[SW273] 03/17/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
“Jesus, the Winemaker”
So why would the Holy Spirit inspire John to write about a wedding and lack of wine?
I cannot diminish or “reframe” the purpose of Jesus’ coming in any way, because if I do, I rob the gospel of its power.
He has been reframed and refashioned by much of the church. Thus, such churches rob the gospel of its power.
John recorded some very specific miracles in his gospel account. He performed many other attesting miracles that showed He was God the Son. These specific miracles were so you — yes, you — may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have zoe, His eternal life in His name (see John 20:30-31), because that is who He is and what He came to do, and He is who He says He is.
Again, why would the Holy Spirit inspire John to write about a wedding and lack of wine?
It was a family wedding — Mary the mother of Jesus was part of that family, and Jesus was invited, and His disciples.
I want you to understand these next few verses, because Jesus Christ is perfect in every way, including the way He spoke to His mother.
If a family hosting a wedding party ran out of wine, it was a dishonor to them. So Mary went to Jesus about it, in Verse 3. She already knew who He was, because Gabriel had told her, when he announced she would bear the Son of God in her womb (Luke 1:32).
In Verse 4, it was common to call a mother “woman.” It was not derogatory. God the Son would not dishonor the woman who bore Him. And men and women, and every tribe and tongue, are welcome at His table IF they will repent of their sin and believe in Him.
He said to Mary, “My hour has not yet come.” What did that have to do with running out of wine?
I tell you the truth, if you know who He is, you know we all out of wine, we are all in need. And He has the wine we need. But He had to die and be raised and ascend and be glorified in order for us to have it. And it wasn’t time for that quite yet.
Mary knows who He is. So she says, “Do what He says.”
Do you know who He is? Will you do what He says? If you do, He will give you the wine you need.
In Verse 6, I must explain these large, 20-30 gallon stone water pots. What were they for? Purification. The guests were to wash themselves with the water from these pots. It was outward cleansing. That water couldn’t wash their hearts clean.
There was something interesting in this water. It had the ashes of a red heifer mixed in (Numbers 19:1ff). That was the purifying agent, per the Law of Moses. They would take a red heifer outside the city, slaughter it, and burn it completely, to ashes. They tossed into the fire scarlet material (the blood of Christ) and cedar wood (the cross). Don’t you know they took our Lord outside the city and killed Him on a cross? He did it so we are able to be purified.
So Jesus said, “Fill ‘em up!” And the water pots were filled, right to the brim. He wanted there to be plenty. He wanted these jars to be full. He wanted them to be full right to overflowing. Full of what?
Not water mixed with ashes! He commanded the servants to draw some off and take it to the headwaiter, the one who oversaw all activities to make sure the needs of each guest were met. When they took it to the headwaiter, he realized it was wine! The water had been turned to wine! The Winemaker did it!
The servants knew, when they drew some of it off, at Jesus’ command. They could smell it, they could see its color. It was full-strength, new wine, highly intoxicating.
And in Verses 9 and 10, the headwaiter calls the bridegroom. He says,“Now, you have done something new. Every MAN (emphasis intended) serves the best first, and then the watered-down stuff later. You saved the best for last!”
Don’t you know, the Lord has done something new? He has saved the best for last. You see, outward cleansing won’t do. Repent and be saved, and that is surely essential. But stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4)! God has the best for last — inward cleansing with new wine! He will fill you with it! And you will be inwardly cleansed!
Go to Acts 2:13 . . . there it is! Some thought they were drunk (Acts 2:15). This wasn’t natural wine, nor special cleansing water that only cleansed externally. It was the new wine of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit! They had been filled with the Holy Spirit, the best saved for last.
Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18)!
So what was it about this miracle that would make you believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and believe in Him and be saved and have eternal life, zoe, life as God has it?
First, this miracle reveals that God is above nature. He made nature. So it is subject to Him. He doesn’t have to override nature. He made it. So it was easy for God to simply transform something that was outward, and make it something that you take into yourself.
So, only God could do this miracle. And in performing this miracle, Jesus reveals (manifests) who He is — we see his Godhood here (see Verse 11). And His disciples (all who were following and watching and listening to Him) believed in Him.
Second, this miracle was a picture of the fulfillment of God’s promise, given in Ezekiel 36:26-27. Only God can fulfill His own promises. So, Jesus is God the Winemaker and Promise Keeper.
Third, this miracle was a type, a shadow of what would happen to any Christian who asks their Father in heaven to fill them with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), in their own personal Pentecost. That shadow was fulfilled at Pentecost in Acts 2.
It is the same today. Because He is God the Son, it is easy for Him to transform you after you have been outwardly cleansed, after you have confessed Jesus as Lord and turned from your wicked ways. He made you.
It is easy for Him, if you will ask Him, to transform you inwardly, to purify your heart through and through (Acts 15:9). That’s what happened in that Upper Room, that’s what happened to Cornelius and his household, and that’s what will happen in your heart, if you ask the Lord to do it right now. He commands you to stay and wait until it has been done in you.
Then, you will no longer lose your battle against sin. You will be more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). You will no longer be a slave to sin. You will be free, indeed (see John 8:31-36).
Your heart will be filled with God’s perfect love, and you will no longer fear judgment, and you will walk in this world as Jesus walked —
1John 4:17-18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
When you walk like Him because you are filled with His Spirit, you will be His vessel and His witness, full of His Spirit, proclaiming His truth wherever you go. That is His command and His will. Do it now. Amen.