Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Psalm 77:11-14 1
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. 13 Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? 14You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

clip_image123Background 2

Whoever was the penman of this psalm, the Holy Spirit seems, by his mouth, to have dictated a common form of prayer for the Church in her afflictions, that even under the most cruel persecutions the faithful might not fail to address their prayers to heaven. It is not the private grief of some particular individual which is here expressed, but the lamentations and groanings of the chosen people. The faithful celebrate the deliverance which had been once wrought for them, and which was a testimony of God’s everlasting grace, to animate and strengthen themselves to engage in the exercise of prayer with the greater earnestness.

Biblical Truths 3

Verse 2 The Jews lifted their hands to God when they prayed.

Verse 3 We do not know what the trouble was.

Verse 4 This means that the psalmist cannot sleep and does not know what to pray.

Verses 7 – 9 Here are 6 questions which the psalmist asked. They mean “Will God ever help us again?” Often, we ask these questions. Did the psalmist get an answer to them?

Verses 10 – 14:

  • The psalmist answers his own questions. First, he remembers the things that God has done, verses 10-12. He remembers that God is a GOD OF MIRACLES. This means that God does things that nobody else can do, as when he led his people through the Red Sea.
  • Then he remembers who God is and what he can still do. God is holy, God is great, God is very powerful. God saves people. GOD DOES MIRACLES, verses 13-14.

Items for Discussion

  • What can we learn if we use the psalmist’s prayer as a model for ourselves?
  • Can you think of some of the great miracles from God in the Old Testament?
  • In what way does the Old Testament and its miracles from God help us to understand Jesus?
  • What is it about human nature that in spite of witnessing miracles, humans slip back to a lack of faithfulness?
  • Would more miracles today, big ones and visible ones, help people believe in our God?

 

John 2:1-11
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Background

The Gospel of John records Christ’s first miracle, which John refers to as a “sign.” He focuses upon the little known village of “Cana in Galilee,” an otherwise insignificant town located some 8 miles northeast of Nazareth in the despised region known as Galilee.

The setting for this first miracle was a “wedding” to which Jesus and His “disciples” had been invited. Presumably, the disciples mentioned here are those introduced earlier: Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathanael, and the other unnamed disciple of 1:35. Verse 1 indicates that Jesus’ “mother” Mary was also present. That she alone is mentioned is probably indicative of the fact that Joseph was dead. It is also possible that she was in some way related to the bride or groom, and may have been serving in some official capacity as an assistant to the wedding director. Such weddings usually began on Wednesdays with the actual feast lasting for seven days. During this period guests would be arriving each day bring gifts and entering into the joy of the occasion. John records that this particular wedding occurred on the “third day.”

Biblical Truths 4

Verse 3 records that in the course of the celebration “the wine was gone.” This was a most difficult situation for the young couple, and may indicate that they were from poor families. “Wine,” here meaning the fermented fruit of the vine, was not only considered a staple food item, but was also frequently used in times of joy and celebration. To run short at such a moment was certainly a major social calamity and profound embarrassment.

At this moment, Jesus’ mother came to Him and announced, “They have no more wine.” Clearly she was concerned for the young couple, and she also believed that her Son could in some way intervene in the situation. Did she expect a miracle? Or did she simply cry out in distress not knowing how Jesus would come to their aid? Since this is identified as his “first miraculous sign” (v. 11), it is doubtful that Mary had previously witnessed Christ’s supernatural power.

In verse 4 Jesus’ reply to His mother is, on the surface, sharp and cutting:

  • “Dear woman”- This term, roughly equivalent to our “lady,” was not in itself out of order or unnecessarily harsh. It was actually a term of respect used in the company of persons of distinction. It is the same word used in 19:26 when our Lord addressed His mother from the cross, “Woman, behold your Son.” Perhaps Jesus used it here in this way to communicate to her that no longer was she to “think of Him as being merely her son, but rather, she will now be called upon to see Him as her Lord and Savior!
  • “why do you involve me?”- This phrase is indeed quite strong in nature. It was a common way of rebuking one who was not minding his/her own business. The use of this phrase reveals the seriousness of the hour.
  • “My time has not yet come”- This saying of Jesus occurs with great frequency in the Gospel of John. It typically refers to the time of His atoning death upon the cross and His subsequent exaltation. Yet, here it clearly speaks of the hour of the beginning of His glorious ministry.

In verse 5 the mother of the Lord turns to the “servants” and orders them to “Do whatever He tells you.” This demonstrates that she now understood that she must simply submit to the plan and will of God as it was being worked out in her Son’s life. Thus, she was confident that, though she did not know how Jesus would intervene in this particular situation, He would do only that which would bring glory to God and result in His praise.

The miracle begins to unfold in verse 6 with John’s notation that standing nearby were “six stone water jars,” or large containers used for the ritual cleansing of the hands before a meal (which the Pharisees studiously observed!). Each stone jar had a capacity of “twenty to thirty gallons,” or some 180 gallons in all. It is clear that John gives us such detail in order to highlight the magnitude and scope of the miracle that was about to occur before the crowd at the feast.

In verse 7 Jesus issues a command to have the jars filled up with water. John records that the servants “filled them to the brim.” That is, they were so filled in order to demonstrate that they contained nothing but water, and nothing else could be added. This fact would also serve to display the reality and power of the miracle that was soon to come.

Next, in verse 8, the Lord issues a second command to the obedient servants. He tells them to “draw some out and take to the master of the banquet.” The headwaiter was the man who functioned as the superintendent of the dining room. It was his responsibility to arrange the couches for the comfort of the guests, and to taste the wine and other food to ensure its quality. John again records that the servants “took it to him” in obedience to the word of Jesus.

In verses 8-10 the miracle unfolds. After the servants drew water out of one of the jars and took it to the headwaiter a miraculous change had occurred. The water had “turned into wine.” Not knowing its origin, the “master of the banquet” summoned the “bridegroom” and praised him for setting aside customary practice and saving “the best [wine] till now” (v. 10).

According to verse 11, the miraculous display of Jesus’ sovereign power “revealed his glory” to His disciples, and served to strengthen their “faith in him.” While Christ’s glory would be ultimately revealed at the cross, every step along the course of his ministry was an adumbration of that glory.

Items for Discussion

  • What are the positive reasons that you can think of for Christ to demonstrate His powers at a wedding?
  •  What does this miracle tell us about the nature and character of Christ?
  • What do these verses tell us about Christ and His relationship with his mother?
  • Since this was the first miracle for Christ, what significance can you place around the fact that He chose wine to demonstrate His powers? Hint: think of what the Old Testament associated wine with.
  • What significance can you find in the fact that the wine was the “BEST WINE?”

Discussion Challenge

  • How can people of God celebrate the miracles of God and Jesus every day?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comment/calvin/comm_vol10/htm/xii.htm
  3. http://www.easyenglish.info/psalms/psalm077-taw.htm
  4. http://www.founders.org/ss/091502.htm
Share