The Second Sign-Healing the official’s son-Jun. 20, 2012

Healing the official’s son-June 20, 2012

John 4:43-54-The Second Sign

The story of Jesus is also one about others witnessing to who Jesus is.  Jesus was in Cana in Galilee where he had turned the water to wine.  The word of what he had done turning the water to wine had spread.  Although people had heard about this sign of water to wine, the question may have lingered in some minds what was this Jesus really capable of?  Upon hearing the Jesus had arrived there was a royal official whose son was sick and close to death.  Not wasting any time the official left and when out to Jesus.  This is a loving father who doesn’t worry about his position, he doesn’t send for Jesus, he goes himself to beg for help for his son.  What good is the position if you lose your child?  Who better to passionately plead for the life of this child than his father.  He begs Jesus to come and heal his son.

Jesus takes a moment to make an observation that unless you people see the miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe.  It is this very proof that takes the faith right out of the decision.  Most people in Jesus day and in our own want empirical knowledge.  Simply put we want proof.  The official tries to urge Jesus to come before his child dies.  Jesus tells the official, that he can go on his way and that his son will live.  Perhaps the people wanted Jesus to follow this man and wanted to see the miracle before their eyes and Jesus’ not going did not change the miracle in the life of that family but it kept there from being a show.

The man took Jesus’ word and departed.  What if we took Jesus’ word on how to do life?  What if we accepted what he said and tried to do as he asked with the help of the Holy Spirit.  If our child’s life was hanging in the balance would we trust what we could not see, would we trust the word of the Lord?  It is here that we begin to see that Jesus as God is the giver of life, just as God the Father is also the giver of life.  In his very words life is spoken.  In his word is life.

On the return trip home his servants met him with the news that his son was living.  When the man asked what time the fever left, it was at the exact time that Jesus said to him, “your son will live’.  It was through this the he and his household would believe.  There is life in the word of Jesus.  There is also the indication that these small groups of people who believe and remain in those areas and remain after Jesus was gone would be the ones who would share the gospel that would set the world on fire.  A few who truly believe and are sold out to Jesus can have far greater impact than a few thousand lukewarm followers who are coming along for the show.

The One You Need-Jun. 17, 2012

The One You Need-June 17, 2012

Scripture-Deuteronomy 6:1-9-and Selected Scriptures

On this day each year since becoming a Pastor I have had to think about Father’s Day, and the connection of our Heavenly Father.  These are not always easy tasks.  Recently I was reading an article that mentioned that America is becoming “fatherless”.  In a nation where we honor founding fathers, and have days like Father’s Day, it appears that as a society we are becoming more “fatherless” not that we do not have biological fathers, but perhaps they are absent for many different reasons.  This also becomes a challenge too when we look at one of the predominant biblical understanding of God is as Father.  In this term Father there is in the bible the understanding of care, love, correction, and intimacy.  However, in many of our churches and societies the image of father may be anything but that of a caring, loving, intimate father, and so the challenge begins to look at these two place and try to point all people to God as their Father no matter what relationship an individual has had with their earthly Father.

Then there is also looking at ourselves as Father’s and the role that we play in our children’s lives and their spiritual lives.  Many men talk about being the head of the house hold or family, however they often forget that it is the spiritual head of the family.  The Bible lets us know that as parents in general and as father’s specifically that we are to be responsible for giving our children every opportunity to know and walk with Christ.  Too often in our culture and country this role is relegate to the mothers, or grand-parents.  This doesn’t mean that we are not thankful that someone in the family is looking after the spiritual needs of the child.  In too many instances father’s support their children in sports, school, or others activities but not in developing a relationship with the Lord.

The greatest work of a lifetime is to be a parent, and it is not an easy job.  There are no long vacations or retirement, we will always be parents.  In another news store a few months back there was a mother in the mid-west who covered her children with her own body as a tornado ripped apart their town and home.  The children survived safely, but the mother lost several of her limbs.  When speaking with a reporter she said “it doesn’t matter if I lost my limbs, at least I still have my children.”  In most cases parents are willing to give their lives for their children, but when it comes to the eternal destiny of their children many parents seem absent.

This is alarming and scary to think that our children are growing up not knowing about Jesus Christ and that God is their heavenly Father.  Last year a few weeks after Father’s day I heard a song on Christians radio, “The One You Need”, by Shane and Shane.  This song talks about fatherhood and our desires as fathers for our children, both to be providers for them and their needs while acknowledging the reality that there will come a time where we may be unable to meet that need.  We may let our children down, this is part of reality.  The clear message of this song is that one of the most loving things that we may do in our lives is to help our children realize their need for Jesus.

I will do my best to be a good husband, good father, good provider, and good pastor, but there will come a time where I will not be all that my family needs.  I will need to keep pointing beyond myself to the one they truly need Jesus Christ.  Our families are gifts from God.  Will we take up the call and responsibility as fathers to point our children and families to the one they need Jesus Christ?  Will we look at this “fatherless” nation and be willing to be a father in faith to another person to help them to understand the Jesus is the one they need?  This will be the greatest work of your lifetime and their may be more at stake in this work than anything else you may do.  Please do not leave the spiritual lives of your children in question.  Be the example, teaching them in each situation in life that Jesus is the one they need.

The First Sign-Water to Wine-Jun. 13, 2012

June 13, 2012-Water to Wine

John 2:1-11

The changing of the water to wine is considered the first of Jesus’ miraculous signs.  We will also take each week and look at the rest of these as we consider what each of these signs mean in their own context, and what they reveal about Jesus.  In a broader sense what they say about God’s plane for us.

In one way the miracles affirm something of who Christ is.  Jesus was at a wedding feast, a time of celebration for those that were beginning their married life together.  In this time of celebration the supplies run short and there are not enough provisions.  Jesus’ mother comes to him for assistance.  Who better to know what Jesus was capable of than his own mother?  Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus our Lord in a miraculous way.  She knows who he is and what he is capable of.

She has full confidence that he will help, and she tells the servants do whatever he tells you to do.  I am not so certain that his instructions were what they expected.  There was nearby six stone jars, used for ceremonial washing, about 20-30 gallons each.  He asks the servants to fill the jars with water.  They did as Jesus asked, and then Jesus told them to draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.  I think these men had great faith and/or were very brave.  They just filled the ceremonial washing pots full of water, and now are to take the wash pot water to the master of the party to taste.  I am not so sure that I would have been so courageous.

They did take it and he did taste, but the water had been turned to wine.  The master did not realize where it has come from, even though the servants knew.  It seems like often times in Jesus’ life that these signs are not for the high and mighty.  Perhaps Jesus sending the servants was because he expressed earlier that his time had not come.  The master of the banquet calls the groom aside and says most people bring the good stuff out first and the cheaper stuff after no one cares.  Thinking it was the grooms doing he said, but you have saved the best for last.

There is some irony that this was the first miracle, and because the master knows not who did it, he thinks the best has been saved for last.  However, with Jesus there is no less than the best every time.  He is able always to supply for our needs, he is able to heal our hurts, and He is able to save through His blood.  This same water that was turned to wine also foreshadows Christ using the wine as a symbol of His shed blood for us.

It is said in scripture that this is the first of his miraculous signs.  It is expressed in John 2:11 that in doing so Jesus revealed his glory and his disciples put their faith in him.  When God reveals his glory through Jesus, his disciples put their faith in him.  When we look for the glory of God to be revealed, we will find the faith we so greatly need.  The faith of the few disciples that spread the good news of Jesus and changed our world forever.