Greetings! Welcome to the show! We appreciate your joining us today. Our mission here on this radio program is simply to offer the life and encouragement that is found in the presence of Jesus. He is the Bread of Life; the source of all life; because He is the life. And He has life that He wants to offer you today; life in Himself. Last week we finished the end of John chapter 1. Jesus has just called about five of His disciples and at this point is preparing to enter into public ministry. But before that, He is invited to a wedding. And I’d like to pick up there today. John 2:1-11 reads…
John 2:1-11 (ESV) The Wedding at Cana-- 1 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.[a] 7 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.
Witnesses-- Now the Gospel of John is all about witnesses to who Jesus is and the reader’s response to the testimony of those witnesses. Up until this point in the life of Jesus you have had people bearing witness to who Jesus is. John the Baptist has born witness about Jesus; God Himself has born witness at Jesus’ baptism; and Nathanael has born witness. So we have verbal testimony. But starting in our passage this morning, we also have the testimony of the signs that Jesus performed. And we know that there are many. In fact so many, that the Apostle John writes in…
John 21:25 (NIV)-- 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
Nevertheless John chooses eight of these signs that bear testimony to Jesus as being fully man, yet fully God; and that show His awesome power and authority over every element of creation and (more specifically) every trial and difficulty that you and I face in our day to day lives.
The Eight Signs-- He turns water into wine (2:1-12) so that we might know He is the source of life. He heals an official’s son (John 4:46-54) so that we might know that He is the master over distance. Jesus heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-17) so that we might see that He is master over time. He feeds the 5,000 (John 6:1-14) so that we might see that He is the bread of life. He walks on water and stills a storm (John 6:15-21) so that we might see how He is master over nature. He heals a man blind from birth (John 9:1-41) so that we might see that He is the light of the world who extinguishes our darkness. He raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:17-45) so that we might know that He has power over death. He causes an abundant catch of fish (John 21:6) so that we might see that He has mastery even over the animal world; and that His authority; His dominion knows no boundaries. And that is so comforting to know as we move through our day to day lives; knowing who He is and the length of His arm; His power over those things that seems so unconquerable to us.
Christ’s Authority, Our Hope-- This is why John’s Gospel is so important to us. Because it shows us that every element of our lives is in the control of Jesus. His dominion is complete; His power is perfect; and in Him is hope of life; if not healing in this life, in the life to come! The Apostle John drives home the reality the power Christ’s presence has in our day to day lives. In Him is the assurance of His power that (unlike anything else) can give us hope during times like this. But we have to believe. We have to believe. Our hope hinges on belief; our placing our faith in Him. This is why, John in the purpose statement of his Gospel, writes…
John 20:31 (NIV)-- 31 But these (meaning the eight signs found in the book of John) are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
“Are you going to believe?”-- So the question becomes, “Are you going to believe?” And throughout John’s Gospel, after every sign Jesus performs, John records for us the responses of those who believed and those who didn’t and the affect that response had on their lives. Those who did believe experienced the life-giving presence of Jesus and the hope that He offers. And that is what Christ wants you and me to experience this morning. So please don’t miss it. Jesus wants to bring His life into your life today.
A Hospital Encounter-- Once I was visiting somebody in the hospital; and while I was waiting to see the individual I had come to see, the Lord allowed somebody to come to me; somebody I had never met who began talking with me; and he freely confessed he was not a Christian nor had any interest in becoming one. And when I asked him what it was that he found most difficult to believe about the Christian faith, it was that God would care enough about us to interact with us in our world. And you know, I can identify with his struggle. The fact that God loves us and is willing to interact with us so personally; to suffer and die for us can be very hard to wrap your mind around. Even many of the Biblical writers had difficulty comprehending it. David himself writes in…
Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)-- 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
God’s Marriage-- And the Bible is so graphic in its language. In the Old Testament, the predominant picture is the intimate marriage relationship between a man and a woman. God enters into a relationship with Israel softly and tenderly. He woos her to Himself. He declares His love; He makes a covenant with her. He protects her like a jealous husband; He forgives and receives her back after her numerous affairs with other lovers (her idolatry). He picks Israel up in all of the brokenness she has led herself into and He clothes her anew and promises to heal her and make the marriage work. I mean it is some of the most moving imagery we have that unites the Old Testament with the New and gives us the grandest theme of all of Scripture; that God would choose to wed Himself to mankind is a wonderful and marvelous reality.
A Ministry Bookended by Marriage-- And you cannot miss the significance of the fact that the very first sign Jesus performs, He performs at a wedding. In fact, His ministry is bookended by weddings. The Wedding in Cana begins His ministry and His ministry is punctuated and consummated in the Last Day at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. His ministry begins and ends with weddings. And that alone ought to reveal to us in a remarkable way just what kind of relationship our Creator wants to share with us.
One-Flesh With Us-- That is the glory revealed to us in Christ Jesus; the glory Jesus promised Nathanael that he would be a witness to; that He (God) had become one-flesh with us and was making preparations for us to be able to enter into a marriage relationship with Him and live with Him in His Father’s house; a relationship so personal, that when the disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray, He doesn’t say to pray saying, “The Father”, or “His father, but “Our Father”. In Jesus, God has become our Father because we have (as one hymn puts it so beautifully) become “part of the family of God”. It’s words are so powerful. Just listen…
Hymn: “Family of God”
From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I'm not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong!
I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God
God’s Abundant Provision-- And that is what our story today is all about; it reveals to us the abundance; the overflow of God’s blessing; as He doesn’t only give mankind what we needed (which was a Savior) but He gives us a Bridegroom; a Bridegroom with and in whom we might experience the wonder of a marriage relationship with God.
If you understand nothing else from the Bible, understand this. God loves you wholly and completely; He loves you unconditionally. And not your past; not your brokenness; nor any of the barriers you think are too great for His love to overcome can hold a candle to His love for you. And Jesus His Son bled and died so that you might be wed to God Himself. And no matter who you are or what you are going through today, don’t let that offer of marriage slip you by. Don’t fail to accept that free gift He offers to us. Receive Him as your Bridegroom and you will be a part of the family of God. Amen.
Rev. Cameron Ury graduated from Asbury University in 2007 with a B.A. in Bible and Theology. From there he continued his studies at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS. It was there that he met his wife Tanya, who graduated from WBS with her M.A. and M.Div. degrees. Cameron and Tanya got married in 2009. Cameron then graduated with his M.Div. degree with a pastoral concentration in 2011.
After shepherding churches in both Mississippi and Ohio, they joined the ministry team at Renton Park Chapel in January of 2018, where Cameron serves as Senior Pastor and Teacher.
Cameron is also the founder and host of Lechem Panim, a weekly radio show that airs on KGNW 820AM "The Word Seattle". The ministry of Lechem Panim is centered around leading people into the life-giving presence of God in and through Bible study, prayer, and active discipleship with the aim of ministering to a world that is in desperate need of the healing touch of Jesus Christ.