Rabbi Schneider - The Significance of Jesus' First Miracle
We are continuing, friends, our study in the Gospel of John. We've been going really verse by verse. It's very important at times to preach this way because too often what people are getting is just a diet of the same food over and over again. It's like, you know, dessert is good but you don't want to just eat only dessert all the time, three meals a day as your whole meal. But sometimes in certain platforms today that's all people seem to be getting is the same kind of diet with the same food over and over again. We need to take in the whole Word of God. And that's why it's beneficial to go through books of the Bible like I'm doing here with you as we're studying the Gospel of John.
We are moving forward today in our study. This is season 3, and we're moving forward in the second message in this season to John, chapter 2. If you've got your Bible out, go with me to John, 2. I'm reading from the New American Version. You may want to get a Bible and follow along with me each week, even take some notes. It's gonna be a great study. I'm not gonna be able to highlight every verse because I've already preached like eight messages from chapter 1. So I'm gonna be speeding up in some portions, and then slowing down a little bit in other portions. But I think you'll enjoy the ride with me in God's Word.
Let's continue, John, chapter 2: On the third day... Now this was just after John the Baptist had introduced Jesus to the world as the Messiah in chapter number 1. Jesus had called His disciples. So His ministry was just beginning. He hadn't done any miracles yet in terms of big public miracles. He, of course I said last week, He prophesied a word of knowledge and a word of discernment to Nathanael, and Nathanael was blown away. But this is His first public miracle that we're gonna read about here in John, chapter 2.
Let's continue, John, 2, verse 1: On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no wine. And Jesus said to her, Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come. His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it. So let me make a few comments. Again, we're about to read of Jesus's first miracle. Notice that His first miracle, get is now, was at a wedding. What is a wedding? A wedding is a time of celebration, right. A wedding is to be a time of joy. I mean those of you that have ever been to a Jewish wedding, and of course this was a Jewish wedding, anybody that's ever been to a Jewish wedding or even seen footage of a Jewish wedding, you know Jewish weddings, they're all about celebration. Notice there was wine in the wedding. Wine in the Scriptures is a symbol of earthly celebration. In fact, wine in the Scriptures is the number one symbol of celebration. Jesus is at this time of celebration, this joyous occasion, and He's gonna turn, listen now, beloved, the water to wine.
Let's continue on. Jesus then, He's gonna, He's gonna do the miracle. He does the miracle and everyone is really like, wow. This, this, this latter wine, this wine that is been, being served now later in the day, this is better than the first wine that was served to us. They were really flabbergasted by that because usually the custom was, you know what? You serve the good wine first. And if the good wine runs out, that's when you bring in the lesser quality wine, because people will have already drunk. They have drank. They won't be able to tell the difference, or maybe they won't even have an appetite for more wine. But in this case, it was completely different. The latter wine was better than the former wine. It kind of speaks to us of the fact that God's ways are higher than our ways, even as the heavens are higher than the earth. So there's this thing going on. What's going on here? This is really, really different that the best wine is being served afterwards.
Let's pick up the story, verse number 10, they say to Jesus: Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now. So they're saying this, not to Jesus but to the host of the wedding. And listen what the next verse says: This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. I want to make a few more comments about this. So once again it's very, it an unusual phenomenon here that the best wine is being served last; totally unlike that which was normal for the culture. But I want to make a spiritual application here because John's Gospel is the most profound and carries with it the deepest revelation of the kingdom of God in the Spirit. And I want you to be encouraged by this Word. Even as Jesus was involved in a miracle where the best wine was served last, which was completely different than normal progression of the natural life where the good wine was served first and the bad wine was served last. I want you to know, as you and I follow Jesus in our life, the best days of our life will be last.
Listen to this. The way of the world, even as the way of the world is the good wine was served first and then the bad wine or the lesser quality wine was served afterwards, so too the natural way in the world is that the best years of one's life are the earlier years of one's life growing up as a child, experiencing life for the first time, you know, experiencing your teenage years for the first time. The best years of one's life mankind normally thinks are his earlier years. And then when people start getting older, when they start aging, those become more difficult years. They, they, they think that there's not as much celebration anymore. You know, I won't be able to get around as I used to get around. I won't be able to go to as many places as I once went to. But I want you to hear, beloved child of God, as you and I keep our eyes on Jesus, the best years of our life are gonna be the latter years of our life. Even as the best wine was served last at the wedding, so too, the best years of your life are gonna be the latter years of your life. I want you to be encouraged by this. Don't be afraid of growing old.
I was just with a woman last night, my wife, Cynthia and I took a friend of ours out to eat. She's a Jewish lady. She's like a Jewish grandmother to so many people. Her name is Agnes. If I can get a picture, I'll even put a little picture on the screen here for you to see her. Agnes has been single her whole life, has never raised kids, but you know what? She's never regretted being single. She's never regretted not having children. Her whole adult life has been about Jesus since Jesus supernaturally healed her years and years ago of a physical illness and brought her into relationship with Himself. Since that time she has been pursuing the Lord. And she's 88 years old, but every time I visit with her, it's like she's, she's a brand new believer. She's constantly looking at herself. She's constantly repenting. She's constantly keeping journals of what God is doing in her life. She's constantly fresh at 88 years old.
So last night when I was with her, I said to her, Agnes, I said, are you experiencing great peace in your life. And, basically here's this lady, you know, we have to help her in and out of the car. You know, if we're going lost distances we even have to wheel her at times, even though if it's a shorter distance she can use a walker. But here's this lady, she's living alone. She has no children. Okay, she, she, her health, she's not able to do what she once did health wise. And yet the, the days that she's living in now at 88 years old, listen, are the deepest, most peaceful, and fullest days of her life. Why? Because though the outer man is dying, listen, the inner man is being renewed day by day. And the best days for you, beloved, are gonna be the last days of your life as you keep your eyes on Jesus, even as the best wine here was saved till last.
Father, I just speak out right now a prophetic declaration and a prophetic word over these that love You that are watching right now, especially these that are homebound, Father God, these that are getting older or are afraid of getting old. I just declare over each and every one of them that Your Word says that neither life or death, things past, things present, or things to come can ever separate us from Your love. And I declare confidence and peace, and an increase of love and Shalom over your people. And Father, I ask You that You would give each one that's looking to you right now the confidence to know that, Father, the best days of their life are last because Your Word says that we're being renewed day by day, and that we're going from strength to strength, from glory to glory, and from grace, Hallelujah, to grace.
Continuing on here in this chapter, I just want to read the verses, verse 10; I spoke about them. I just want to read once again as we get ready to press forward. Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now. This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory. Now I want you to hear this. We often think of the glory of God. We sing about the glory of God, right. Everybody that's watching right now, that's it's been raised in church or you're going to church, you've sung songs about the glory of God. In fact, we read about God's glory all throughout Scripture.
But I want you to hear me, do you know that the most common way the Scriptures, the Bible, associates God's glory is with, listen, when there is a physical demonstration of His presence and power on earth. Let me say it again. When we speak of the glory of God, we, we often times just think of, you know, how great God is. But when the Scriptures use the term the glory of God, what the Scriptures are most often referring to is that God's power was manifested in physical time and in physical space. So with that being said, let's look at this verse again. It's gonna say that this was the first of the signs. What is it? Jesus turned the water to wine. It was a supernatural manifestation of the power of God, of the invisible God, showing His power and His reality on planet earth.
So when the invisible God shows His greatness by doing something physically supernatural on planet earth, His glory is revealed. So let me state it again. When the Scripture speaks of the glory of God, the most common connection that Scriptures make concerning the glory of God is when our invisible God has manifested His beauty, and His power, and His glory upon the earth. So notice with me as we read this, verse 11: This the beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, listen now, and manifested His glory. So how did God show his glory? By doing something supernatural that people witness. Listen to a few other examples of this concept that I'm sharing with you once again, that God's glory is manifest when He does a miracle.
Let's take for example the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai. This is when the Lord reveals himself to the Israelites at Mount Sinai 3,500 years ago. So what is happening? The glory of the Lord rested on top of the mountain. The people saw the fire. They saw the glory. They heard the thunder. They heard... Listen, the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like consuming fire on top of the mountain. And so once again, God's glory is being revealed. How's it being revealed? It's being revealed in a way that the sons of Israel saw it. So I'm just making the point to help you understand. When you read the Scriptures look for the phenomenon of God making Himself known through miracles and signs on planet earth.
In fact, John said that Jesus did so many miracles and so many signs that there, there were too many even to record in his gospel. I want you to believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He reveals His glory by doing supernatural things in the lives of His children. You see, we need to believe, beloved, that our God is not just the God of yesterday. He's not just the God that we, we read about concerning, wow, it's really great what God did for Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob. Isn't it great what God did for the people of Jesus's day? And we love studying the Bible and reading about what God did for His people long ago. But I want you to hear, our God is not just the God of long ago, and the same things that He did in the Scriptures for His people, He's doing today because He's the same yesterday, beloved ones, today for you, and forever. He's not just the God of yesterday. He's not just the God of tomorrow.
You see, some people they, they think that once they receive Jesus, the only thing left for them is to study the Bible and wait to die so they can meet Him. But I want you to know, God is not just the God of tomorrow. He's also the God of today. Now in this world we're not gonna see Him fully. The Bible says we see Him through a glass dimly. But let's not discount the fact that He's still doing miracles. He's still performing signs. He's still doing things, beloved ones, in the lives of His people. And if you pay careful attention and keep seeking Him, and keep seeking to obey Him, I promise you you're gonna see God's glory in your life. You're gonna see supernatural things happening; maybe a supernatural circumstance. Somebody calls you at just the right time. A door opens up for you when you weren't expecting it. Just pay attention.
And when God does something supernatural, don't just strike it up to coincidence. Don't just say, wow, that was a miracle and then forget about it. Write it down and then meditate on it. And then focus on it, and thank God for it, and celebrate it. That way when you're facing times in your life when it seems like nothing's happening, you can go back and remind yourself of those things that God does, has done for you and it will encourage you to continue to move forward, to continue to move in faith, and to press on in Him for more. Well that being said, I want to move on now. I'm still in John, chapter 2, and we're switching gears a bit. We've been talking about the glory of God as Jesus performed his first miracle at the wedding. And I want to continue on and point out another Hebraic episode, another Hebraic incidence in the Gospel of John. Look in verse number 13 of chapter 2: The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
A couple things, notice here that Jesus celebrated the Passover. Not only did Jesus celebrate the Passover, Jesus celebrated all the feasts that God gave to Israel. So this is important because a lot of times Christians today have no appreciation for the fact that some of these feasts that the Lord gave Israel can be sources of spiritual blessing to them as Christians today, as those that have been grafted in, according to Ephesians, to the commonwealth of Israel. We're not under the law, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. All these feast days beginning with Passover, beloved, listen are shadows of what Father has done for us in Messiah Jesus. That's why Jesus is called the Passover Lamb. So I just wanted to point out here Jesus celebrated Passover. He celebrated all the feasts. And it would be a blessing for you, beloved, perhaps come to visit me some time at Lion of Judah World Outreach Center for one of these feast days. You'll find that information on our website, DiscoveringTheJewishJesus.com.
Let's continue on here. I want to press on to the term Jews here in verse number 13. It says: The Passover of the Jews was near. And as we study the term Jews, in the Gospel of John often times the term Jews has kind of a negative connotation to it. In other words, the Jews were calling for Jesus to be crucified, etc. So as we look at that term Jews in the Gospel of John, it comes across as a negative term. And it could actually cause someone to become anti-Sematic towards Jewish people. But I want you to hear me carefully, beloved ones, when I say this. When John uses the word Jews in his Gospel, what he's specifically referring to is the Judean religious leadership. He's not speaking of the Jewish people in general 'cause John himself was a Jew. Jesus is a Jew. The multitudes that followed Him were Jews. The first church in Jerusalem were all Jews.
So when John uses the word Jews, he's not talking about the Jewish people as a whole, but he was referring specifically to the religious leadership of the day that had formed all these rules and all these regulations, and were keeping Jesus out. Well I hope today that you've done two things; that you've gained a greater appreciation for the Jewish roots of your faith, and I also hope that you've learned, beloved, that as you age in life, your life will only get richer as you keep your eyes on Jesus. Keep believing Him and trusting Him for more. I love you and until next week, this is Rabbi Schneider saying Shalom.