Sunday School Material 1-24-16: A Wedding in Cana

(John 2:1-12; 1/24/16)

Introduction:: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus performed His first sign at a wedding. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to let God perform signs through us for the sake of His agenda.

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Read John 2:1-2

I. Village Wedding. In our Sunday School material a wedding was taking place in Cana. Jesus’ mother was at the wedding. Jesus and His disciples were at the wedding, as invited guests.

Applications –

- Inviting and being “invite-able.”Notice in vss. 1-2 that Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. First, as in the Sunday School material, we should invite Jesus to whatever we are involved in – wedding, job, vacation, etc.

Not only should we invite Him to the wedding, but He should be invited to every day of the marriage. If Jesus is not invited, we should ask ourselves, “Why are we involved”?

Second, we should live so that people feel comfortable inviting us to those things that are important to them. We should not be so religious that we are out of touch with those things that make those we minister to happy, sad, and/or angry (i.e., things that have a strong emotional influence).

Third, when we are invited to social events, we should learn how to be guests and not the religious observer of the event. God is more concerned with people than simply analyzing whether people abide by a set of does and don’ts at their social events.

Let’s work on inviting Jesus to the important events of our lives and living so that people feel comfortable inviting us to the same.

Read John 2:3-10

II. Social Crisis. The wine ran out in our Sunday School material. Jesus’ mother told Him about the crisis. After a brief exchange, Jesus turned water into wine. The master of the banquet was impressed with the quality of the wine.

Applications –

- When plans don’t work out. Notice in vs. 3 that the wine ran out. In like manner, there are times in our lives that no matter how much planning we do, our plans can come up short.

On one hand, we should do our best with planning. But on the other, we should not be surprised when things don’t work out according to our plans. Let’s work on trusting God to see us through, especially when our plans don’t work out.

- Trusting and obeying. Notice in vss. 3-5 that after a brief exchange, Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.

First, Jesus’ referring to His mother as “woman” is strange to the modern reader. However, if the mother was not offended and had no comment about, we may use our “study energy” in better places than trying to dig much deeper in this area.

Second, as Mary understood that Jesus could fix it, we should learn to trust that God can fix whatever is stressing us out today.

Third, as Mary understood that obedience was important to Jesus’ fixing things, we should behave as if obedience is important to God fixing things for us as well. Let’s work on trusting God enough to obey Him, as we wait on Him to fix what is wrong in our lives.

- Wine. Notice in vss. 6-10 that Jesus turned water into wine. First, it was real wine. The prohibition of alcoholic beverages would be difficult to defend from the Bible.

Even when we note that the wine in the Bible had less alcohol content than many of the modern beverages, we must still agree that the wine of Bible had some alcohol in it.

Second, moderation and considering our circumstances are more defendable positions. Being able to drink a glass of wine (e.g., moderation) is not the same as permission to get drunk.

And being able to drink a glass of wine is not the same as drinking wine in the midst of a worship service (i.e., consider the circumstances), as your personal refreshment beverage.

Third, we should note Jesus’ sensitivity to the social expectation of hospitality in the text. In like manner, God is concerned with what concerns us. God is not just concerned with our studying, serving, and giving.

Let’s work on handling alcohol wisely. For many, the wising thing to do may be to leave it alone and not condemn those who use it moderately.

Read John 2:11-12

III. First Sign. Turning the water into wine was Jesus’ first sign used for His glory. In our Sunday School material the sign was used to inspire belief among those around Jesus. Jesus, family members, and disciples stayed a few days in Capernaum.

Applications –

- Signs. Notice in vs. 11 that turning water into wine was the first recorded sign of Jesus. A sign was to help people see that God is highly involved in what is going on. And a sign is to help people believe in God and His work.

John 13:34-35 supports how important it is for believers to love one another, as a means of people appreciating that we are followers of Christ and as a means of drawing them closer to God and His work. Let’s work on having stronger love for one another, as a sign for the world to see.

- Biological and church families. Notice in vs. 12 that Jesus went to Capernaum with His biological family and His disciples. In like manner, we should strive to live so that our biological families and church families can harmoniously interact with one another.

If our biological families are not in harmony with our church families, we should seek God’s wisdom and courage to do what glorifies Him. Think about a saved woman married to an unsaved man.

Think about saved nephews and nieces with unsaved uncles and aunts. Let’s seek God’s wisdom about how to relate to any tension between biological and church families.

Conclusion: Let’s work on letting God perform signs through us for the sake of His agenda. God has much for those who obey His will.

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