- Sermon Notes
The Best is Yet to Come
In John chapter 2, Jesus does His first miracle. He’s invited to a wedding and his mother and disciples are there as well. You have to remember that at that time and culture, a wedding could include an entire week of festivities. At some point the wine gave out and so the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
It’s interesting that the first miracle of Jesus is turning the water into wine. If Jesus had thought to hire a marketing company for his PR campaign, they might’ve suggested a different course. “You know, Moses parted the Red Sea, something like that would certainly get attention. Elijah brought down fire from heaven, that could be dramatic,” they might’ve said. No, the first miracle of Jesus is simply to bring joy and happiness to this couple so that their wedding is not ruined.
We’ll also see how quietly and simply Jesus does this miracle. When the great Lord of all the earth came in human form, when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, you might have expected Him to commence the miraculous by inviting the kings and princes of the earth, if not the scribes and Pharisees of Israel, to immediately see His power and authority.
Even in this quiet setting, Jesus is not ostentatious in the slightest way. He doesn’t call the bridegroom, or even the headwaiter, or any of the guests and say, “You can clearly see that your wine is all gone. Now, I’m about to show you something marvelous by turning this water into wine.” No, not at all, He simply asks the servants to fill the casks with water.
It’s also interesting that He begins His public ministry by attending a wedding and simply enjoying the fellowship of the common people. Right away we get the theme of His ministry; that He will become the friend of sinners. This becomes a great example for us because many Christians often insulate themselves from associating with sinners. They have Christian friends, drink Christian coffee, drive Christian cars and don’t want to associate with sinners.
It’s true that we should choose our closest friends wisely because, “Bad company corrupts good morals,” but we’re also encouraged to have a relationship of grace and compassion with those who do not know Christ.
Colossians 4:5-6, Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from, he said, “Every man serves the good wine first… but you have saved the best for last.” That becomes the theme of these verses, as we’re going to see. That’s the opposite of the way many people think and the opposite of the way our culture thinks.
Most people want the best first. Most people think of their youth as the best part of their lives. In many ways our culture worships being young and can only imagine the difficulties of getting older.
Ronald Reagan loved to tell the story about an elderly couple that was just settling in for the evening when the wife said, “I would love some ice cream…”
Maybe it would help people feel better if we just changed some of the names of the songs they loved when they were young, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Walker,” or Ringo Starr’s song, “I get by with a little help from Depends.”
But saving the best for last is a spiritual truth with great personal application. Let’s look at these verses and apply them to our lives.
I. Invite Jesus to Everything
- The story begins by simply saying that Jesus was invited to this wedding in Cana of Galilee.
- As simple as that may be, it becomes a spiritual truth to be applied because inviting Jesus to the wedding made all the difference in the world.
- But I submit that we need to apply that same principle to every area of our lives.
A. Invite Jesus to your wedding
- If you did invite Jesus to your wedding, did you invite them into your marriage? His presence will make all the difference in the world.
- But don’t just invite Him as a guest; invite Him to be the Lord of your marriage. The best marriages are made up of husband and wife that are both submitted to the Lord in true humility.
Ecclesiastes 4:12, A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
- God is the one who designed and created marriage and His way is the way of blessing. But we have to first acknowledge that our way doesn’t work and then be humble enough to be a husband or wife the way He is asking us to be.
App - On a side note; I was recently a guest on a radio program and was asked if God’s Word has anything to say about gay marriage. God’s Word does have a lot to say about marriage, as He designed it, and His way is the way of greatest blessing.
- If we would invite Jesus into our marriage, His presence would make all the difference in the world.
Illus – In the old days when people used to have to give a reason to get a divorce, they would often say, “We have irreconcilable differences.” The truth is that every marriage has irreconcilable differences, the question is whether we will follow the example of Jesus and extend some grace and forgiveness and then we’ll see that His presence makes all the difference.
Illus – One time when Jordi and I were having a tif…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind… Love does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; love never fails.
B. In Christ, the best is yet to come
- Many people think of the honeymoon as the best year of a marriage and that it’s all downhill from there.
- We experience the depths and heights of love as our character increases, as we grow in maturity and become more like our Lord. The best is yet to come.
- The spiritual principle behind this is the principle of reaping and sowing. The enemy would have you believe that you can have the best now without any concern for the repercussions, but truth reaping comes later.
App - Of course, the enemy makes sin appealing at first. When Eve tasted of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it was pleasant to the taste.
- The enemy wants to convince you that, “you’re missing out,” but that lifestyle will take a hard toll on your life.
Galatians 6:7-9, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
- When Israel entered the holy land, God placed them in a valley between two mountains where the leaders called out the blessings and curses of following God or walking away from Him.
- You’re sitting in church today hearing the Word of God; you are sowing to the Spirit. When you invite Christ into your life, He is the one that makes beauty out of ashes, wine out of water.
Isaiah 61:1-4 Jesus came to give a garland instead of ashes
II. Whatever He Says, Do it
- When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” At first his answer may seem a bit disrespectful, but it is not.
- Jesus gives her a gentle rebuke and then says, “My hour has not yet come.” This is a phrase He says many times until He arrives in Jerusalem to be crucified for our sins.
- The Catholic Church uses this verse to suggest that people should go through Mary to pray to Jesus. However, the scripture says in 1 Timothy 2:5, “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.”
- However, His mother then said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” That is actually very good spiritual advice.
A. God doesn’t give personal blueprints
- They were out of wine, yet He told them to go and get water. He didn’t tell them the whole plan in advance.
- We want to know how the last chapter ends before we’ll submit or take a step of faith. We may not even understand how Christ’s direction is pertinent to the point at hand.
Illus – Someone might say, “Lord, help me conquer this sin.” The Lord may reply, “Believe and draw near to Me” and the sinner may not see how believing and drawing near will enable him to be victorious. At first, there does not appear to be any connection between simply trusting and being near the Lord and victory over bad temper, or a bad habit, or worldly character.
But there is a connection whether you see it or not; Christ sees the connection and it is through such simple faith that God will bring the victory.
- Sometimes, what God asks may even seem to be trivial. “Go fill the water pots.” When Jesus put mud into the eye of a man who was blind, He then said, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.” To a man with a withered hand, He said, “Stretch out your hand.”
- Couldn’t the servants have responded, “You’ve got to be kidding, wouldn’t it be better to go to these people’s friends and ask them to help, or go to the market and buy some wine?”
- Isaiah the prophet once said to a doubting King of Judah…
Isaiah 7:9, “If you will not believe, you surely will not last.”
Illus - when Israel was about to cross the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land, God told the priests to step into the water. “When the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord rest in the waters of the Jordan, then the waters of the Jordan will be cut off and will stand in a heap.”
- Don’t say, “Tell me your entire plan and then I’ll submit.” Submit now and you will know the plan afterwards.
Romans 12:1-2, I urge you, brethren, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
B. Fill them to the brim
- When the servants filled the water pots with water, they fill them to the brim. This also becomes a great spiritual point for us to apply.
- In other words, whenever you hear a word from the Lord, it is wisdom to carry it out zealously.
Illus – Joash, the King of Israel, went to see Elisha as he was on his deathbed and cried for help. Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows and strike the ground…” But he obeyed halfheartedly.
- When God calls you to believe, then do it with all your might. When God calls you to trust, then trust with your whole heart.
Ecclesiastes 9:10, Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.
- God’s directions are never meant to be done in a halfhearted manner.
James 1:5-7, If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God… But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.
Matthew 22:37, And Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
- When the headwaiter tastes the wine he said to the bridegroom, “You have saved the best until the last.” Truly the best is yet to come.
John 2:1-11 NASB
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." 4 And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." 5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." 6 Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." So they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10 and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." 11 This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.