Sermon Summary: The Second Sunday after Epiphany, January 18, 2015

About the Text (John 2:1-11)

Change.  It’s all over the place in our lives, in our world and in this text.  Now, we often think of change as something to be avoided, something uncertain.  But when we see this text, we see that change can be good.  Water changing into wine, empty changing into full, embarrassment and shame changing into honor, sorrow changing into joy, worry changing into relief, and worse changing into best.  Jesus changes things.

Now, when we get concerned about change, it’s probably not change that we are worried about so much.  It’s loss.  Change certainly can mean loss – loss of health, loss of freedom, loss of respect and honor, loss of the good ole’ routine, loss of loved ones.  However, change can also mean gain.

For our Repentance

So, if the thing that we’re scared of the most is loss, then it is good to consider what it is that Jesus brings us.  Jesus changes things, after all.  Water changes into wine, empty changes into full.  When Mary tells the servants this: (vs. 5) “Do whatever he tells you” and we consider the same thing – He is after all, the Son of God – what change does this bring us?  Does it bring you loss? That is so often, how we would perceive it to be.

“Do whatever he tells you”  means, first of all, we ought know what He tells me which means I should be listening. “Do whatever he tells you” means, we often think, a loss of freedom to live, say and act to what we want to do.  “Do whatever he tells you” could mean a loss of my time, loss of my freedom, loss of respect for others (even close family and friends) who don’t like what He tells me, loss of my money, loss of my fun, loss of my anger which needs to be shown, loss of preferred way of working or career, or loss to use my gifts the way that I want to use my gifts (Romans 12:6-12).  And here’s another thing we don’t always consider: we lose Satan as an ally, a friend.  Who wants him as an enemy?  We also would lose the world’s friendship and our own flesh’s friendship, sinful desires’ friendship.  With those losses, you gain something, a cross.  Some Christian teachers and preachers want to hide the losses, but Jesus makes no secret about those losses and that gain.  Luke 9: 23And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.24For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

For our Comfort

Jesus changes things.  But those things that we lose are either worth losing (friendship with Satan and a world that is passing away and a flesh that is only concerned for self) or are only perceived losses.  And the gains are much more than perceived – they are the truest thing that we have in this life and in the life to come.

A newly wedded couple running out of wine at their feast would bring embarrassment, shame, and reveal their poverty to everyone.  But their embarrassment and shame turn into honor  (vs. 9-10).  The bridegroom doesn’t deserve such praise, he in fact deserves the shame, but he gets the honor and praise because of Jesus.  The same is true for you because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross and declaration of righteousness in His Word.

Jesus had just called some of His disciples to follow Him and He led them to this marriage feast.  The newly called disciples knew this Jesus had something to say, but their faith was weak. But Jesus changes things (vs. 11).

We come with weak and weary souls and faith to our Lord’s table, and He changes our souls and faith by making them stronger and refreshed.  We come unsatisfied and discontent, but He changes us to satisfy and make us whole.  Jesus changes things.  What we lose is our sin and what we gain is His righteousness and honor.  What we lose is Satan’s grip on us and what we gain is the Heavenly Father’s strong hand holding us.  O, that is a change for us.  But Jesus changes things.  Amen.

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