Why Jesus Turned Water into Wine | Bayless Conley

By Brian Lemay No comments


There are many questions you are faced with
every day. We are all searching for answers that will
make a real difference in our lives. It’s hard to imagine that these answers
might be right in front of us. Get ready to discover answers in the Bible
with Bayless Conley. You know, the Gospel of John is unique in
that John only records a handful of miracles that Christ did. And then John makes this statement: He said,
“These have been recorded that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” Every miracle he recorded brings us revelation
about who Jesus is. And we’re going to be talking in this show
about the very first miracle that Christ did. I believe it’s going to be a blessing to
you. So if you’ve got a Bible… maybe an iPad
with a Bible on it, get it. Let’s sit down together. We’re going to get into the Word of God. And we’re going to learn some things about
Jesus that are revealed through this miracle that He does, turning water into wine at the
wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. I want to begin, if you wouldn’t mind opening
your Bible, to John’s Gospel, the twentieth chapter. John 20. “Miracles in the Gospel of John.” John 20:30–31. John makes this statement: And truly Jesus did many other signs in the
presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you
may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have
life in His name. So John had a specific reason for recording
the miracles that he did in his Gospel. And I think it’s interesting to know that
for a period of over 450 years there were no recorded miracles. From the time of Malachi to John, there were
no prophets. That’s a 400-year period. And the Scripture says of John that John the
Baptist, that he did no miracle. The last recorded miracle was in the book
of Daniel when God shut the mouths of the lions and delivered Daniel from the lions’
den. That was 450 years before the first miracle
of Christ. And John only records eight miracles, and
he calls them signs. There are several words that he could have
used, words the other Gospel writers used, but John calls them signs. A sign is a miracle that teaches a lesson. They are miracles that show Christ’s person
in glory. They are written not just to amaze, but to
instruct. And the eight miracles recorded by John, the
first one that we are going to be looking at tonight in John 2, is turning water into
wine. The second one is the healing of the nobleman’s
son. It’s recorded in John 4. The third is the healing of the man that had
been sick 38 years. That’s in John 5. And then there was the feeding of the five
thousand with five barley loaves and two small fish, John 6. Also in John 6, is Peter walking on the water… Christ walking on the water, Himself. That was miracle, number five. The sixth miracle is the healing of the man
born blind. You find that in John 9. In John 11, we have the raising of Lazarus
from the dead. And then, finally, in John 21, there is that
supernatural catch of 153 large fish where the net didn’t break. But, let’s look at the first one, John 2. Turn there with me, if you would. The first recorded miracle of Christ is He
turned water into wine at a wedding. John 2:1–11, 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. And when they ran out of wine, the mother
of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your
concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever
He says to you, do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of
stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons
apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots
with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now,
and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the
water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had
drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning
sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana
of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. Or we could say their faith was strengthened
in Him because they did have a fledgling faith and they were following Him. But their belief in Him was solidified. Now this first miracle, this beginning of
signs took place in Cana. Why was this the first sign? Why did John record it? Because this first sign symbolizes conversion. It symbolizes transformation. This very first sign symbolizes change. And, my friend, spiritual and moral change
is the first thing on the agenda for man when it comes to God dealing with humanity. Change, an inward change. And with that in mind, let me begin by sharing
some thoughts from this story about conversion or about salvation, some truths that I believe
that this sign was meant to point to. All right, first, the master of the feast,
he didn’t know of the change. Only the servants knew. Only those who experience conversion understand
it. A lot of my friends just didn’t get it when
I got saved. They said, “Look, something has happened
to Bayless. We don’t know what it is. He doesn’t do drugs anymore. He still hangs around with us; but, I mean,
he’s sober. Have you ever seen him sober before? This is weird.” And somebody says, “It gets worse. I saw him in the park the other day, and he
was reading a Bible!” “You’re kidding! A Bible?” “Yeah, he was reading a Bible. But that’s not the end of it. He’s talking about Jesus all the time. And I heard he’s going to a church!” “What? He’s going to a church? I don’t believe it!” “I didn’t, either. But it’s true! It’s freaking me out! Of all people, Bayless!” Some of you were misunderstood by your family. You accepted Christ, and they just looked
at you and shook their heads. It’s something you can’t understand from
the outside. You can only understand it from getting on
the inside by being born again. And I don’t know if you noticed, but just
the contents were changed, not the pots. Second Corinthians 4:7 says, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. My friend, when you get saved, when a person
is converted, the part of them that changes is their spirit, not their body. It’s not outward; it is inward. In fact, we’re right here at John 2. Look in the third chapter with me, if you
would. Jesus is carrying on a conversation with the
ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. And look in verses 6–7. Jesus said, That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must
be born again.’ Jesus is saying is that the part of a person
that is born again is not their flesh. You get your flesh and blood body from your
parents, but that which is born of the Holy Spirit is the human spirit. It’s the person on the inside that gets
changed. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a
new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now, obviously, that’s not outward. I got saved, and I still had freckles. My eyes were still green. Nothing outward had changed, but something
inward had definitely, definitely changed. Now, see, I’m looking at a room full of
pots right now. But there’s wine in the pots. There’s more to you than meets the eye. You know, I have this lovely watch that Harrison
and Bethany gave me some time ago. You can see this movement on the face of the
watch. There’s a red second hand; there’s a little
calendar that turns; there’s a minute hand; you know, there’s an hour hand; there’s
movement that can be recognized outwardly. But it’s only because there’s things going
on in the inside that allows the face of the watch to give expression. And if you take the insides out, if you take
away all of the internal mechanisms and the battery, the watch is dead. It has no expression without the internal
mechanisms, without the internal battery. And, my friend, when you take the spirit out
of the body, the spirit is dead. The book of James declares, “The body without
the spirit is dead. And it’s the inside part of you; it’s
your spirit that needs to be born again. Now I’ve already experienced His resurrection
life in my spirit. I’ve been changed inwardly many, many years
ago, about four decades ago in a little mission in Medford, Oregon, where I accepted Christ. But the day is coming when I will be changed
outwardly, as well. And verse 7, Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots
with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. Just a couple thoughts on this. You know, they didn’t fill them halfway. They filled them to the brim. They obeyed with zeal. And I think that’s the way it ought to be. There’s a lot of half-hearted work that
goes on in God’s house in the body of Christ. But what we do, we ought to do to the brim. If it’s believing, do it with all of your
heart. If it’s preaching, preach in season and
out of season. Don’t preach like you’re half asleep and
don’t believe what you’re saying, yourself, anyway. If it’s, you know, if it’s praying, pray
mightily. Fill it up to the brim. If it’s studying, turn the Scriptures inside
out and lay a hold of them like your life depended on it. Study to the brim. If it’s giving, do it with liberality. Fill the vessel to the brim. We’re to serve the Lord with all of our
hearts. What we set our hand to, we’re supposed
to do it with all of our heart, all of our strength. It’s a little side note, but I love the
fact that they didn’t just fill them up a little bit. They didn’t just put some water in. They filled them up to the brim. And then, you know, when they took them to
the master of the feast, he calls the bridegroom and says, “Hey, everybody sets out the good
wine at first; and when everybody’s had a little bit to drink, then they put out the
inferior wine. You’ve kept the good wine until now.” The Christian life is better than our unsaved
days. The best I had unsaved does not compare with
the life I have now. My old life was much inferior in every way,
and I wouldn’t go back for any price. Just another thought: Did you notice Jesus
didn’t charge for the wine? You can’t pay for salvation, my friend. It is a free gift of God’s grace that just
must be received. And then, you know, this miracle of transformation
was accomplished by His words and by His servants. By His word; by His servants. Men and women experience new life in Christ,
and they’re saved through the foolishness of preaching. First Corinthians 1:21 says, “It pleased
God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.” Romans 10:14 asks the question, How then shall they call on Him in whom they
have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom
they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Now we’re born again through the incorruptible
seed of the Word, but someone must plant the seed. Yes, it was His word, but it was also, you
know, there was the involvement of servants, as well. And, you know, these servants, they were just
mere men. It doesn’t talk about their life, but I
can guarantee you they were men that had faults and inconsistencies and failings. Yet, no one rejected the wine because of the
weakness or the failings of the servants. Don’t reject the gospel just because of
the humanity of the vessel that brings it. That’s why Paul said in
2 Corinthians 4:5, For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ
Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. I mean, why reject the meal because those
who are serving it are disappointing? Let’s take it a step farther. You are lost out in the desert, hopelessly
lost. It’s hot; you haven’t had anything to
drink in a couple of days; you realize you are on the verge of perishing. All of a sudden, over the sand dunes, you
hear a strange noise. And here comes this old rusty Jeep driving
your way. The guy stops in the Jeep, and he is a sight
to see. He hadn’t shaved in who knows how long,
he stinks, you can smell him from where you are. His lips are chapped; his skin is sunburned. He says, “Hey, you want a drink of water? And I’d be glad to drive you out of here.” You say, “No, I’m not taking any water
from you. You look a mess! And you stink! You obviously don’t know anything about
hygiene. And there hasn’t been any proper introductions. I don’t want your water, and I don’t want
your ride. Get out of here!” All right, go ahead and die. You know what? You are not going to find a minister of the
gospel or a Christian anywhere that doesn’t have some issues, doesn’t have some faults. You know, they said of John the Baptist, “Ah,
you know, he has a demon. He doesn’t eat with us, and he doesn’t
drink with us.” Well, Jesus came eating and drinking, and
they said, “Ah, He’s a glutton, and He drinks too much wine.” I mean, you couldn’t please the people. It’s easy to find faults in people if you
look for them. And maybe you’ve been turned off by somebody
that tried to share with you. Listen, don’t judge the whole parade by
a couple of clowns, okay? The gospel is real. Don’t reject the message because the one
bringing it is disappointing. And I think the main lessons in this story
actually do deal with conversion, but there’s more to it than that. And I want to talk about a few of the other
lessons we can learn here. In verse 5, I love it. To me, these are some of the most powerful
words in all the Bible. Now Mary, you know, when she told Jesus, “You
know, they have no wine.” And the indication in the original language
may be, “Hey, they’ve just about run out of wine.” And Jesus, you know, kindly rebuffed her. The phrase “woman” is not derogatory in
any way. You find it used throughout the New Testament,
even sometimes when an angel would address a woman. So it wasn’t derogatory. He wasn’t shaming her. But there was a mild rebuff in that. He said, “Look, what does your concern have
to do with Me? My time is not yet.” Maybe His time just had to do with when the
wine completely ran out, and there would be no human way to solve it. Maybe it was just that He was going to hear
from the Father in the next few moments. But Mary, I think, though she had observed
no miracle of Christ because the Scripture says this is the first miracle He did, I think,
she had grown to know Him well enough, having raised Him and knowing where He came from
and who He was, that she was pretty sure He was going to do something. And she said… and here again, here’s the
powerful words: “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Not whatever He says to you, write a song
about it; whatever He says to you, pray about it; whatever He says to you, have a panel
discussion about it. Whatever He says to you, do it. And Jesus then tells the servants to do something
ridiculous. There’s these stone vessels there, He said,
“Fill them with water.” Now that doesn’t make sense, but, you know,
when God is about to bless you, He most normally issues a command. And if that command is obeyed, many times
miracles follow. I mean, think about this:
“Fill them with water.” “Water? Did You not hear Your mother? They’re not out of water. They’re out of wine! This makes no sense. This is ridiculous. It’s idiotic. And besides that, a hundred and fifty gallons
of water? Jesus, come on! Do you know how long that’s going to take
us? I mean, we’ve got a two-gallon bucket here. That’s 75 dips down in the well. We’re going to be at this for an hour! Come on!” But they do it. They don’t argue. They just do it. It makes no sense, it’s laborious, but they
do it. And then He says, “All right, now take some
out, give it to the master of the feast.” “What? Look, my job is on the line here. I take that guy some water, and I’m never
going to get a gig working another wedding, ever! You know, this is a small town, Jesus. Everybody’s going to hear about this. You really want me to do that?” But there was, you know, no argument. They just did it. And there’s no indication that would let
us think that somehow the water turned to wine before they took it. I think it turned to wine in process or after
they handed it to the master of the feast. It took faith. Sometimes we have to do the ridiculous before
God will do the miraculous. We must obey even if, at times, it makes no
sense. And you may even feel at times that God is
somehow toying with you, having a laugh at your expense. Let me assure you, He is not. Our part is to obey and to do it zealously. To fill it up to the brim. And once we’ve obeyed, the miracle part
is up to Him. We draw the water. He turns it into wine; we lower the nets. He brings the fish; we circle the city and
shout, He causes the walls to fall down. Now somebody says, “A hundred and fifty
gallons of wine! What, did God want everybody to get drunk?” Well, no. A wedding in those days wasn’t just a couple
hours on a Sunday afternoon. It actually lasted for an entire week. And, generally, the whole village was invited. Jesus met the need of an entire village. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord, our Provider,
and no matter what kind of a need you have or how great it might be, He can meet that
need. And, you know, there is no indication that
they drank all of it. This is just what I personally think. I think all the leftover wine was just a wedding
gift to that bridegroom and that bride from Jesus. Do you remember, I think it’s either in
First or Second Kings 4… Second Kings, it would have to be… with
Elisha. And there was a widow woman, and he says,
“All right, go borrow vessels, not a few.” She’s ready to die. She just has a little jar of oil. And she gets her kids, so she’s going to
have to sell her kids into, you know, an indenture service. And so she gets all these vessels from all
the neighbors and starts pouring out that oil. It pours out and pours out, and she fills
all those vessels, says, “Okay, give me another.” And the boy said, “There’s no more.” She goes and tells the prophet. He says, “All right, go ahead and sell it. Pay your debts and live on the rest.” And just knowing how kind and wonderful our
Savior is, I think all of that leftover amazing wine… can you imagine how good wine is that
the Son of God made? Some of you wine connoisseurs in here, you
have no idea! And so there is this beautiful gift given
to this little couple… and, again, that’s just my personal theology. You don’t have to agree with that. But Jesus did make 150 gallons of wine. And He did the miracle at a simple wedding
in a remote town among poor people in Cana. Whoever heard of Cana? It was a tiny village in Galilee. He did not do His first miracle in Herod’s
palace or in front of the religious elite. There were no kings; no dignitaries present
that day. Just a young couple in distress and embarrassed
because they had run out of wine at their wedding. And there was quite a social stigma that would
have been attached to that. Some people would have thought that it was
a sign that their marriage would have been cursed. It was literally a social disaster for them
with a degree of disgrace attached to it that it would take them years to outlive. Jesus met their need in that obscure village…
away from the famous, out of the sight of the religious leaders… in Cana. You know, it’s interesting. Cana belonged to the tribe of Asher of which
the dying Jacob prophesied when he got his son, Asher, before him, and he said, “He
will provide delicacies fit for a king.” Well, it certainly happened that day in that
remote, unknown town. And just maybe you are here listening to me,
and you feel looked over and passed by in the grand scheme of things. You might think, “Nobody even knows who
I am.” My friend, God does. And delicacies fit for a king can happen to
you. But you first need to do what this couple
did. They invited Jesus. Jesus was not a gate crasher. He comes into our lives and into our circumstances
by invitation only. Have you invited Him in? If you want to experience that transformation
that takes place on the inside, changes the contents of the pot, you have to invite Him
in. He won’t force Himself on you. It’s this amazing thing called a free will. I don’t know if you’ve ever contemplated
it, but there really is no such thing as genuine love without a free will. God didn’t make, you know, a race of automatons. He literally gave us the ability to reject
Him if we don’t want Him in our lives. And I’ll guarantee you, if you don’t want
God in your earthly life for 70 or 80 years, you are not going to want Him throughout eternity,
and you won’t be bothered with it. But if He’s going to come into your life,
you have to invite Him in. You know, salvation is a gift, as we said. But it’s a gift that must be received. Even in the book of Revelation, Jesus is pictured
standing at the door of our heart and knocking. Well friend, the handle is on the inside. If you don’t open the door, He is not coming
in. If you don’t invite Him in, if you don’t
receive Him, you’ll never be a partaker of salvation. And the truth is, God has no grandchildren. Your mama and daddy can’t piggyback you
into God’s kingdom. Your husband, your wife, can’t bring you
into God’s kingdom. You have to make a decision on your own. And the good news, Jesus said whoever comes
to me I will not cast aside, I will not turn away. It doesn’t matter how bad you’ve been. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t do what
you should have done or that you did something that you shouldn’t have done. You are loved by God, fiercely loved by God. And Jesus Christ has already shed His blood
to redeem you. So right now, wherever you are, just open
your heart to Him. Confess Him as the Lord of your life. Be sincere; talk to God. Use your own words. My friend, He will hear you. He sees you now and He is listening to you
right now. Hi there, we have a daily email devotional
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