I have done several series over the years, all of which are significant chapters in my faith walk. In fact, you could likely walk out the first 9 years of my faith by going back through this site alone.
- Seasons of consistent writing, and months without writing anything
- Times of great encouragement and seasons of great struggles, confusion, and heartache
- Times of faith, and times of fear.
- Periods of healthy self-worth and demonic self-condemnation
One thing is for sure, when I’m engaged with the Bible on a consistent basis, what’s important to God becomes more clear to me.
For me, John 1 appears to be all about the revelation that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the foundations of His Ministry was all about Him calling people to Himself and people CHOOSING to follow, sometimes at the cost of giving up everything.
This is all very relevant to us as believers today, and it lead, I believe, to some very probing questions at the foundations of our faith:
- Am I convinced that Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah?
- Do I truly believe that I heard His call and am now following Him?
I enjoy letting this journey be organic. Today we kick off John 2 and honestly, each day, I have no idea what to expect and this opening paragraph is a basic indication of where my heart and thoughts are prior to stepping into today’s SOAP exercise.
Lord, we come again today expecting to hear from You. Give us discernment to extract what is relevant to us personally in this very intentional season of SOAP and getting to know You more through Your Words, the Bible.
The Wedding at Cana |Paolo Veronese 1563 | Image Source: Wikipedia
John 2:1-11 (ESV)
The Wedding at Cana
2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
- On the 3rd day
- There was a wedding celebration
- Jesus, his Mother, and disciples were invited
- Mary said “they have no wine”
- Jesus replied ‘what does this have to do with me’
- Mary said “do what he tells you”
- Jesus said “fill….” and they “filled…”
- This, the first of His signs… manifested His glory.
- And the disciples believed in Him
- The text “on the 3rd day” jumped out at me. Gee, any other significant event take place “on the third day?” I’m not sure of any significance here but I’m fascinated by patterns and having Jesus’ first miracle come 3 days after His official introduction to the world as the Messiah seems at the least, coincidental.
- And what was it that Jesus was doing on this 3rd day? He was celebrating a wedding and enjoying the festivities. And his first miracle was making “good wine”. I so often in my own life feel so driven to serve and focusing all my energy on the “important stuff” that I can feel like I’m “wasting time” at social events. Is God saying we are to enjoy all of it, that balance is important? That being with others in a casual/social environment is equally important as the work we do directly for Him? Am I living a balanced work/social life? Are they even separate if everything is centered on the goodness of God?
- Jesus was invited. My assumption is if He wasn’t invited, He wouldn’t have been there? In my day-to-day life, am I constantly “inviting Jesus” into all that I do?
- Jesus provided the first recorded miracle (water into wine) in response to His Mother’s request. We are to always ask for God’s Will not ours be done but did He not also say “you don’t have because you don’t ask” and “ask for anything in my name and it shall be given“. Wine surely doesn’t seem very important, yet He provided. Obviously, this is not a license to turn God into a gumball machine, but are there things in my life that I may believe aren’t worthy of asking for because I think they are not important to God? Maybe that is for Him to decide and not me and we are to bring EVERYTHING to Him.
- It would appear Jesus’ reply “what does that have to do with me” indicates He originally intended to not do anything about the situation. Even after His reply, on faith, Mary then said “do what He tells you” to the servents. Mary asked Jesus responded. Then Jesus directed, and the staff responded. How often do I consider that when I become aware of a need or someone makes a request of me that it could be in response to someone else’s prayers? Jesus’ love is transactional, how often do I consider the situations in my life Divine Appointments instead of inconvenient burdens? And what about Mary’s command, DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU… how perfect a message for us all!
- This was the first of many miracles. Do I see the seemingly impossible life rescues and unlikely outcomes in my own life as being one of the “many miracles” of God? Even the hard stuff?
- And His disciples believed Him. How many times have I seen the miracles of God? Am I still naive enough to question if coincidences?
The timing on this message Lord is (go figure… not coincidently) an answer to a burning question. Not one hour before sitting down to do this SOAP exercise today a good friend and I were talking on the phone discussing my struggle with choosing between being an all-in entrepreneur or spending more time with social engagements. My conclusion was you can’t have both and do either well. Yet this passage clearly says TAKE TIME TO ENJOY RELATIONSHIPS. Thank you Father that you speak to us in many wonderful ways, and that Your Word is always faithful to never come back void. At least for today, I will look for ways to connect directly with others more often, thank you for not ever leaving me the way I am but showing me ways in which I can grow… if I choose to do what You tell me.
How about you guys, any compartmentalized all-or-nothing, driven-by-your-career kind of people out there who struggle to find work/life balance? Feel free to join the conversation.
Blessings in Christ,