Sermon – John 2.1-11 (Epiphany 2 – 2019)
Let us pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank You, that by Your grace You have instituted holy matrimony, in which You keep us from unchastity, and other offenses: We beseech You to send Your blessing upon every husband and wife, that they may not provoke each other to anger and strife, but live peaceably together in love and godliness, receive Your gracious help in all temptations, and raise their children in accordance with Your will. Grant that we all might walk before You in purity and holiness, put our trust in You, and lead such lives on earth, that in the world to come we may have everlasting life, through Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever. Amen.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.
3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece.
7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it.
9 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.
10 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!”
11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
These are Your words heavenly Father. Sanctify us by the truth. Your word is truth. Amen.
Dear fellow redeemed,
Jesus Makes Good Things and Makes Things Good
By turning water into wine Jesus revealed His glory, “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
There He appears as no more than a man, the son of Mary. But hidden in His appearance is the divine glory of the Son of God, through whom all things are created visible and invisible.
It is normal occurrence that He turns water into wine. For He upholds the universe by the word of His power. Through Him the Father, sends down rain from the clouds, and through the natural processes which Christ upholds, He provides the grapes for wine.
But He through whom all things were created out of nothing, makes wine out of water in a supernatural way. In an instant he changes the nature of a thing. He reveals the divine glory that is hidden behind His humble human frame. He is the eternal God, the Creator.
And notice what kind of wine He makes. It is very good wine. God does all things well, and that includes His work of creation. He completed creation and said that everything was very good. And part of that good creation was His institution of marriage. God gave Eve to Adam for a wife. Scripture says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Marriage was perfect relationship in which one man and one woman would become one flesh, give one another companionship, live in perfect harmony and peace with one another. In their relationship, they would enjoy sexual intimacy, and from that relationship they would produce offspring, working together, serving God together, together making a home for the children, raising them in the knowledge of God their Creator.
Well, we know the perfection didn’t last long. God made His creation very good. Marriage was very good, but then the fall happened. Sin entered the world. And the good things that God had created became corrupted, abused, and perverted and profaned by sinful man. Marriage is still very good, but how much abuse it receives.
Sexual immorality runs rampant. In the days of Old Testament Israel, sexual acts were often part of pagan worship. So also, today, the culture’s worship of self and self-gratification holds sacred just about all sexual impulses, and condemns anything that would put any limits on them. They have no regard to keeping the marriage bed pure. Such a thing is laughable to the world. It is so backwards that chastity is odd. Waiting until marriage is scoffed at, and cohabitation is expected.
But then there are other ways that God’s good institution of marriage is abused. People end their marriages with unfaithfulness, and abandonment of marriage. They end marriage for trivial, selfish reasons, losing interest in a marriage rather than making a decision daily to love one’s spouse with selfless devotion.
A relationship that should be filled with peace and companionship, love and humble service toward one another has disorder, pride, selfishness, impatience, complaining, resentment. A relationship where there is to be a perfect complement of the husband as the loving head, and the wife as the submissive helper, creating a beautiful, happy, and fulfilling relationship instead is replaced with conflict, with the husband either not showing love or not showing leadership or both, and the wife not being submissive and not supporting, respecting, and helping her husband.
Man has abused, profaned, and perverted this good and blessed insitituion of marriage. And we are guilty to one extent or another.
We have sinned. We are guilty, so we confess our sins against God. We have not been good. But Jesus who made good wine does all things well. He creates well, but He also does well in redemption.
We who have sinned, who have a corrupted sinful nature, we have fallen from the goodness with which God had originally made us.
But Jesus has redeemed us. As a loving husband, He gives His life for the protection, and the salvation of His bride. He is faithful and just. He doesn’t let us flounder in the darkness and condemnation of our sin, though that is what we deserve. Rather, He sacrificed Himself for every single sin against Him and against His institution of marriage and against our spouses, or against the marriage bed. No matter how dark or how common the sin, He took it, He paid for it on the cross, suffering hell. And the blood that He shed for our sins, then washes His bride clean. We as members of the Bride, the Church through faith, are made clean. Through baptism we are washed. “Though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Is 1:18).
We are clothed in His righteousness, made clean. We sinners who have Christ’s forgiveness and righteousness through faith are made good. We are chaste again, pure, we are faithful husbands and wives, because every impurity, every faithlessness, and selfishness is gone, because every sin is taken away in Christ and we are clothed in His righteousness.
And Christ also makes marriage good, too. He sanctifies marriage even though it is between two sinners. Both husband and wife are cleansed by His blood. Both are given new lives in Christ led by the Holy Spirit to live out their vocations. When Christ is there in a marriage, the forgiveness He gives to husband and wife is shared with one another. Strengthened by the self-sacrificing love of Christ, husband and wife are emboldened to live in loving service to one another. Peace is made in the relationship, when led by Christ, husband and wife live humbly with one another, repenting to one another, and letting love cover a multitude of sins. And a blessed union and companionship, is enjoyed between them, as they work together for their and their children’s earthly and spiritual benefit. Such a marriage is a blessing to each other and to the children, and even those whose lives the couple touches.
And though husband and wife still sin daily, the marriage is made good and holy, because Christ covers them in His forgiveness and righteousness.
Christ is the faithful bridegroom, He covers all of us, married and unmarried alike, in His forgiveness, that we may enjoy the great wedding feast of the Lamb in life eternal. Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be; forevermore. Amen.