Well it must be wedding season, because every time I go on Facebook I see one of my friends either getting married, participating in the marriage or officiating a marriage (if it's one of my pastor friends). So it got me thinking about when I proposed to Deedre. It was early 2006 on the front steps of the Temple in Jerusalem, in Orlando Florida at the Holy Land Experience. Then a few months later we got married on October 29th 2006. Now my life is full in Jesus and my wife, who I have now been married to for 8 years, is a constant reminder of God's love for me. Has it ever ocurred to you that Jesus loves weddings? Why shouldn’t He, He performed the first one in the garden of Eden. Between a male and female. He also loves weddings because, marriage reflects the oneness, unity and love within the Godhead. Hebrews 13:4 says marriage is honorable and the marriage bed undefiled. It is so honorable that God likens His relationship to us like a marriage. He calls us His bride and He is the Bride Groom. That’s why it hurts God so much when we cheat on Him. As a matter of fact, before you ever cheat on somebody in a relationship, you’ve got to first cheat on God. Nevertheless, God loves weddings. And it was a setting like this that Jesus chose to perform His first miracle. Now you may be reading this and your like, " That's nice, but I’ve got some real issues in my life." "If anybody needs a miracle its me." And maybe your tempted to think that this kind of stuff only happened in Bible times or if its happening around you in the lives of others, you may be thinking that it won’t happen to you. Today, Jesus confronts you with three ways to get your miracle and why He gives them in the first place. This will be a three part blog post under the subject The Reason For Your Miracle. Let's pick up the story in John chapter 2:1-2...
"On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding."
Now when we read this it is so easy to gloss over the fact that Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of the living God was invited to the wedding. If you are married you know what it's like when you're putting together your guest list for your wedding ceremony and especially the costly reception. When Deedre and I were putting together our guest list I wanted a medium to large size wedding. And Deedre wanted more of a small intimate wedding. So you know what it's like when you get to that place of compromise and you have to start narrowing down your list to the key people you're going to invite. Well the couple and their family in Cana started going down their guest list. And they begin to add uncles, aunts and close friends and then they start to eliminate some names. Then they come across the name Jesus and somebody says “You know we have to have Jesus at the wedding!” Friends, Jesus was invited to the wedding! Jesus was a social person. We often overlook this fact because we’re focused on the preaching, teaching, healing and the casting out of demons in His public ministry, that we miss the fact that a lot of His ministry was just simply about being social. He wasn't too holy to hang out, nor was He too pious to party. If you need a miracle in your life you’ve got to…
The miracle would have never happened if someone didn’t invite Jesus! It's like when I ask Deedre to come with me to the local grocery store to get groceries. We get the groceries and pull back up to the parking lot of our apartment. Now I must confess that I have a bit of a "superman complex," so I feel I can handle carrying all the groceries myself. So I'll get out of the car and go to the truck and attempt to carry all of the bags myself. Now, I just love my wife, because she's watching this and she knows what's going to happen. She'll look on with a patient smile as I try to pick up all the bags myself. Things start falling out of the bags. I'll stand there looking a "hot mess" and try to convince her that I have it under control and all she needs to do is just go open the door. If only I would just invite her into the mess of a situation I was creating things wouldn't be so difficult. And this is what some of our lives look like. Jesus is there ready to offer assistance, ready to carry all the bags we accumulate in life, but we insist on handling the bags (issues, addictions, sins, family/relationship issues, career/professional, etc.) all by ourselves. And all we are creating is one big mess!
Well someone at the wedding in Cana decided to invite Jesus and His recently recruited disciples. It had been less than 50 days since Jesus had been baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan River. So He and His new disciples made the journey from the Jordan to the small town of Cana which is the neighboring town beside Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. One of the new disciples on "team Jesus" was Nathaniel. It just so happens that Nathaniel is from Cana. So this would've been a homecoming for him. He would've probably been known by the couple that was getting married and their families. So it's quite possible that they heard that Nathaniel was following this new young rabbi, who John the Baptist pointed to as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And since Jesus was from the neighboring city of Nazareth these recent developments may have created some buzz and excitement in these two towns and therefore they decided to invite Jesus to the wedding. Now notice that they invited Jesus to the wedding before He ever performed a miracle. They weren't inviting Someone who just got through feeding 5000 people. They simply invited Jesus, the Person, to the wedding. Some of us won’t invite Jesus into our situation unless He's going to do something for us. As if He’s some kind of a genie in a bottle or a divine pimp in the sky ready to give us what we want when we want it. But that's not what happened here at the wedding in Cana. They simply invited Jesus to come. And as a result of simply asking Jesus, the Person, to their wedding, into their situation, they received a miracle. Some of us only want the miracle working power of God, not God the Person. Oh, but if you seek God just for who He is, then you will receive your miracle as a byproduct of the relationship!
Notice the two disciples on the road to Emmaus on the Sunday of Jesus resurrection in Luke 24:28-29. If they didn’t invite Jesus in, to abide with them, He would have kept on going! They could have missed the miracle. If you don’t invite Jesus, You could miss your miracle! He will not force His way into your life. Consider the church of Laodecia, God's last day church, in Revelation 3:20. Here Jesus is pictured knocking on the door of His church, knocking at your heart’s door and wanting to come in. Do you know that Jesus is a gentleman and will not come in to abide with you unless you invite Him. Notice this verse describes the scene very much like the scene with Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He's knocking at the hearts door of a church that thinks they have it all together and are in need of nothing. They feel like they don't need His help. Just like the "bags" that we try to carry!
He's knocking. Are you going to invite Him in? Or are you going to try to handle your situation by yourself and make a bigger mess than what you're currently dealing with? The miracle won't happen unless you invite Him in. Invite Him into your marriage! Invite Him into your job! Pray that His presence goes before you into the workplace. Fall on your knees and invite Him into your family. Are you struggling with addiction or some seemingly unbreakable bad habit? Invite Jesus into your mess and watch Him turn it into a miracle!