This week’s devotional is about Jesus’ miracle of turning water to wine at Cana, a village in Galilee. Peter Enns writes that if you want to understand the Gospel of Luke, trace Jesus’ conversations with women. Truly. Even though our text for this week comes from John 2:1-11, you can see in Mary, mother of Jesus, a prescience, an understanding that is exemplary.
Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, January 11. Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-22. 1) For what does Paul give instructions in this text? 2) What did Paul say the problem was at Corinth in regard to the Lord’s Supper? 3) Do we ever seem to be guilty of the same problem/s today? If so, in what way?
Tuesday, January 12. Read Matthew 8:28-33. 1) Who confronted Jesus in Gadara? 2) What did they scream at Jesus? 3) How did Jesus recitify the problem? 4) What was the town’s reaction to Jesus?
Wednesday, January 13. Read John 1:10-18. 1) When Jesus came into the world, what was the response of people who saw him? 2) What benefit did true believers receive? 3) What did John the Baptist say about him?
Thursday, January 14. Read John 2:23-25. 1) Sometimes people say, “If I had the advantage of seeing with my own eyes a miracle, it would be easier to believe.” 2) What does this text say about that?
Friday, January 15. Read Mark 7:1-5. 1) What did the Pharisees notice that Jesus’ disciples DID NOT do? 2) What did they ask Jesus in this regard? 3) Do we do anything today that resembles this question and answer?
Saturday, January 16. Read John 2:1-11. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
O gracious God, who generously lavishes our lives with goodness, create in our hearts a deep center of gratitude, a center that grows so strong in its thanksgiving that sharing freely of our treasures becomes the pattern of our existence.
Remind us often of how much you cherish us, of how abundantly you have offered gifts to us, especially in the hours of our greatest need. May good deeds be multiplied in our lives the way that you turned water into wine.
May we always be grateful for your reaching into our lives with surprises of joy, growth and unconditional love. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
By Samuel Stennett, 1787
Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon the Savior’s brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o’erflow.
No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair
That fill the heavenly train.
To Him I owe my life and breath,
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death,
And saves me from the grave.
To God, the Father, my abode,
He brings my weary feet;
Shows me the glories of my God,
And makes my joys complete.
Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine,
Had I a thousand hearts to give,
Lord, they should all be Thine.
Devotional Article of the Week:
When Water Becomes Wine
How can we see this miracle in our lives?
by Phil Ware
Each moment is crowded with eternal significance, yet our eyes are often blind: we expect only what is predictable. We miss God’s grace in the moment, the Father’s gift in the simple, and Heaven’s glory in the ordinary. We lose the Lord’s presence in the sunrise, his joy in the smile of a child, his whisper in the wrinkles of the aged, and his glory hidden in a spider’s web.
So when John tells us his story of Jesus, he is wanting to do more than tell us history. Yes, what he writes is truth, but even more he wants us to know it is true — authentic to real life. Each encounter with Jesus tells us, not just what he did, but also what he longs to do now… in us… among us… through us. The unpredictable Savior wants to show us how water can become wine.
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 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 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.”
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 (John 2:1-11 NLT).
Jesus is at a wedding. Possibly a relative’s wedding. Mary is likely helping. This week long celebration is the most important event in the life of the bride and groom, their families, and the small village of Cana. Losing face in this moment would be disastrous!
And they don’t have enough wine to meet the needs. Joy was about to be shipwrecked in shame. Celebration was headed for embarrassment. And Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew of the need. She also knew the power of her son not yet released. She brought the two together even though it wasn’t time for Jesus’ work to begin.
Jesus takes ordinary water and it becomes wine.
Look carefully at the story line.
Mary shared the need expecting Jesus to act (John 2:3).
Mary stressed the need for simple obedience (John 2:5).
Everyone is blessed (John 2:10-11)!
This story is a reminder that our Savior will do what is necessary, even when the time isn’t right, to bring grace. Jesus takes ordinary water and it becomes wine, again and again…
- With Nicodemus he talks about being born of water and the Spirit — inviting him to enter the Kingdom through the miracle of baptism and the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-21).
- In the heat of the day, he uses his own thirst for water to break down the barriers of prejudice and suspicion with a rejected woman he meets at a well (John 4:1-43).
- In a furious storm on the water, he comes to his fearful followers and brings them safely to shore and displays his power (John 6:17-21).
On the cross, water mixed with blood flows out of his spear pierced side, showing us the love of God and his willingness to face mortality to bring us life (John 19:31-35).
So where in your life do you need to experience water becoming wine?
I have a situation where I need a miracle from Jesus. I’m you sure do, too! So we ask…
How do I get my needs met?
What do I need to do to get my miracle?
How can I see his glory?
When will my water become wine?
But lean in with John and look closely. Who’s the hero?
It is Mary, Jesus’ mom. She is looking to bless someone else, not herself!
We often get so caught up in our own stuff that we fail to notice others. Don’t believe me? Notice our pronouns when we pray. It’s all I, me, and my.
We want our water to become wine and so easily forget the shame, the brokenness, the embarrassment, the hurt, the longing, and the lack in others. We lose the miracle of seeing water become wine, because all we can see is ourselves!
So let’s commit to being like Mary!
Let’s share the needs of someone else with the Lord and expect him to act with grace for them.
Let’s encourage those around the situation to practice simple obedience to Jesus.
And let’s anticipate for the moment when their water becomes wine.
And when we do, we will find that we see his glory revealed and others will be led to believe.