Note to Blog Book Readers


***Scroll (waaay) Down Left Column to See "MAIN" Article Link List***

***To continue reading articles in chronological order, after the last article on each page, scroll to the bottom and click on "older posts"...(in tiny print)...(dates on posts have been altered slightly to make new chronology possible).~~

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The First Miracle...Water into Wine (pt.1)

~~ John...Chapter 2 ~~ 

And the third day 
there was a marriage
in Cana of Galilee;

and the mother of Jesus was there:
And both Jesus was called, 
and his disciples,
to the marriage.

And when they wanted wine,
the mother of Jesus saith unto him,
They have no wine.
Jn. 2:1-3

Jesus' mother brought this need to Him ... because she knew that He was the Son of God.  

This situation would have been about providing physical wine for a physical wedding party ... except Mary knew who Jesus really was.  God had told her what to name the child before He was even born.

His name meant "Saviour" because He was the one sent from God to save His people from their sins ..."And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."  (Matthew 1:21)

. . .Neither was this about a proud mom wanting to show the world how her son could do a miracle.

So what connection does "wine" have with saving people from their sins?

It concerns much more than providing physical wine for a physical party ... as we shall see:

Jesus saith unto her,
Woman, what have I 
to do with thee?
mine hour is not yet come.
Jn. 2:4

Is Jesus really rebuking His mother?

Is she asking Him to do something that God Himself had not already preordained because Jesus had not yet officially entered into His ministry ... or was He drawing attention to the fact that this had nothing to do with His mother's request?

Would Jesus have noticed that they were out of wine, if His mother had not drawn it to His attention?  

Of course He would have known.  He is God and knows all things, the "Alpha and Omega" from the beginning to the end.

Perhaps this discourse with His mother had to happen, in part, to draw our attention to the fact that it really did not have anything to do with Mary's special relationship with her Son or her concern regarding the wine.

Jesus was not doing this to please His mother ... to please those who had invited Him to the wedding ... or to please anyone else.

Jesus did not come to interpose Himself into every situation taking place around Him at that point in history.  He did not try to heal everyone ... feed everyone ... or ... replenish every supply of wine at every wedding celebration.

The miracles of Jesus had to be selective because He still was only one physical person fulfilling the will of the Father, therefore He had to allow His time and energy to be limited by the earthly dimension in which He was living.

After the resurrection, the Holy Spirit would come to believers and then He would be personally interacting with His people on a much larger ... simultaneous, and intimate scale.  But for now, He responded to this specific lack of wine only because it could be used to teach a valuable eternal lesson.

Even though Jesus drew attention to the fact that it was not yet time to announce His ministry ... He was, nevertheless, compelled to become involved with this need for "wine"... because it was an extremely important opportunity to introduce and illustrate His salvation message ... the main purpose for His very earthly existence.

This was also a perfect opportunity to impress upon His people the significance of the symbolic meaning of the word, "wine" and the unique connection it has to "the marriage" and "the wedding celebration."

This miracle was going to sum up the entire message of the entire Word of God that was designed to do one thing ... which was ... to focus on the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the Word of God in the flesh, the Saviour who had come to save His people from their sins and call them to Himself as the Groom calls the Bride to the ultimate wedding feast of all time ... when ... at His appearing ... His Voice like a trumpet ... will be heard saying, "Come up!"

If the enemies of Christ could twist these Scriptures just a little ... just enough ... to take our focus off of the most important message it is bringing ... and make us believe that this was about Jesus' relationship with His mother instead of the lesson He was really teaching, it could serve as a major perpetual stumbling block to understanding the real ... eternal ... symbolic importance "wine" actually has.

This is the message ... hidden in the "hidden manna"... (and the hidden meaning of the word, "wine") ... which God reveals to those ... who really want to know ... and ... who really want to follow Christ.

(Read more about this in the free blog book, "Hidden Manna,"... See picture link in left column.)

The truth regarding "Hidden Manna" reveals the one "buried treasure," "pearl of great price"... found from Genesis to Revelation in everything Jesus had said and done from the very beginning.

So ... by this we know ... that it was really (God) ... the Father's idea ... before: 

His mother saith unto the servants,
he saith unto you,
do it.
Jn. 2:5

When Jesus asked His mother:

"Woman, what have I to do with thee?"  

. . .Mary would not have ignored what He said, if He was rebuking her, and she would not have pressed the point to get her own way, by telling the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do.

First of all Jesus would not have rebuked His own mother, He wrote the eternal Word of God that tells us to "honor mother and fatherand Mary would not have tried to influence the Son of God (contrary to what some may believe) ... because Jesus Christ is preeminent.

. . .Of course ... Mary already knew that Jesus had His own agenda.

Mary was not going "above Jesus' head," using her position as His mother, to do what she thought had to be done to get more wine on the table.  

Actually the very opposite is true.  By saying, "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it"... she was submitting to His preeminent spiritual authority ... following His lead ... making His agenda her agenda as well ... and ... acknowledging that Jesus had His own plan.

So this discourse between Mary and Jesus was not her attempt to bend His will, but to emphasize the importance of what Jesus was about to do.

"Wine" played a vital part symbolically in the marriage and wedding celebration ... which ultimately gives us a glimpse of the marriage supper of the Lamb and the Bride (which is the True Church of Jesus Christ) ... which John later writes about in the Book of Revelation as he describes the very significant role "wine" plays in that scenario.

Later Jesus clarified the type of relationship He really had with His mother in Matthew 12 when: 

"While he yet talked to the people, 
behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, 
desiring to speak with him.
Then one said unto him, 
"Behold, thy mother 
and thy brethren stand without,
desiring to speak with thee.  
But he answered  
and said unto him that told him, 
Who is my mother? 
and who are my brethren?  
And he stretched forth his hand 
toward his disciples, 
and said, 
Behold my mother 
and my brethren!  
For whosoever 
shall do the will of my Father 
which is in heaven, 
the same is my brother, 
and sister, and mother."  
-Matthew 12:46-50

With this, Jesus made it perfectly clear that members of His earthly family (including His mother) were not to be held in higher regard than any other believer in Christ and goes on to further define those who actually qualify as His real family.

The real family of Jesus Christ consists of only those who "do the will of my Father which is in heaven"... Jesus said.

We will not take the time here to list all of the verses that make salvation exclusive in this manner.  The important thing to remember is that ... while the specific works we are called to do ... serve as evidence of salvation ... we cannot earn eternal life through obedience or any works of any sort ... because salvation is really "...through faith not of works..." (Eph. 2:9)

However ... at the same time ... it is vital to keep in mind ... that without obedience to the specific will of God, we are demonstrating that we actually do not know Christ or possess eternal life ... at all.  

Therefore, "faith without works is dead." (James 2:20) ... So without works ... faith in this case ... does not really exist in the person's life at all.

In other words ... we are not saved because we obey ... we obey (and desire to obey) ... because we are saved as a result of the Word and Spirit of God working in us.  

Yes, we are human so we are gong to make some mistakes and "miss the mark" (sin) at times ... but this is not the basic sin of rebellion from which we are initially forgiven when Christ comes into our life (or we would have to remain in a continual state of having to be saved over and over again) ... Instead ... it is that type of sin that happens to occur ... as we learn how to wisely function in this fallen world.

Therefore ... this chapter is not about Jesus rebuking His mother ... but about respectfully letting everyone know the importance of the "wine" ... what it really symbolized ... and the connection it has to His Father's Word and will.

Jesus did not come to teach us about tricks, magic, or mysticism through the miracles He performed.

The miracles He did were intended to reveal two things:

1)..That He was and is God and because He had created the powerful laws of the universe ... He is therefore able to use these laws at His command.
2)..He had come to teach us how to understand the physical symbolism of His Words and actions ... as they were designed to illustrate the most important message regarding the existence of the spiritual dimension and how it affects the eternal salvation He was making available to mankind. 

Jesus came to teach man that without faith via the Word of God, it is impossible to really understand what is happening in the unseen realm in which God resides. 

Later in the Gospel of John, we can see just how Jesus explains this ... in the third chapter ... to Nicodemus.

Jesus had the enormous task of trying to teach people spiritual lessons when they were only familiar with a physical world.

In the beginning ... the law of Moses taught mankind how to morally function ... physically ... according to the physical ... written Word of God.

Now Jesus came to teach how to morally function ... spiritually ... through the power of the Holy Spirit ... through faith ... and Spirit of God ... that resides in the Word of God.

And there were set there 
six waterpots of stone,
after the manner of the purifying
[water being used in 
a ritual purgation or washing]
of the Jews,
containing two or three firkins apiece.
Jn. 2:6

The (6) waterpots [the number "6" symbolic of man and the physical world] were there to provide physical water for "purification" before and after meals ... Here we see water ... as "water of the Word of God"... being used symbolically again  to spiritually cleanse ... and purify man.

This custom had nothing to do with cleansing the skin of germs or dirt, as we do before meals today--but was a (physical) religious ritual, symbolic of washing oneself from sin under the Jewish law.  Pontius Pilot understood this Jewish ceremony, this is the reason he publically washed his hands of Jesus in an attempt to convey to the Jews that he was not going to take responsibility for (the sin of) putting an innocent man to death.

Could this Jewish ritual actually accomplish the spiritual task of washing away sin?

Can any physical washing or physical water used in any church ritual wash away sin today?

The ceremonies God gave to His people in the beginning were designed to teach them the symbolism of what was to come.  The sacrifice of the lamb was a foreshadow of the sacrifice of Christ, etc.  However ... even at that time ... righteousness came through faith in the known Word of God.

Abraham demonstrated this "Old Testament faith" by his willingness to obey God when He was told to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  This is an example of the righteousness that preceded faith in Christ (see the Book of Hebrews which explains this in more detail)--and yet it is symbolically the same, because Christ is the Word in the flesh and salvation is still a matter of believing the written Word as well as the living Word of God.

For that matter, can any physical ritual bring about any spiritual benefit at all?

If a literal church water ritual was all that was necessary to cleanse us from sin ... or ... bring about salvation ... or ... bring about the baptism of the Holy Spirit ... then we would be more dependent on the water in the church than on the Blood of Christ and the power personally found in His Word ... because ... as we have learned previously ... the Spirit resides in His Word, not in the physical water (which is only the symbol of His Word--See Ephesians, Chapter 5).  

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."  (John 6:63)

When we realize this, we discover that anyone can be baptized by any fellow believer, anywhere there is enough water to do so.  While a fellow believer assists the person in this symbolic witness to the world that he/she has become a believer, it does not require power from any earthly person or religious organization to do so.  It is an act of personal obedience.

It is the power of the Holy Spirit that resides in the Word of God that tells us that we are saved by the Blood of Christ.  If we did not look exclusively to this Word as preeminent and the source of saving faith ("faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God") we would be obliged instead to get our instructions from mere men, leaders of some "church" or any religious organization that calls itself "a church."

As a result ... we would be elevating a hierarchy and the doctrines of mere men above Christ and His Word.  Such has been the case throughout history as the "church"... and certain individuals ... have been elevated to positions that belong only to Christ Himself and have made salvation impossible without the participation of their religious hierarchy in some way.

Throughout history, these false churches have even sought to bring converts into their church, calling them "Christians," by baptizing them, when the people being baptized did not even know Christ at all.

The genuine Church of Jesus Christ does not function in this manner.  It points only to Jesus Christ and the simplicity of the Word of God.  Leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ do not get power from other men who have elected them or hired them for a "spiritual" position.

Leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ are first of all servants of Christ called by Him to minister to His people.

Their appointment to the position they hold ... is specifically prescribed and documented in the Word of God ... and has always been a matter of prayer ... and seeking God's will as they consider the spiritual quality of the relationship the candidate has with Jesus Christ and the person's devotion to the Word of God.  

Such is the case with the Apostle, Stephen, when he was selected to minister to the widows.  (See Acts, Chapter 6)

Even then leaders in the true Church of Jesus Christ must submit to the preeminence of Christ and then one to another under the authority of the written Word of God.

***For Part 2***
Scroll down to next post
click "older posts"...tiny print on right.

No comments: