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.

Trust Your Heart. Is That Right? Proverbs 3:5-6


Picture 1From time to time I have a couple of young men come to my door to challenge me to read portions from their copy of “another gospel” which they are very happy to give to me. Upon reading it I am then asked to explain what my heart is feeling and if I felt a peace as I read it.

How many times have you every been advised to trust your heart? Did you know that that advise is wrong, dead wrong? Scripture speaks directly against it.

Numbers 15:39 And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined.

Proverbs 28:26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.

So, if we can not to trust our heart, then what do we trust? Solomon gives the solution in three easy steps:

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

The literal translation of the word “paths” means “way of life.” He does not force your direction but He gives direction. We are free to choose it. But, why would we not choose His ways?