The Sign in the Wine

 

Our passage for this Sunday is John 2:1-12 as we continue our study in the Gospel of John.

It’s a very famous story – Jesus doing the remarkable thing of transforming ordinary water into extraordinary wine. It is the opening story in a section of stories that have the theme of the old being replaced by the new.

According to v11, why does John include this story in his gospel?

The function of a sign is to reveal where something is – this sign that Jesus does reveals, according to John, the glory of Jesus. His glory is the reality that he is the Son of God bringing God’s reign of grace and truth to this world (1:14).

So – of all things, Jesus chooses THIS setting and THIS miracle as his first sign to reveal what the kingdom of God is coming to do. I find that really interesting. What does this sign reveal to you about the nature of God’s inbreaking kingdom? How does it compare with the way the church represents the kingdom of God – is there a difference?

Think about the nature of water and the nature of wine – what can we discern about God’s presence in the world that is revealed in that contrast? Think about the amount of wine that Jesus creates – what does that tell us about the life God has in mind for us?

The water jars were used for ritual purification. Jesus looks at those reminders of human uncleanness and re-purposes them completely. What lesson does this sign teach us about the nature of what God is up to in our lives?

Have there been times in your life when the wine ran out? How about now? What does this sign encourage you to do about it?

Hope to see you on Sunday!

3 comments

  1. I think it’s cool that for jesus’ first miracle He shows up at a party (wedding) and provides the best booze! This seems to be a kind of “in your face” statement to the pious of that day as well as to the church today. He was obviously coming to turn a world and world view upside down. The fact that Jesus took the time to go and rejoice with those who rejoice and even extend the party by His extraordinary transformation speaks volumes. Where the church today would seem to say we don’t have time for celebrating we have a world to save, lets get busy, Jesus took the time to hang out and probably have a drink with family and friends. He didn’t rebuke them he joined them and in joining them planted the seeds of transformation!

  2. Whereas water is basically dirty has to be processed or purified to be drinkable, etc. wine has been described as the perfect beverage. Grapes contain all the ingredients necessary to create their transformation. Over time the yeast coating the skins of the grapes converts the sugar in the juice to alcohol. God’s presence in our lives, like the yeast in the grapes has the power to convert us from “sour grapes” to sweet refreshment representing His kingdom. Water requires lots of work or additives to purify it kind of like religion adds many requirements and burdens. Wine like relationship with God has within it all that is needed to change it into something wonderful. Where water is also kind of bland or boring wine is absolutely multifaceted. It can be many colors and flavors maybe representative of the limitlessness of His beauty and wonder and possibly of how differently He gifts each of us enabling us to represent different qualities and characteristics of His majesty in our world. Jesus made lots of wine, I would guess enough for everyone to partake to their hearts desire..the same is true of His presence and potential, we can have as much of Him as we desire, as much space in our lives as we will allow Him to fill and transform. The water jars being re-purposed reminds us that He is well able to take these jars of clay and transform us into vessels of honor. This sign of the wine, the fullness and possibility available in Him absolutely makes me want to draw close to Him and partake! Interesting stuff to think about, can’t wait to hear your take Rob!

  3. Awesome insights as usual Julie! “God’s presence in our lives, like the yeast in the grapes has the power to convert us from ‘sour grapes’ to sweet refreshment representing His kingdom.” = classic!!

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