabbi was to teach an interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures. Hebrew Scriptures means what we know as the Old Testament, and it centered largely on the first five books, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Every Rabbi was associated with a particular interpretation or school, and his task was to pass on this interpretation of scripture to others. The teaching of a school or rabbi was called a “yoke.” So every rabbi was trained to pass on the “yoke” or the teaching of his school. Which he had learned from his Rabbi.
However, and this is a huge however, every now and again a Rabbi would come along with a new “yoke,” a new interpretation of the scriptures. This may not happen for several generations...

A Rabbi with this kind of authority would say things like:
“you have heard it said, but I tell you...”
Mat 5:21

So how would they know this teaching was legit?

Because it was so different it had to be tested first.
In order for a rabbi to teach a new “yoke” two other rabbis who had shimihah (authority) had to lay hands on him and publicly declare that they believed this Rabbi had shimihah and had a legitimate new “yoke” or teaching.

Mar 1:4
And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Mar 1:5
The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Mar 1:6
John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

Mar 1:7
And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

Mar 1:8
I baptize you with [fn] water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Mar 1:9
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

Mar 1:10
As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.

Mar 1:11
And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

In order to present a new teaching how many voices of approval does Jesus need?
How many voices are there?

John the Baptist is one. He says:
“After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John affirms ahead of time the new “yoke” of Jesus.

God is the other:
“And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Principal of first mention...
We have Jesus in the water and
The spirit descended “like a dove”
Where else do we see the spirit of god hovering over the water?

Gen 1:2
Now the earth was [fn] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Every first century Jew would immediately recognize what was going on here.
This Rabbi had a new teaching, a new yoke, a new way of living.
And his authority was being confirmed in a powerful and supernatural way!
And with this powerful confirmation of His authority to teach, Jesus has been given the authority to do what He is about to do.

Lets look at this authority thing in action as they would have saw it...

Mat 21:23
Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?"

Mat 21:24
Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Mat 21:25
John's baptism-where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'

Mat 21:26
But if we say, 'From men'-we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."

Mat 21:27
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Why do you think the religious leader were so spooked by Jesus question?
Where did John get his authority?

His father entered the holy of holies and received a word from god about John before he was even a thought in his parents mind
His father would have had to be an importatnt priest to even enter the holy of holies
This word was acompanied by a sign (his father became mute until John's birth)
His conception was a miricle
It is believed he was sent away to grow up in the desert with a radical tribe of religious zelots knowen as the essens

The religious folks would have been falling all over themselves to be the ones that gave John his athority.
But the Chief priest and the religious leaders don't know who gave John his authority!

John has all the marks of a prophet...

So couple this (Johns authority) with the whole spirit hovering, Gods voice from heaven thing.
The religious folks were pretty shaken up.

Friday, June 6, 2008


How Jewish children were taught the faith and how a rabbi selected his disciples?

The first formal teaching for a Jewish child began about age six and lasted until about age ten. It was called Bet Sefer which meant “House of the Book.” It probably took place at the local synagogue. During this period of time the students would memorize the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Yes, that’s right, memorize the first five books of the Bible, the Torah. Remember you couldn’t just go down to the local bookstore and buy a copy of the Torah. Most towns only had one copy and it was in the synagogue.

By age ten some of the students would show promise and others would not.

So around that age some of the students would leave the process and go into the family business or learn a trade.

The best students would go on to the next step called Bet Talmud which meant
“House of Learning.” During the next three or four years they would memorize the rest of
the Bible, all thirty-nine books, Genesis to Malachi.

At the end of this period more students would drop out, until only the best of the best were left.

These remaining students would begin to search for a rabbi who would accept them as disciples. When a student applied to a rabbi to become one of his disciples the rabbi would ask one essential
question. Can this student become like me? Can he put on my yoke?

If the rabbi thought the student could become like him he would say to the student, “Come, follow me,” and the student would become a disciple of that rabbi for life. Now, here’s the most important point. A rabbi would only ask someone to follow him if he thought that person could become like him.

Now, consider the second scripture. Jesus calls four fishermen to follow Him. What is He
doing? He is a rabbi calling His disciples. Why are these guys fishermen? Because no
other rabbi would accept them as disciples.

They were not the best of the best.

They were the ones who had washed out.

Yet, Jesus calls them to come with Him to change the world. And they do. They come and they change the world.

Who does Jesus call to be His disciples today? Everyone. What does this tell us? It tells us that He believes we can become like Him. We can put on His yoke, understand His teaching, and ultimately live our life like He would live it.

Rob Bell sums up this picture for himself. “I have been told that I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that Jesus believes in me. The rabbi thinks I can be like Him.”

Mat 4:12
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.
John jesus cousin who baptised him
in prison
This appears tbe the sign for him to start...
“my time has not come...”

Mat 4:13
Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali-

Mat 4:15
"Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles-

Mat 4:16
the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." [fn]

Mat 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Mat 4:18
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.

Mat 4:19
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

Mat 4:20
At once they left their nets and followed him.

Mat 4:21
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,

Mat 4:22
and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Mar 2:14
As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beatiful Anger

**Use one word to describe Jesus**

Jesus was not Mr Rogers
And we do him a great disservice when we act like he was some Mr. Nice guy...

“A settling down and quieting of anger”

„burning anger, accompanied by pain, for an apparent injustice … done by someone who was not entitled”

**Draw a picture of what makes you angry**

The 2 types of anger

1. eris - contention, strife, wrangling, seeks revenge

2. orgē - anger, movement or agitation of the soul, deep hurt

Mar 2:23
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.

Mar 2:24
The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"

Mar 2:25
He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?

Mar 2:26
In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."

Mar 2:27
Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Mar 2:28
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
This bread Concreated holy was only to be eaten by the priest and only in a holy place (lev 24)

David was chosen by God to be King. There wasonly one problem... Saul still wanted to be king.

So David and his men were on the run. And Saul was trying to kill them at every turn. They were considreed enimys of the state.

Its hard to get much to eat when your wanted in every village, town, and city.

So one day David went to the temple and asked the priest for food. The priest had none, so David ate, and shared, the Concreated holy bread.

Jesus and his disciples were traveling and being hungry began to pluck and eat the grain in the fields they were walking through.

Who were the pharisees?

The Pharisees considered this threshing wheat, a Sabbath violation.

This was a natural thing to do and should not have drawn much attention. The problem was not theft. The law had a provision for this.

Deu 23:25
If you enter your neighbor's grainfield, you may pick kernels with your hands, but you must not put a sickle to his standing grain.

But the Pharisees were so legalistic that they claimed this was a violation of the Sabbath observance.

And so Jesus uses this Judo kind of move...

Mar 2:25
He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?

Of course they had heard... Remember these were the best of the best students. They had memorized the scriptures. They knew the story of King David by heart.

Mar 2:27
Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

The reason for the rules is to give people a rest, not make them work harder to avoid breaking the rules.
And then as if to twist the knife a little deeper he adds

Mar 2:28
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

Son of man is a title given to the mesiah. He's telling them he has the athority to make the rules, not them.

Mar 3:1
Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.

Mar 3:2
Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.

Mar 3:3
Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone."

Mar 3:4
Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent.

Mar 3:5
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

Mar 3:6
Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Which type of anger is Jesus displaying here?

1.eris - contention, strife, wrangling, seeks revenge

2. orgē - anger, movement or agitation of the soul, deep hurt

If the man has a shrivled hand he faced all kinds of challenges.
He would be outcast from much of socity for his deformity...
Remember they had no tooilet paper, so what hand does he wipe with, eat with...
This would have made it hard for him to get maried or have a family
It probably would have made it hard for him to own or work land or a business.

Jesus had a popeye moment!
“Thats all I can take, I can't takes no more!”

He had lots of these, and we'll be looking at some of them in the coming weeks.
It should kinda reminds us of the prophets...

Isa 58:1

Amo 5:21
"I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies.

Amo 5:22
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, [fn] I will have no regard for them.

Amo 5:23
Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.

Amo 5:24
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

What are some examples in modern day life of these two types of anger?