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Exodus 3:1-5 1
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Background

Exodus is one of the first 5 books of the Old Testament. We call these 5 books together as ‘the Pentateuch’. The Greek translation gave this book its name ‘Exodus’,  ‘to go out’. God helped the Israelites ‘to go out’ from Egypt. Chapters 1-18 are about Moses’ life; the Israelites’ troubles in Egypt; the events and the plagues that led the Israelites to leave Egypt. The remaining chapters, 19-40 about how God gave the Law to Moses; how they built the Tabernacle; and the rules for worship.

Bible Truths and Theology 2

The years of the life of Moses are divided into three forties; the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh’s court, the second as a shepherd in Midian, the third as a king in Jeshurun. How changeable is the life of man! The first appearance of God to Moses, found him tending sheep. This seems a poor employment for a man of his education. Yet we find Moses satisfied with it. Through the experiences, learns meekness and contentment, for which Moses is given more credit for than all of his education.

Satan loves to find us idle; God is pleased when he finds us employed. Being alone, is a good for our communion with God. To his great surprise, Moses saw a bush burning without fire to light it. The bush burned, and yet did not burn away. Today we hold this as an emblem of the church in bondage in Egypt. And it reminds us of the church in every age, under its severest persecutions but always kept by the presence of God from being destroyed. Fire is an emblem, in Scripture, of the Divine holiness and justice, also of the afflictions and trials with which God proves and purifies his people, and even of that baptism of the Holy Spirit, by which sins are consumed, and the soul changed into the Divine nature and image of God.

God gave Moses a gracious call,and Moses was quick to  return an answer. Those that would have conversation with God, must always be ready for our encounter but even more ready for His glory, even when we see it in a bush.  For Moses, taking off his sandals was a token of respect and submission. By this, God instructed Moses as to another world, and strengthened his belief of a future state.

Items for Discussion

  • This is a study about listening to God – Specifically what did God Instruct Moses to do and why do you think God gave those instructions?
  • What purpose would you conclude came from Moses obeying God’s instructions?
  • How was this encounter a life-changing moment for Moses?
  • What does the Burning Bush tell us about 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 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour 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 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Background

In the ending of chapter one we had an account of the first disciples Jesus called, Andrew and Peter, Philip and Nathanael. These were the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, Rev. 14:4 . Now, in chapter two, we have the account of the first miracle which Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee (v. 1-11).

Bible Truths and Theology 3

Weddings are special occasions. After the ceremony, the people have a party.  In Jesus’ day, the party continued for a week. The guests ate and drank together. Everyone was very happy. But if there was not enough food or drink for the week, the bride and the bridegroom felt great shame. It was their duty to provide plenty of food and drink for all of the guests. It seems that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was a special guest at this wedding. There is a tradition that the bridegroom is the Apostle John himself. This tradition also recorded that his mother Salome was Mary’s sister. We do not know if this is true. But Mary had some responsibility for the wedding, because she worried about the wine. And she had the authority to give orders to the servants.

We assume that Jesus’ father Joseph had died. This would explain why Jesus was living with his mother and his brothers until he was 30 years old. As the oldest son, it was his duty to look after the whole family. So Mary expected that Jesus would help her to get some more wine. Then the party could continue. And the bride and the bridegroom would not be ashamed. But Jesus was thinking about other things. He said, ‘My time has not come yet’ (verse 4). He was the Messiah, but he had not shown this yet. So ‘my time’ could refer to the time when he would do this.  Mary was sure that Jesus would help. So she told the servants to obey his instructions.

John was not writing only for the benefit of the Jews but also for the benefit of the Gentiles. So he explained why there were pots of water in the house. The Jews believed that to touch certain things made people unclean inside their hearts and spirits. So they washed their hands before and during a meal to make themselves clean again. Jesus told the servants to fill the pots with water. Then he told them to take out some water. And he told them to give it to the host. The word ‘host’ here means the man who was responsible for the party. He was like a chief waiter. Jesus had made the water change. It had become wine!

The servants obeyed Jesus’ strange instructions. However, they did not know what would happen. Sometimes, we do not understand why Jesus asks us to do a certain thing. But when we obey him, something wonderful happens.

People always drank the best wine first at a wedding. But Jesus’ wine was even better! So the host thought that the people had been drinking the cheaper wine first instead. This miracle showed that Jesus had power over nature. It showed that he spoke with authority. And wonderful things happened when people obeyed him.

Items for Discussion

  • Why do you think Jesus chose a wedding as the site for His first miracle?
  • What would have happened if the servabts did not follow Jesus’ instructions?
  • Mary, Jesus’ mother, did not take any excuses.  She knew Jesus would respond to her request.  What about that dialogue between Jesus and Mary can use when we might disagree with someone who asks us for something but we disagree?
  • Who are the people in our world today that deserve the same respect Mary received from Jesus?

Discussion Challenge

  • What do you think both God and Jesus is telling the Church today?
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