In the movie “Just Like Heaven,” Reese Witherspoon is in a coma, but her alternate self is still living in her apartment. When her family sublets her apartment to a random guy, she randomly shows up in the apartment, but he recognizes pretty quickly that she is a ghost. But, she keeps showing up and won’t go away. After a few “appearances” she realizes that he is the only person that can actually see her.
In one scene he is trying convince her sister that she is there and that he is able to talk to her, and that he is telling her sister what she is saying. But, her sister is not convinced and actually chases him out of the house with a butcher knife.
What if Jesus was like that to you? You can see him, he is with you everywhere you go, no one else can see him. But, you have the job of convincing everyone that Jesus really is with you.
The Passage: John 2:1-11
This week started in John 1:19 with the delegation from the Sanhedrin who came to interrogate John.
- Day 1 – John’s interrogation (John 1:19)
- Day 2 – Jesus comes to where John is preaching and John declares Jesus the lamb of God (John 1:29)
- Day 3 – Jesus is walking by and John and Andrew leave John to follow Jesus (John 1:35)
- Day 4 – Jesus finds Philip, Philip finds Nathaniel and they all head to Galilee. (John 1:45)
- Day 5-7 The 3 day journey to Galilee.
Jesus and his disciples, now numbering 5, arrive at a wedding on the 3rd day (John 2:1) Jesus’ mother Mary was also there. They had all been invited to attend.
The Jewish wedding system of that day was comprised of two parts: After the wedding ceremony would come the wedding feast, which lasted for seven days. A smaller group would be invited to the wedding ceremony and a much larger group to the wedding feast.
A terrible thing happened, something which must never happen at a Jewish wedding feast: The host ran out of wine
Why Mary came to Jesus with this request we don’t really know for sure (John 2:3) , but it seems like she expected Him to do something about it.
Jesus responded with stating, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” Jesus knew He would have to reveal Himself to the nation, publicly, and the place to do that was in Jerusalem, not in some small corner in Galilee. He would reveal Himself publicly very soon. Jesus was also fully committed to His Father’s plan and agenda. But, right here, now, the Father’s plan was to display His glory in private to the weak and lowly. This little detour was not a coincidence. The Father had brought Him to this wedding in order to do something special for His disciples, His mother, and a stary eyed newlywed couple and their family.
His mother knowing her son said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 1:5) And in that moment, as the servants filled the water jugs, common, every day water became the richest, finest wine you’ve ever tasted! God, through the hands of Jesus, took the ordinary and made it extra-ordinary. He took the common and made it miraculous. And he did it all without fanfare or any kind of recognition.
As Jesus’ disciples, and a few others witnessed what Jesus had done, they recognized the work of God through Him. They knew that only God could do such a thing. Jesus confirmed the faith of those who had made the choice to follow Him and others who had been brought to Him by His first disciples so that they trusted Him. This One to whom they subjected themselves was the Son of God. In the miracle they had seen His glory. He was worthy to be believed. (John 2:11)
What was God doing? Why did He have this written down?)
- As God’s Word (John 1:1), in the flesh, Jesus had compassion on the lowly and downtrodden. It was to the lowly that Jesus first revealed His glory. This was at his birth, and now also at the beginning of his public ministry.
- As the Light, Jesus secretly, behind the scenes revealed the unseen God to those who were committed to following Him in order to strengthen their faith.
- Jesus was fully committed to His Father’s agenda, even though He knew that when the word got out about what He did, there would be no turning back. Jesus was completely focused on being available for what the Father wanted, not what was comfortable and easy for Him.
As I ask these questions of myself, I encourage you to ask them too.
- What can I learn from this? What is God saying to me and my life from this passage?
- For unbelievers, He wants them to be introduced to Himself through what they see in me.
- For believers, God wants to use my hands and feet and mouth to encourage and strengthen their faith, both through what they witness in my life, and by God using me to speak and act, willing to be God’s living Word, without any thought to what it means for me.
What Jesus did was not for his own fame or popularity, it was to strength the faith of those who followed him and to help them grow in confidence of what they believed.
Through Jesus, the mighty hand of God was working silently behind the scenes in an hour of need. This is what God desires for my life. He wants to be working, behind the scenes, using my hands and feet and mouth to do His mighty work.
When we live this way, letting Him to silently work behind the scenes, we may be pleasantly surprised that the common water we are offering people may become the richest wine to them. And just maybe, as we make ourselves available to Him, we may get to see God reveal Himself through us.
God’s Glory Revealed
What does God use to reveal His glory in my life? Too often I am looking for Him to “write something in the clouds” or do some incredible thing. Although He does do amazing things at times, most often God is silently working behind the scenes, and only those closest to Him are going to see it. How often do I see God reveal Himself in my life?
As Jesus new disciples simply followed him, they saw God’s glory through Him. Because they were close to Jesus, and were focused on being with Him and listening to Him and watching His life, they saw God’s glory revealed. But, they only saw it because they were close to Jesus!
As I spend time with Jesus, and strive to get to know Him and stay close to Him, that’s when I will get glimpses of God and His glory!
- What do I need become more aware of?
I want to see God reveal Himself through me to others. But, that only comes as I live like Jesus did, focused on His Father’s will and plan. How much of what I do is focused on my plan, or focused on God’s plan? God will only be seen if what I am doing is God Himself at work through me!
- How does God want me to engage with this? What does He want me to do because of what He is saying here?
I want to continue to grow in simply being God’s Instrument. To be available for Him to use my hands to do His work, my feet to go where He wants, my mouth to speak His words! In order for that to be the case, I need to be seeking His agenda and plan and not my own.
In order to know His agenda and plan, I need to stay close to Jesus.
- Continue to study His Word daily
- Spend time in prayer for what He is telling me from His Word, and asking Him to use me as His instrument today.
The Power; Declarations of Truth:
The power to change is in the implementation. We can talk all we want, make lots of plans, but until we do something about it, we will never change. What is the one thing I need to do as a result of this study today?
Today I want to stay close to Jesus. As I apply these thoughts I want to picture Him being present with me all the time. Brother Lawrence called this, “Practicing the presence of God.” As I picture Jesus being with me, beside me in everything I do and everywhere I go, I want to be asking Him to use me in whatever way that will reveal Him to others.