"But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you..." 1 Corin. 12:9

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gleanings - John - Chapter 2

Reading John 1 was wonderful; many gleanings from the Spirit.  Chapter 2 contained many new thoughts as well.  I also chewed on thoughts that I've heard before.  Chapter 2 starts out with the story of the first miracle Jesus performed--turning water into wine at a wedding, His 1st display of His total mastery over the physical world.  He can alter matter.  Woah!!!

Verse 3 is an example of a previous teaching meditated on afresh.
   "When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to Him, 'They have no more wine.'

Now, I can't remember where I heard this (from Beth Moore or Nancy Leigh DeMoss or someone else), but whomever it was said that Mary just presented the problem to the One Who could do something about it.  She didn't beg.  She didn't tell Him HOW to fix it.  She just brought it to Him.  And then she waited, with expectation.  It reminds me of Psalm 5:3 "In the morning, O LORD, in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation."  Well, it wasn't morning, but the rest of the verse is there in this idea.  I love it.  Submissive expectant waiting SCREAMS faith.

I'm not sure how to deal with the whole interchange between Jesus and Mary.  It sounds like He is saying "No, Mom, I'm a grown man now.  You can quit trying to order things for Me in My Life.  I AM God, and I'll say when it is time to act."  But, He does something (maybe He had an expression on His face that let her know) that prompts her next statement.  She says to the servants, in verse 5, "Do whatever He tells you."  Again, she does not try to control or orchestrate what happens next.  (It is no secret that Mary is a better woman than I!  It seems like, in my prayers, I'm always telling God what I want, how I want it, and when I want it.  No wonder I get disappointed sometimes.  I want to take a lesson from Mary in this.)  So that's Mary's part.  Enter the servants.

Verse 7 "Jesus said to the servants, 'Fill the jars with water'"; (and without knowing what to expect) "they filled them to the BRIM."  These are servants who knew HOW to OBEY!  (I need that too!)  And because they obey, they are blessed to see His glory when He acts.

Verse 8 "Then He told them, 'Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.'  They did so."
Obedience, again.

Verse 9 "and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.  He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew."  Their obedience had positioned them for knowing deeper and being blessed.

So Mary wait with expectation, and she was blessed to see His glory revealed.

The servants obeyed fully in the process, and they were blessed to see His glory revealed.

And the disciples were there, taking this all in.  And when "He thus revealed His glory...His disciples put their faith in Him."

God's revealed glory ALWAYS results in our increased faith, IF we don't miss it.

My final thoughts on this part of the chapter were:  Not understanding 'how' God is going to act in a situation is not a lack of faith.  Even if I don't understand, I can obey to the fullest, like the servants did, and, thereby, open up my life to the blessing He desires to pour into it.

If Mary hadn't brought all her cares to Him (like He says to in 1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:5-6) and if the servants hadn't obeyed Him to the fullest, playing their roles in the situation, they wouldn't have had the privilege of watching Him work through them.  And their faith wouldn't have grown as much.  And as I obey Him and watch Him work, my faith will deepen too.  Every time He 'comes through' for us, it serves to deepen our faith, to enrich it.

As my mom told me the other day, the longer you live and look back and see His provision, the more confidence in Him and courage you will have.  And life is a process of deepening faith.  You will never arrive until you step into His Presence at the end.  (And yet, in all my imperfection, He loves me!  Glory!!!)

Active remembrance of His Word and His deeds increases our faith, shores up our belief.  Verse 22 says, "After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said.  Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken."

My prayer:  Lord, break down, tear out the stronghold of fear in my life.  Replace it with confident, trusting, obedient belief.  Change me and give me victory.  Help me make the daily choices required to overcome this bondage.


Before I move on to the rest of the chapter, here is a song we learned recently in church that mentions this miracle and others.

One of my favorite lines says, "There's no one like You."  I love the bridge as well.  "And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?  And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?"


Between the 2 main parts of this chapter is tucked one little verse that I love.  Verse 12 says, "After this He went down to Capernaum with His mother and brothers and His disciples.  There they stayed for a few days."  How great is that?!  Jesus need a break to rest and refresh with friends and family too.  He needed down time with his loved ones.  He managed to minister even in that time I have no doubt.  They learned just by watching Him.  But He was there to enjoy them and to re-energize for His next public encounter.  He WAS fully man, as well as fully God.  AWESOME!


The next event in the chapter is when He went to the temple and kicked all the money-lenders and sellers out.  Bold.  Authoritative.  Verse 17 sums it up best, "Zeal for Your House will consume Me."

The 'powers-that-be' wanted a sign to back up His authority.  Here's the one He gave them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in 3 days (verse 19)."  Of course, they didn't get that He was talking about the Temple of His body.  (I wouldn't have got it either.)

He was so courageous to go against any one who was not right, to His own peril.  "Why was He so courageous?" I wondered.  I struggle to be courageous.  So I want to find 'the secret'.  I think the answer was in verse 19.  He knew what He came to do, and He knew what the 'end' would be.  Yes, He would lay down His life, but He would also 'take it up again' (John 10:17-18).  We know the end result too!  Heaven!!!  And so I pray for more boldness to exercise the authority He has granted me.  (Psalm 8:6  "You have give him (man) dominion over the works of Your Hands; You have put all things under his feet.")

It was NOT because He trusted in man's 'innate goodness'.  What a crock!  It says, in verses 24 & 25, "But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.  He did not need man's testimony about man, for He knew what was in a man."  (And it wasn't good!  Genesis 6:5 "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that EVERY inclination of his heart was ONLY evil ALL the time.")  He was even talking about people who profess belief in Him in this instance.  He has seen us in action since we were created.  We cannot deceive Him.

He knows me.  Every last blemish, wrinkle, laugh line, wart, etc.  I cannot deceive Him.  He knows how completely untrustworthy and fickle I can be.  I'm so grateful that He is the complete opposite and is totally trustworthy, and that He has covered me with His righteousness.

 One final Scripture to encourage us all to cling to His Word:

Psalm 12:6-7a(amplified) "The words and promises of the Lord 
are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace,
purified seven times over.  You will keep them
and preserve them, O Lord..."

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