Let’s go to a Wedding!

Vol. 3 No. 8 – 2-25-2018

The wine supply ran out during the festivities. John 2:1-11

There was a wedding in Denver, Colorado for an only daughter – the affair cost dad in the neighborhood of $430,000. (My hand shook just keying that into this blog!) Included was a sit down dinner, with a full orchestra, 500 guests, and unhappily four open bars. The meal was $50,000. Flowers? Yes, $20,000, including 1500 long stem roses (a bargain for the quantity – but strangely not enough to give each guest one rose).

Our text speaks of another wedding; one that included a miracle. It was out in the country, in the rural community of Cana, Galilee, 8-miles north of Jesus’ home town, Nazareth. Jesus, five of His disciples, and Jesus’ mother, Mary, are there by invitation.

Perhaps it was as the strains of Lohengrin were played (certainly by the star band of that era (wonder if they used spotlights, color lights, vapor, and video backgrounds), that all eyes turn to see her. Nothing has changed, has it? Here comes the bride. This wedding is quite interesting; we know the principal characters of the account, but wait, we do not know the name of the bride. Strange! She is not mentioned. Maybe someone else was more important to the one recording the event; who is that Someone?

All of a sudden tragedy strikes (usually tragedies are sudden). Something always seems to happen at a wedding. I could write more than one book of my experiences at weddings.

The wedding ran out of wine (John 2:3). Eastern hospitality that included wine was an expected (sacred honor?). Running out of wine brought shame to the host and hostess; an insult to those present, and possibly social isolation for the bridal party. In extreme cases, a law suit ensued (yes, people were looking at everything with an intent to sue – even back in those days – bringing this event right to the door step of our generation).

The Son of God, Jesus, has the ability to adapt to the circumstances we face and meet the embarrassing emergency. The Creator of all things does not have to dig out His cell phone and call 911, or use Siri to find the nearest retail outlet for the required “spirits.”

For centuries, God provided (created) water, soil, vines, and sun to produce grapes that wine-dressers pressed into juice and in the words of a past T.V. ad: “We will serve no wine before it’s time!” What was a normal months’ long project was in Cana a mere few seconds’ effort by the Lord of the universe. What usually took labor, holding vats, and tools, now took only a look and a word of command:

Fill those six stone waterpots to the brim with water (2:7).

The employed master of the ceremony, perhaps a connoisseur of excellent vintage, took a sip. Can’t you hear him: “Young man, this is wonderful stuff! Usually the best of the house is served first, then when everyone is full and no longer cares, the bottom of the barrel is tapped. You have kept the very best for last. Congratulations for your wisdom.”

But it was much more than just about the wine.

John Wesley, 1703-1791, founder of the Methodist Church, was required as a student to write an essay on this miracle, something which transcends the operation of natural law, of water becoming wine at the Galilean wedding. Frustrated, mentally paralyzed, with time running out, finally he took his pen and with inspiration he wrote: “The water looked at Jesus and blushed.”

Without Jesus Christ, life is dull, stale, and flat. Parties and events are really a bust! However, when Jesus arrives, life becomes vivid, sparkling, and exciting.

Have you invited Jesus to your events?

Life begins when Jesus comes in!

Really? . . .

Vol. 3 No. 7 – 2-18-2018

Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the nine?” – Luke 17:17

A PHD in research of biochemistry announced that by the year 2038 neurologists will be able to control the evil and problems of mankind on a scientific basis. One would have to read further to find there is an “if” clause: If there would be preparatory psychoanalysis, if there would be cloning, and if there would be a moving of the candidates to a new world!

I do not think they will be knocking on my door.

The little clipping that I had saved related: “When a man behaves in an uncivilized manner, we will not say he is crazy and vicious, criminal or immoral. Instead we will know too much pyruvic acid has accumulated in his thalamic cells, and there is no carboxylase, a highbrow term for Vitamin B-1, operating in his thalamus.”

“We will be able to tell he did not grow enough association neurones descending from his cortex so that he does not deliver enough acetychorline to his midbrain.”

Please do not write to me with questions about pyruvic acid, carboxyla, and acetychorline. I am just an ignorant male with an earned doctorate degree. However, I am knowledgeable of what causes evil and problems in mankind’s thinking, speaking, and actions. It is sin; it is following one’s own choice in our broken world; it is pride. The middle word in sin is “I.” The middle word in pride is “I.”

Not every disease is chosen or inflicted upon us by our choice; yet, ultimately disease is a result of the Fall of Adam and Eve and has moved throughout people of the earth since Adam and Eve sinned.

Think of leprosy – it is real! When Donna and I traveled to India we found that leprosy is still active. It is found primarily in low cast conditions – treatable, but the Hindu society does not treat the low cast as real people well, or even as people. Lepers were an outcast of society. Rotted limbs, twisted arms and legs, disfigured faces, and unclean. Medical science has worked hard to find an absolute cure, but it is elusive, but treatable.

The scientist today is not even close to admitting that our diseases have resulted from original sin; psychologists, socio-biologists, and sadly numbers of theologians are confused.

The answer is within our text. Ten fellows approach Jesus as He heads south out of the province of Galilee into Samaria. Knowing Who He is and what He could do, they shout: “Have mercy on us!”

What are they asking for? Can You control our problem? Is our pyruvic acid out of balance? Can You deliver enough acetychorline to our midbrain? We need help; can You provide the remedy?

Jesus responds to them. “Go to the Jewish priest and show him that you are healed.” As they traveled to see the priest, going in faith that things would be OK, their leprosy disappeared. One of them came back to the highway, found Jesus, and for all to hear said: “Glory to God, I am healed!”

He fell flat on the ground in front of the Savior, face downward in the dust, thanking Him for what He had done. Ten men were healed; only one returned to say “Thanks!” One came back to worship. Incredible that our worship today is usually about us rather than directed to God.

Are we not all in danger of being among the nine, rather than being represented by the One; forgetting and failing in our praise and gratitude? Thanksgiving is the expression of our gladness that God is good to us. We ought daily to give Him thanks for what He has done, what He is doing today, and by faith, the future blessings He has for us. –G. Campbell Morgan

Whoever offers praise glorifies God –Psalm 50:23

Hush …

Vol. 3 No. 6 – 2-11-2018

The crowd sternly told him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more. Luke 18:39

It is always exciting to meet a person that refuses to simply accept “NO” for an answer!

There have been mid-major sports teams, winning this year because of their commitment and conviction that refused to allow themselves to go down to defeat. We can learn a lot by observing how others react.

Have you ever had an experience where you had to stand up to a Goliath, like David, as an insignificant little shepherd boy who was still wet behind the ears, you prevailed?

Our text in Luke tells of a blind man standing firm in the opportunity to have his blindness healed. A man in sheer, desperate persistence, facing odds perhaps 10,000 to 1 (or more than that).

Blind Bartimaeus did not even have the opportunity to read a braille edition of the Scriptures. He never heard of Pat Riley’s book, The Winner Within (you might have read the chapter on breaking through self-imposed barriers). Blind Bart did not have some formula for success; he was only aware that if he missed this opportunity with Jesus, failure would more than likely follow.

Zacchaeus, a wealthy citizen lived in a fancy home, perhaps a town home in a wealthy section of town. Jesus had left out of a luncheon, heading up from Jericho, 18 miles through the “Canyon of Blood” to Jerusalem. As He walked, He taught. We ought to do so as well. No one crosses our path by accident.

There was a tramping of the crowd accompanying Him that caused Blind Bart, the beggar, to ask about the commotion.

Jesus of Nazareth is passing by!

Ordinarily, as a beggar, Blind Bart would have sought to make capital out of the crowd. Extra shekels would be available. More passers-by meant more money in his box. However, on this occasion, sight was more on his mind; more important than money. He deliberately sacrifices financial advantages for eyesight; for an encounter with the Christ.

How much we could learn from that little note.

Twice he cries out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The first time it was a soul-stirring lament that attracted attention. The second time it was an eager scream of ungovernable emotion. Jesus pauses. Blind Bart had no sight in either of his eyes; he knew what he wanted most of all; he wanted to pass from darkness into light. He wanted to quit being a beggar and become a follower; move from crying for a few coins to being a person praising God.

His cry enters into the Heart of Mercy:

Receive your sight, your faith has made you well. And immediately he regained his sight, and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God (18:42-43).

When was the last time you cried out in faith to God; then glorified Him for what He did, following Him so that you might have an impact on those who gather around you?

Maybe it is time.

A man is not finished when he is defeated;

H is finished when he quits

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