It’s Not The Wine Talking


John 2:1-10

This is the story that is known for Jesus turning water into wine. But, do you realize that Jesus gained no popularity from this event? The wedding was on a Tuesday, a popular day for Jewish weddings because it was the day that God blessed twice in Genesis 1 on the third day of creation.

By that Saturday morning Jesus was in Capernaum teaching and ends up casting a demon out of a man in the meeting. Now, that got him popularity. By that evening a crowd had gathered around Peter and Andrew’s house wanting prayer. A second wave of needy came to the house a few hours later but Jesus was off praying.

The point is, the wine was not the focus of John’s story as he tells it. So, what was?

John 2:4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

Let’s investigate this verse:

1. WOMAN – in the original this is not a word of disrespect but a general word in the respectful sense. We would say “madam” or “maim.” Jesus, not calling her mother, has set the stage for a conversation with Mary as just another woman.

2. WHAT DOES YOUR CONCERN HAVE TO DO WITH ME? This is a phrase too Jewish for us to understand it well in the English. It occurs several times in the Bible.

David used this phrase with some of his cousins in 2 Samuel 2:10 distinguishing the major difference in thought between he and his cousins. They wanted to punish a man and David did not. They were of two different understandings, not on the same page.

Elisha uses this phrase in 2 Kings 3 in speaking to the King of Israel and then told him to go back to his own prophets, the false ones. He was expressing a major difference between him and the wicked king. They were of two different understandings, not on the same page.

The very Sabbath, following this wedding, He was teaching in Capernaum in the synagogue when a demon possessed man says,

“Let us alone? What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God!”

Understand, this phrase was one of comparison. Mary was asking Jesus to do something in the natural, something materialistic, something to save a families cultural reputation. But, all through Jesus ministry, from this point on, was a battle against customs that really didn’t matter. They were of two different understandings, not on the same page.

    • Jesus was baptized just two months earlier and spent 40 days fasting and praying and being tempted by Satan.
    • Now, full of the Holy Spirit, He acknowledged in Nazarath that He had been anointed to preach the good news as He read the first few verses of Isaiah 61.
    • He met John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathaniel in John 1.
    • He invited John, James, Andrew, and Peter to spend more time with Him, to follow Him in Mark 1 while they were mending their nets.
    • And now He is at a wedding just outside of Capernaum getting ready for His first day of healing ministry scheduled for that weekend where his three year campaign begins.
    • He will confront demons, heal those who have never known what a healthy life was, raise the dead, preach to crowds of thousands, stir up the religious society enough that in three years they will kill Him on a cross and then He will rise again.

And Mary wants Him to go to the store and get more wine.

Keep in mind that there is no hint that Mary thought that Jesus would do a miracle. It is more likely that Mary gathered servants up to assist Jesus to find and carry wine. What Jesus did saved the host from embarrassment and added joy to the party soon to be forgotten.

Talk about a contrast. Compare this story the story John writes in chapter 11 of a brother of two sisters who has been dead for four days and He raises him from the dead. Now, that is true celebration and one not soon forgotten.

Which story do you think falls into where Jesus’ heart was?

3. MY HOUR HAS NOT YET COME – This phrase is just as important in understanding the whole of what Jesus was saying.

Keep in mind that Mary had the inside scoop that Jesus was the Messiah. Therefore, any prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah was like her photo album.

What Jesus did next, I believe, was not what John was shooting for in this story. Water was turned into wine but he did it discreetly where only a small handful knew what had happen.

To understand this you have to go to a prophecy by Jacob on his death bed in Genesis 49:10-11

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; And to Him  shall be  the obedience of the people.  Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.

Here Jacob is prophesying over his son Judah. He prophesies that the line of kings would come from the tribe of Judah until the Messiah comes.

Just after the birth of Jesus the Roman Empire took away the title and authority of the office of the king in Israel and Josephus wrote that many of the priests ripped their robes, sprinkled ashes on their heads and cried that scripture had not been fulfilled.

In their eyes, for the first time, scripture had failed and a prophecy had been found wrong. The Messiah was to have come before the kingship would stop.

They did not know that the Messiah had already been born. Scripture was still correct. God DID get it right again.

But, notice the picture that is painted. When the Messiah comes something else will happen. There will be prosperity seen in the abundance of wine. Grapevines will be plentiful that they will be used as hitching posts.

Could Mary have understood this and thought that this wedding could be the beginning of that fulfillment? But, Jesus said that His hour had not yet come.

It’s not about the wine. It’s about the fact that Jesus and Mary were on two different pages. Jesus was not about the customs and traditions, to save a families reputation. He was about healing hurts and He still is about that. He has an itch that can not be scratched unless He is impacting lives!

When traditions become more important than healing hurts then we have lost focus of the heart of Jesus.

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Temptation


Have you ever placed a magnet on a piece of metal, expecting it to stick just to find out that it was actually plastic? Temptations are only those things that are attractive to our desires, differing from person to person.

Therefore, Jesus must have had desires too. Otherwise, how could the “temptations” of Satan in Matthew 4 have been temptations?

There are three things of importance to note about these temptations:

1. Matthew and Luke write about them in detail and yet they were not there. It is not hard to believe that Luke received much of his information from Matthew and other disciples. But where did Matthew receive his information? He wasn’t there.

Do you really believe that every detail about Jesus’ time with the disciples is recorded? Therefore, isn’t it possible that Jesus shared a heart to heart with his disciples one day to share about His struggles and victories. In sharing this story with them He was sharing a very vulnerable time with them.

2. These temptations assure us that Jesus understands our temptations. When you put them in light of what John defined temptations in 1 John 2:16 you understand that all temptations fall into one of three categories and Jesus faced each one at the close of not eating for over a month. He can relate.

3. Matthew had his own message in Matthew 4. The next thing that Matthew records Jesus saying is “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

We all face temptations. But, if we fail the simple message is “turn around!” To what? Temptations is all about us. The last words that Jesus said in Matthew 4 were “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew did not throw together what we find in chapter four. It had a purpose – Repentance moves us from our desires (temptations) to focusing on others.

The vaccination for temptation? Be others focused. The cure for temptation if you do fail? Turn around, repent.

Born To Be Wild?


Genesis 1:25-28 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

On the sixth day God created and called it good. It was not until after this that He created man. Of all the creations during the six days, only two were not declared good: when God divided the heavens from the earth on the second day and when God created man on the sixth day. Why?

As for the second day, it was all about division – separation. Heaven and earth were no long link together. Nothing can be good outside of the presence of God.

And as for man, man was not created to be good but to choose good. Therefore, man received God’s blessing instead. Man needed God’s spoken power in order to choose good and it came in the form of His blessing. Another argument of man’s free will.

Some have even gone as far as to say that there is a correlation between the second day and the creation of man. Both were divisions from God’s presence. Only the breath of God can reunite the dust of the ground (what man was created from) to the heart of God, “and man became a living soul.”

Today it takes the breath of God breathed, the Holy Spirit, for us to be reunited with Him (Romans 8:15-16). We may not have been born good but we can choose good because God spoke His blessing upon us. We were not born to be wild, we were born TO BE good.

Romans 8:15-16 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Peter said in Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

Repenting is the one act that will reunite us to God’s presence. Then, and only then will the times of refreshing come from God.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL !!!

Who Is Jesus? An Unpopular Truth


2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

The King James translated this verse to say “by the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” The difference is that the Jehovah’s Witness will use the KJV to prove that Peter is speaking of two different identities, rather than calling Jesus God.

In the Greek it does literally say  “of God our and Savior Jesus Christ” (too The-oo hemone kai Soatheros I-asus Christoo).

To better understand this verse let’s take a look at verse 11 – “For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the Greek it literally says ” of Lord our and Savior Jesus Christ” (too Kuri-oo hemone kai Saotheros I-asus Christo0).

The only difference in the two is in one verse Peter uses God and the other he uses Lord. Grammatically translating into English is not always as simple as word for word in the same order. The same is true in translating other languages such as Spanish into English.

The preposition “of” (too) brings both God and Savior together in verse 1 as well as Lord and Savior together in verse 11. Peter is literally referring to Jesus as God in verse 1.

But, in verse 2 Peter changes it up and actually does refer to God the Father and Jesus our Lord. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

In the Greek it literally reads “of God and Jesus of Lord our” (too The-oo kai I-asus too kuri-oo hemone).

Notice the “of” (too) for both? Each has their own preposition.

So, what does Peter believe about Jesus? He believes the same as what Thomas did in John 20:28 “My Lord and my God!”

Do not allow anyone to tell you that Jesus was just a man or just a prophet or another God among many gods. Jesus is God just as much as the Father and the Holy Spirit is God.

I will not say that the King James translated it wrong but the way it is translated it could be used as an argument either way. But, in the original there is no argument.

Why is it so important to understand the divinity of Jesus Christ? We are living in a time that many are teaching that all religions worship the same God but by a different name. I can argue against that point but let’s keep one thing clear – Jesus Himself said that there was no other way to get to the Father except through Him.

I saw a survey recently that said that over 40% of Christians believe that all religions worship the same God. We have to study the Word of God or there will be many who think that they know what is right and will be dead wrong. Eternity is at risk.

  • The Mormons teach that Jesus and Satan are brothers and that one day they will become a god as Jesus did.
  • The Jehovah’s Witness teach that Jesus is just another god.
  • Islam teaches that Jesus will return but will be submissive to Mohammed’s teachings.

It is very important to know your Bible and know the God of the Word. If Jesus does not return soon it may be illegal for me to write such things. This teaching is what got many Christians killed in Rome in the early centuries. History has a way of repeating itself.

https://wordnuggets.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/is-jesus-god/

To find awesome iPhone & iPad apps for the Christian Walk and Ministry go to n8slist.com

He Did Not Depart From The Tabernacle


In His Presence

In His Presence

Exodus 33:11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

This is one of the most important pictures in scripture depicting relationship with God.

Moses had a friendship with God.

Moses spoke to God face to face.

For me, the most important picture is the one over in the corner. It is not the focus. It often goes unnoticed. It’s what is going on with Joshua.

You see, unlike Moses, there is not much written of Joshua’s relationship with God. He was a warrior and the second leader of Israel. He led Israel into their promised land to conquer it.

But, this verse establishes the heart of Joshua. He was not of the priestly tribe of Levi that Moses was from. He was not their national leader. He is young and by this point has played two very important roles; he led Israel into their first fight to defend themselves against and enemy and went with Moses to the Mountain of God.

Notice what is in this verse. It would seem that Joshua followed Moses into the temporary tabernacle that was built before the Tabernacle of Moses was built. He was off to the side while Moses and God had their conversation. But, when business was concluded Moses left but Joshua stayed. Let’s just ask some questions:

  • Why did Joshua stay behind?
  • What was his motive?
  • The verse said that he did not leave the tabernacle. How long did he stay? All day long?
  • Did he and God talk too?
  • Was this the first time he did this and was it the last?

Now, put yourself in Joshua’s place. How long would you stay? What would you talk with God about?

To find awesome iPhone & iPad apps for the Christian Walk and Ministry go to n8slist.com

New Ear, New Life


Pierced

Pierced

Luke 22:50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

The setting is on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus often went to pray. But, on this night it was interrupted by a group let by Judas to take Jesus away.

Peter had warned Jesus that he would be willing to fight to the death for Jesus and now he is ready to prove it. Ok, he didn’t go after any of the leaders, but it was the servant of the High Priest. Ok, he did not fatally wound him, but he did happen to catch his ear.

Peter meant well, he just could not get past his fears. And yet, how interesting that God was able to take lousy aim and bring about a blessing.

Until about 10 years ago, I always pictured Jesus picking up the servant’s ear and putting it back on him and healing it. But that is not what happens.

Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

Dr Luke is detailed here. It was the right ear. Jesus did not put his old ear back on but touch what was left of his ear and healed him. Do you see what has possibly happened here? Let’s look at the facts:

  1. This man, named Malchus, was a servant, a servant of the High Priest.
  2. It was his right ear that was cut off.
  3. It would seem that Jesus gave him a new ear.

Now, let’s put that together. Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 15:17 say that if a servant desires to stay with his master for life than he will allow his ear to be pierced with an awl. Neither of these verse give which earlobe but great significance is always given to the right side; ear, hand, thumb, toe, etc.

So, is it possible that this man had committed his service to the High Priest for life and had his right ear pierced? If so, then is it possible that in receiving a new ear, one without a hole, he was given his freedom?

Just something to think about.

Renewing Your Mind


Here is a list that I came up with years ago to promote biblical thinking. I will say that I did see a small list like this that began it’s creation within me. I challenge read this every morning or pick one at a time as a devotion.

Proverbs 23:7 As a man thinks in his heart, so does he become.

  1. I am a child of God. (Rom. 8:16)
  2. I am redeemed and forgiven of my past. (Eph. 1:7)
  3. I am saved by grace through faith. (Eph. 2:8)
  4. I am cleaned up and set apart, sanctified. (1 Cor. 6:11)
  5. I am shedding the old man of my past and putting on the new. (Eph. 4:22-24)
  6. I am adopted by the Spirit of adoption. (Rom. 8:15)
  7. I am dead in my body but alive in the Spirit. (Rom. 8:10)
  8. I am the temple of God. (1 Cor. 3:16-17)
  9. I am allowing the fruit of the Spirit to grow in me. (Gal. 5:22-23)
  10. I am led by the Spirit of God. (Rom. 8:14)
  11. I am being filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 5:18)
  12. I am delivered from the powers of darkness. (Col. 1:13)
  13. I am kept in safety wherever I go. (Ps. 91:11)
  14. I am sealed with the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing my inheritance. (Eph. 1:13-14)
  15. I am holding firm to my faith that I profess. (Heb. 4:14)
  16. I am denying myself, taking up my cross and following Jesus. (Mat. 16:24)
  17. I am seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Mat. 6:33)
  18. I am glued to Christ by His love and nothing can separate me. (Rom. 8:38-39)
  19. I am denying worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, godly. (Tit. 2:12)
  20. I am getting all my needs met by Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
  21. I am casting all my cares on Jesus. (1 Pet. 5:7)
  22. I am satisfied with what I have, not overspending. (Heb. 13:5)
  23. I am fearing the Lord and keeping His commands. (Deu. 6:2)
  24. I am allowing the Holy Spirit to grow His ministry gifts in me. (Rom. 12:6-8)
  25. I am allowing the Holy Spirit to work power gifts through me. (1 Cor. 12:7-10)
  26. I am trusting the Lord with all my heart. (Pro. 3:5-6)
  27. I am hiding God’s word in my heart so I will not sin against Him. (Ps. 119:11)
  28. I am receiving the Kingdom of God as a little child. (Mark 10:15)
  29. I am loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30)
  30. I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Eph. 6:10)
  31. I am not tempted by God for God tempts no one. (Jam. 1:13-15)
  32. I am a possessor of the sure mercies of David. (Acts 13:34; 2 Sam. 7:8-15)
  33. I am doing all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
  34. I am dressed in garments of praise instead of the spirit of depression. (Isa 61:3)
  35. I am rejoicing always and praying without ceasing. (1 Thes. 5:16,17)
  36. I am boldly coming to God’s throne in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
  37. I am presenting my requests to God only in the attitude of gratitude. (Phil. 4:6)
  38. I am giving thanks in everything. (1 Thes. 5:18)
  39. I am not quenching the Spirit or despising prophecies. (1 Thes. 4:19,20)
  40. I am holding fast to what is good and abstaining from evil. (1 Thes. 5:21-22)
  41. I am an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus. (Rom. 8:17)
  42. I am heir to the blessings of Abraham. (Gal. 3:13,14)
  43. I am seeking God’s will on earth. (Mat. 6:10)
  44. I am a doer of the word and not hearing it only. (Jam. 1:22)
  45. I am blessed coming in and blessed going out. (Deu. 28:6)
  46. I am an heir of eternal life. (1 John 5:11,12)
  47. I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)
  48. I am blessed with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3)
  49. I am healed by His stripes. (1 Pet. 2:24)
  50. I am healthy and prospering as my soul prospers. (3 John 2)
  51. I am exercising my authority over the enemy. (Luke 10:19)
  52. I am the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. (Deu. 28:13)
  53. I am more than a conqueror through Christ. (Rom. 8:37)
  54. I am asking my Father for wisdom who gives liberally. (Jam. 1:5)
  55. I am establishing God’s Word here on earth. (Mat. 16:19)
  56. I am redeeming the time for the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16)
  57. I am an overcomer by His blood and the word of my testimony. (Rev. 12:11)
  58. I am daily overcoming the Devil. (1 John 4:4)
  59. I am putting on the whole armor of God. (Eph. 6:10-18)
  60. I am not moved by what I see. (2 Cor. 4:18)
  61. I am walking by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7)
  62. I am where my faith takes me. (Mat. 9:29)
  63. I am asking according to His will. (1 John 5:14)
  64. I am casting down vain imaginations. (2 Cor. 10:4-5)
  65. I am bringing every thought into captivity. (2 Cor. 10:5)
  66. I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind. (Rom. 12:1,2)
  67. I am filling my mind with only good things. (Phil. 4:8)
  68. I am not allowing corrupt communication to come from my mouth. (Eph. 4:29)
  69. I am making God’s Word a daily part of my life. (Josh. 1:8)
  70. I am seeking to know God face to face. (Ex. 33:11)
  71. I am laying aside every weight and sin, running with endurance. (Heb. 12:1)
  72. I am quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. (Jam. 1:19)
  73. I am a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation–special. (1 Pet. 2:9)
  74. I am an important part of the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:14-27)
  75. I am yoked with Jesus, working with Him in His Kingdom. (Mat. 11:28-30)
  76. I am caring for the needs of others before I consider my wants. (1 Cor. 12:25,26)
  77. I am meeting with other believers regularly. (Heb. 10:25)
  78. I am loving my neighbor as myself. ( Mark 12:31)
  79. I am keeping my relationships pure to keep my worship pure. (Mat. 5:23-24)
  80. I am speaking blessing only and not cursing, negative or putdowns. (Jam. 3:10)
  81. I am working on the church that is in my house. (Acts 2:46)
  82. I am looking out for the interest of others. (Phil. 2:3,4)
  83. I am allowing God’s leaders to equip me for ministry. (Eph. 4:11)
  84. I am called to be a minister in God’s kingdom. (Eph. 4:12)
  85. I am called with a holy calling. (2 Tim. 1:9)
  86. I am walking worthy of my calling. (Eph. 4:1)
  87. I am building up the body of Christ, encouraging and blessing. (Eph. 4:12)
  88. I am speaking only that which builds up others. (Eph. 4:29)
  89. I am obeying those who have authority over me. (Heb. 13:17)
  90. I am working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12)
  91. I am rightly dividing God’s word. (2 Tim. 2:15)
  92. I am an imitator of Jesus. (Eph. 5:1)
  93. I am the salt of the earth and a light of the world. (Mat. 5:13,14)
  94. I am not disobedient to the heavenly vision. (Acts 26:19)
  95. I am a true worshiper, worshiping in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)
  96. I am waiting upon the Lord which will renew my strength. (Isa. 40:31)
  97. I am allowing the Holy Spirit to intercede for me. (Rom. 8:26)
  98. I am praying and singing in the spirit when possible. (2 Cor. 14:14,15)
  99. I am speaking with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. (Eph. 5:19)
  100. I am watching and praying for Christ’s return. (Luke 21:36)
  101. I am giving to God according to my heart. (Luke 6:38)
  102. I am receiving more blessings than I can handle because of tithe. (Mal. 3:10)
  103. I am blessing the Lord, His praise shall always be in my mouth. (Ps. 34:1)
  104. I am praising Him in the dance, song and instrument. (Ps. 149:3)
  105. I am praying for the peace of Jerusalem. (Ps. 122:6)
Think on these things