Sermon 2155. The Beginning of Miracles Which Jesus Did
A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, JULY 20, 1890,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His Glory; and His disciples believed on Him."John 2:11.
AT this time I shall not consider the relation of this miracle to total abstinence. The wine which Jesus made was good wineand it was made of water-we are not likely to meet with anything of the kind in this country where the wine is seldom madefrom the pure juice of the grape-and where it is not known who made it, or of what it is made. What is now called wine isa very different liquid from that which our Lord Divinely produced. We use our Christian liberty to abstain from wine andwe judge that our Savior would approve of our avoiding that which, in these days, makes our brother to offend. We who quitthe intoxicating cup of today have our ways of viewing our Master's action in this instance and we do not find it difficultto see wisdom and holiness in it. But even if we could not so interpret what He did, we should not dare to question Him. Whereothers quibble, we adore.
Even this is more than I meant to have said, for my object, this morning, is far removed from this controversy. I pursue aspiritual theme and pray for help from on high to treat it aright. We find this miracle only in John. Neither Matthew, norMark, nor Luke has a word of it. How did John come to know of it? In part it was because of his being present. But the prefacein reference to the mother of Jesus came to him in another way, we think. Remember our Lord's words to John from the Crossand how it is written, "From that hour that disciple took her unto his own home"? I believe that no one heard the words ofJesus to His mother but Mary herself. It was after the manner of His delicacy to utter a reproof to her when she was alone.
But when John and the honored mother conversed together, she, in all probability, reminded him of the miracle and told himof her mistake. Saints gain precious things from God's poor and tried servants-and those who entertain the widow and the fatherlessshall not go without reward. If my conjecture is correct, I see the holy modesty of "the mother of Jesus"-that she narratedher own fault and did not forbid John to mention it. The Holy Spirit moved the Evangelist to chronicle not only the miracle,but the error of Mary. It was wise, for it is a conclusive argument against the notion that the mother of Jesus can intercedefor us with her Son and use authority with Him. It is evident from this narrative that our Lord would tolerate no such idea,either in her mind or in ours.
"Woman, what have I to do with you?" is a sentence which rings the death knell of any idea of our Lord's being moved by relationshipsaccording to the flesh. With all loving respect He yet very decidedly shuts out all interference from Mary-for His kingdomwas to be according to the spirit and not after the flesh. I delight in believing, concerning the mother of Jesus, that thoughshe fell into a natural mistake, yet she did not for an instant persist in it. Neither did she hide it from John, but probablytook care to tell it to him that no others should ever fall into similar error by thinking of her in an unfitting manner.
Let it never be forgotten that "the mother of Jesus" had a very firm and practical faith in her Son, concerning whom angelsand Prophets had borne witness to her. She had seen Him in His infancy and watched Him as a Child-and it could not have beeneasy to believe in the Divinity of One whom you have held as an Infant to be nourished at your breast. From His marvelousbirth she believed in Him and now that she receives a kind of rebuff from Him, her faith does not fail her, but she calmlyturns to the servants and bids them stand ready to obey His commands, whatever they might be. She felt that He was quite certainto do the kind and necessary thing. Even from His words, "My hour is not yet come," she probably gathered that His hour towork would arrive.
Her faith was accompanied with imperfection, but yet it was of the right kind. It persevered under difficulty and in the endit was triumphant, for the wine which had failed became plentiful again and that which He provided was of
surpassing quality. May we have a faith which will outlive a rebuke! May we, like Mary, sing, "My spirit has rejoiced in Godmy Savior" and may Jesus be to us, as He was to her-a trusted and beloved One upon whom our soul has learned to wait withconfidence.
With that end in view I have taken this subject for discourse. Oh, that His disciples may trust Him more and more! John said,in another place, concerning the doings of our Lord, "These are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, theSon of God, and that believing you might have life through His name." Truly, I can say this sermon is preached that my belovedhearers may believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved! We shall consider three things in connection with the text. First, thesignificance of this beginning of miracles. Read "signs" instead of "miracles" and you will be nearer the meaning of the original.This "beginning of miracles" was intended, like all that followed it, to be an instructive sign.
Secondly, let us observe its specialty as a manifestation- "And manifested forth His glory." And then, thirdly, its sufficiencyas a confirmation of faith- "And His disciples believed on Him." It was calculated to establish their faith and it did so.
I. To begin with, let us think upon THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS BEGINNING OF SIGNS. May the Holy Spirit graciously assist ourthoughts and warm our hearts! The first sign-wonder that Christ worked was the turning of water into wine at the wedding atCana of Galilee and as we may often judge of a man's course by its beginning-and the beginning is often the key of all thatfollows-so we may learn the whole tenor of our Lord's miracles from this one. Note, first, that this miracle displayed Hisself-denial. Our Lord had been a few days before in the wilderness and after 40 days' fasting He was hungry. It was in Hispower to have commanded the stones to become bread-and had He done so the beginning of signs would have been a miracle workedfor His own necessities.
But such a beginning would not have been like His life-course and especially would it have been wide apart from the conclusionof His life when it was said of Him, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save." He would not make bread for Himself, but Hewill make wine for others. And the fact that it was wine and not bread that he made, makes the miracle all the more remarkable.He did not merely make bread for men, which is a necessity, but He even went further and made wine for them, which is a luxury,though He would not make even bread for Himself. You see the sharp contrast between His refusal to help Himself, even to acrust of bread, and His readiness to give to men not only what might be necessary for life, but that which was only necessaryfor their joy.
When the wine failed, the only danger was that the bride and bridegroom would be pained and the wedding dishonored-and thisour Lord prevents. He would not allow the humble festival of two villagers to come to an untimely end when they had so kindlyinvited Himself and His disciples. He repaid their courtesy by His spontaneous bounty. How greatly is our Divine Lord to beadmired and beloved by us! Behold His kindness! He has no selfishness about Him. We can each one cry, "He loved me and gaveHimself for me." He laid down His life for men-He gave His all to others. No selfish aim ever tinctured that consecrated lifeof His! For Himself He reserved no measure or degree of power-for others He used that power without stint. This beginningof miracles is a display of unselfish working. Thoughtfulness for others shone in that miracle like the sun in the heavens.
Next, observe that this miracle was marked with beneficence. It was "the beginning of miracles" and the first is the keynotefor the rest-happy are we that the first miracle is full of blessing! Moses commenced his work in Egypt with a miracle ofjudgment. He cast down a rod and it became a serpent-and he turned water into blood-but Jesus overcomes the serpent with therod of Scripture and turns water into wine! He works no plagues but heals our sicknesses. Blessed Master-
"Your hand no thunder bears, No terror clothes Your brow, No bolts to drive our guilty souls
To fiercer flames below."
The mission of Jesus is a happy one and so it opens at a marriage feast. It is intended to bring joy and gladness to heavyhearts and so it begins with a deed of royal bounty. At the coronation of kings the conduit in Cheapside has run with wineand here the water pots are filled with it to the brim!
The after-miracles were all beneficent. True, He withered a fruitless fig tree, but it was a beneficent act to wither a treewhich drew men out of their way by false promises of fruit and so caused bitter pangs of disappointment to hungry
and fainting wayfarers. It was a good thing to teach us all a practical lesson of sincerity at so small an expense as thewithering of a good-for-nothing tree. All our Lord's actions towards men are full of royal benevolence and Grace. There willbe a day when the Lamb will be angry and, as a Judge, He will condemn the ungodly-but while this dispensation lasts, He isto us all mercy, love, kindness and bounty. If you, my Hearer, will come to Him, you will find that His heart will go outto you and He will freely bless you with life, rest, peace and joy. The Lord will bless you and remove the curse far fromyou.
This beginning of miracles was worked at a wedding to show great beneficence. Marriage was the last relic of paradise leftamong men and Jesus hastened to honor it with His first miracle. Marriage is His Father's ordinance, for He it was that broughtEve to Adam-and our Lord worked in harmony with the Father. He symbolically touched the very springs of manhood and gave Hissanction to that ordinance whereby the race is perpetuated. Jesus comes to a marriage and gives His blessing that we may knowthat our family life is under His care. How much we owe to the joys of our domestic relationships! Thereby life is raisedfrom water into wine. We have sometimes thought it was almost a proof of the Divinity of Christianity that there could behomes so happy as some of our homes have been made by the Presence of our dear Lord whom we invited to our wedding feast-andwho has never gone away-but has stayed with us all these happy years! It was a miracle which, by honoring marriage, confirmedan institution fraught with happiness to our race.
But, next, it was a miracle most compassionate. Our Lord's miracles were worked, in each case, to meet a need. The wine hadfailed at the wedding feast and our Lord had come in at the time of the pinch, when the bridegroom was fearful of being madeashamed. That need was a great blessing. If there had been sufficient wine for the feast, Jesus had not worked this miracleand they had never tasted this purest and best of wine! It is a blessed need which makes room for Jesus to come in with miraclesof love. It is good to run short that we may be driven to the Lord by our necessity, for He will more than supply it.
My dear Hearer, if you have no need, Christ will not come to you. But if you are in dire necessity, His hands shall be stretchedout to you. If your needs stand before you like huge empty water pots, or if your soul is as full of grief as those same potswere filled with water up to the brim, Jesus can, by His sweet will, turn all the water into wine-the sighing into singing!Be glad to be very weak, that the power of God may rest upon you! As for me, I am more and more dependent upon the Lord forevery particle of strength. My deacons and elders know how often on a Sunday morning, before coming into the pulpit, I havethanked God that it is so. I am glad to be entirely dependent upon the Lord and to have such a failure as to all my naturalwine of ability that there may be occasion for my Lord to come in and supply wine of strength, of another and more Divinequality.
We are likely to do our work best when we feel most our insufficiency and are driven to God for help. If we go blunderingto our service, we shall fail. But if we go tremblingly as to ourselves, by confidently looking up to the Lord, we shall bemore than conquerors! If we have a great need. If something essential has given out. If we are likely to be despised for failure-letus in faith expect the Lord Jesus to come for our deliverance! I gather from this miracle that our Lord looks to man's necessitiesand not to his possessions. He has an eye to our failures and needs-and He makes our distress the platform upon which He manifestsHis Glory by supplying all our needs.
Further, I cannot help noticing how condescending was this miracle! We are told, twice, that it was performed at Cana in Galilee.Twice is this mentioned so that we may observe it well. Our Lord did not choose the high places of Jerusalem, nor any of thenotable cities of Palestine as the scene of His first miracle-He went to a quiet village in Galilee, Galilee of the Gentiles,a district much despised-and there He worked His first miracle at the city of rushes and canes, even Cana in Galilee. He workedthe sign, not on a spiritual and sacred occasion, nor before ecclesiastics and scientists. Some seem to fancy that all ourLord does must be done in churches or cathedrals. No, no! This miracle was in a private house and that not at a Prayer Meetingor a Bible reading, but at the marriage of a couple of poor peasants, names unknown.
See how Jesus condescends to the common places of life and sheds a blessing upon the secular side of our existence! Thosewho gave that feast were people of slender means. The wine would not have been so soon exhausted if they had been very rich.It is true that seven more came to the wedding than they had expected, but still, if they had been wealthy people they wouldhave had more than enough to satisfy seven extra guests, for Easterns kept open house for almost everybody during the marriageweek. They were by no means an aristocratic party, or a set of Israel's notables. Why did not our
Lord begin His miracles before the king, or the governor, or at least in the presence of the high priest and the scribes anddoctors of the Law? Our Lord chose not to make His first appeal to the great and dignified.
I feel much comfort in this fact-that He comes to commonplace individuals is bliss to me! You and I may, in station and inwealth, be low down in the scale, but Jesus stoops to men of mean estate. To common spots like this Newington, on the southside of the Thames, the Lord has come to visit His people! Here, also, has He worked His transformations and many a waterylife has been made rich and full through His Grace! My dear Hearer, Jesus can come to you, though you are only a laborer ora servant, or a poor tradesman, or the wife of an artisan! Our Lord loves the poor! He is a great frequenter of cottages.He stops not for grand occasions, but He makes His abode with the lowly. He is full of condescension.
This first of miracles was most munificent. He did not, at the wedding, multiply the bread-He dealt with a luxury and rejoicedtheir hearts with that which was as the pure blood of the grape. When our Lord fed the multitudes in the wilderness, He mighthave given them each a bit of bread to keep them from famishing. But He never does things in a beggarly, workhouse style andtherefore He added fish to be a relish with their bread. Our Lord not only gives existence, but happy existence which is trulylife. He does not give to men just enough for their necessity, but He gives up to the higher degree which we call enjoyment.Here He turns good wholesome water into a sweeter, richer, more nourishing beverage-perhaps we little know how truly goodand sustaining that God-made drink was to those who were privileged to taste it.
Our dear Master will give to all those who are His followers a joy unspeakable and full of glory. They shall not only haveenough Grace to live by so as barely to hope and serve, but they shall drink of "wines on the lees well-refined" and shallhave Grace to sing with, Grace to rejoice with, Grace to fill them with assurance and cause them to overflow with delight.Our Beloved has not only brought us to the house of bread, but to the banquet of wine! We have Heaven here below. Jesus doesnot measure out Grace by the drop, as chemists do their medicines-He gives liberally-His vessels are filled to the brim. Andthe quality is as notable as the quantity-He gives the best of the best-joys, raptures and ecstasies.
O my Soul, at what a royal table do you sit! He daily loads you with benefits. What a gracious miracle it was! How free! Howunconstrained! He did not need pressing to do it. Mary must not interfere. Stand back, good woman, for the Lord knows whatneed there is without your telling Him! Dear Friend, you think, perhaps, that you must pray up to a certain quantity, butthe Lord is much more ready to give than you are to pray. It is not your prayer that will make Him willing to bless you, forHe is willing, even now, to do for you exceeding abundantly above what you ask or even think! To obtain the supply of wineit is noteworthy that nothing was required from men but what was very simple and easy. Hasten, you obedient servants, to fetchwater-just draw it from the well and pour it into those large water pots-that is all you have to do!
The Lord Jesus does not come to us with hard conditions and exacting terms. Dream not that to be saved you have to do or feelsome great thing. As you are you may believe in Jesus to eternal life! Have faith enough to draw out at the Lord's biddingand, to your own amazement, there will be wine where before there was only water! The Lord, by His Spirit, can come and changeyour heart and renew your spirit so that where only a little natural thought has been, there will be spiritual life and feeling!He will do this without pressing and persuading. Grace is free! Jesus has a tender heart towards needy sinners-the spear haslaid it open-a prayer will touch it.
The first miracle was prophetic. At a wedding our Lord begins His signs. To a marriage feast He invites us now. At a gloriousmarriage supper all will end. The story of our Bible ends like all well-told tales, with-they were married and lived happyever afterwards-for proof read the Book of the Revelation. Our Lord will come to celebrate a wedding between Himself and HisChurch and all the wine they will drink at that high festival will be of His own providing and all the joy and bliss willbe of His own giving! He is the sun of Heaven's day! He is the glory of the glorified! He will take care that throughout themillennial age, yes, and throughout eternity, the joy of His chosen shall never fail but they shall joy in God and in Himselfwithout measure and without bound.
Our Lord began with this special miracle as if to show us that He had come here to transform and transfigure all things-tofulfill the Law and its types-putting into it substance and reality. He began with this special miracle to take man and lifthim up from a fallen creature into a Heaven-born son and heir! Jesus has come to rid this planet of her mists
and to array it in garments of glory and beauty. Soon shall we see new heavens and a new earth! The new Jerusalem will comedown out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband! Jesus has come to elevate and to fulfill-and Hegives the token of this in this beginning of signs.
II. Secondly, I want you to notice in this miracle ITS SPECIALTY AS A MANIFESTATION. "This beginning of
miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory." I believe that there is a very clear connection betweenthe first chapter of this Gospel and the passage before us. John, in the first chapter, said, "And the Word was made flesh,and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His Glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of Grace and truth."Here you have an unveiling of that Grace and Glory. Observe that He manifested forth His Glory. Truly, He glorified the Father,for that was His great end and aim, but yet He manifested forth His own Glory in that very act.
Notice that it was His own Glory which was manifested. This was never said of any Prophet or saint. Moses, Samuel, David,Elijah-none of these ever manifested their own glory-indeed, they had no glory to manifest! Here is One greater than a Prophet!Here is One greater than the holiest of men! He manifested His own Glory-it could not be otherwise. I feel that I must adoremy Lord Jesus while I read these words. Jesus revealed His own Glory as God and Man. During all those former years it hadbeen veiled. He had been a Boy obedient at home, a young Man industrious as a carpenter at Nazareth-then His Glory was a springshut up, a fountain sealed-but now it began to flow forth in the ruddy stream of this great miracle!
If you will think of it, you will see more clearly what Glory it was. He was a Man like other men and yet at will He turnedwater into wine! He was a Man with a mother-His mother was there as if to remind us that He was born of woman. He was a Manwith a mother and yet He was so truly "God over all" that He created, by His will, an abundance of wine. He was but one amongmany wedding guests with His six humble followers, but yet He acted the Creator's part! He sat not arrayed in high priest'sgarments, nor did He wear the Pharisee's phylacteries, nor any other form of ornament betokening ecclesiastical office orprofession-yet He did greater wonders than they could attempt. He was simply a Man among men and yet He was God among men!His wish was Law in the world of matter so that water received the qualities of wine. Adore Him, Brothers and Sisters! AdoreHim reverently! Bow low before Him who was a Man, a real Man and yet worked as only Jehovah Himself can work! Worship Himwho counts it not robbery to be equal with God and yet is found among the guests at a lowly marriage, manifesting His Gloryeven there!
Observe, He manifested His Glory by operating beyond the power of Nature. Nature does not in an instant turn water into wine-ifthis is done it must be by the direct hand of the Lord. It is true there are processes by which the dewdrop enters the berryof the grape and is gradually, by secret arrangements, turned into refreshing juice. But by what power could water be takenfrom an earthen vessel and be transmuted into wine while being carried to the table? None but God Himself could do this andas Jesus did it, He therein displayed His Godhead. By doing this He showed that He had all power on earth. He can do as Hewills and by His one act of creation, or transformation, He makes manifest the glory of His power.
He did this by partly operating without any instrument. When Moses sweetened the bitter water it was by a tree which the Lordshowed to him. When Elisha purged the springs he threw salt into the water. We have no instrumentality here. Whenever ourLord did use visible means He took care to select such as in themselves were evidently insufficient for the purpose, if notopposed to His design as, for instance, when He healed the blind man by making clay with spittle and putting it on his eyes-athing to blind him, rather than to open his eyes. Here, however, our Lord had no instrument whatever. He did not even speaka word and say, "Water, blush into wine." No, He simply willed and it was done! How divinely does He manifest His Glory inthis respect!
And He operated so easily and so majestically that He therein reminds us of the method and way of the great God. He simplysays, "Fill the water pots," and the servants do His bidding with enthusiasm, for He is Master of all minds. "Draw out now,"He says, and in the process of bearing it to the ruler of the feast the water is turned into wine! Here is no effort, no breathingas of one gathering up his strength to perform a feat. The earth revolves, but the wheel of Nature never grinds upon its axle.God acts by His Laws in a perfectly natural and unconstrained manner. Creation and Providence abide in that majestic silencewhich comes of Omnipotence. All goes easily where God is. With His own will He can do all things for us and in a moment turnthe waters of our grief into joy.
Our Lord manifested His Glory by operating naturally and without display. I really believe that if you could have worked thiswonder you would have said to the ruler of the feast, "Call upon all the guests to remark that the wine has failed and I amabout to create a new supply. See this huge water pot? Mark how I have it filled with water that you may know that there isno wine in it. Observe me while I work the transformation." Then you would have spoken aloud, or you would have gone througha series of performances. Jesus did nothing of the kind! He hates display. He will not have His kingdom come with observation.He shuns pomp, noise and ceremony. He but acts like a God whose wonders are too many to be made matters of note to Himself.It was God-like on our Lord's part to perform so great a work without appearing to be doing anything uncommon.
That He did literally perform the miracle was certified by impartial witnesses. John, or Philip, or the whole six might havesaid, "Master, we will fill the water pots with water." But this must not be so, lest there should be a suspicion of collusionbetween the Master and the disciples. The ordinary servants must fill the water pots with water. Again, the disciples wouldhave been very pleased to bear the wine to the ruler of the feast, saying, "Here is the wine which our great and good Masterhas made for you." No, the servants shall bring in the wine and say nothing at all about from where it came-and the chiefwitness that what they bring is really wine, and wine of the best quality, shall be the master of the ceremonies-a gentlemannot at all spiritually-minded, but one who has been at many such feasts and knows the custom of them and has a proverb readyto set it forth.
He was evidently a man who was a judge of the quality of wine and we may safely accept his verdict-"You have kept the bestwine until now." The less spiritual the man in this case, the better the witness to the reality of the miracle! If he hadbeen a follower of Jesus he might have been suspected of being in the swim with Him and His disciples. But you can see heis a man of another mold altogether. God's work is fact, not fiction-it appeals to faith, not to imagination. God does Histransforming work in such a way that He will have witnesses ready to attest it. As when Christ rose from the dead there wereappointed witnesses to certify it-so His first miracle is certified beyond all question as real and true by the best of witnesses.
There was a special reason for this. Oh, my beloved Hearers, if you come to Christ He will not deceive you! His blessingsare not dreams! If you will come and trust in Jesus, the work He will do for you will be as real as what He did at Cana! Eventhe ungodly shall be obliged to see that God has made a change in you. When they see your new life, they will say, "Here issomething good, the likes of which we never saw in him before." Come, I pray you, and take Christ to be your All in All andHe will be, in very truth, all that you need! Trust Him with your sins and He will bring real pardon. Trust Him with yourtroubles-He will give you perfect rest! Trust Him with your evil nature-He will renew you! He is no pretender to deeds whichHe does not perform. He did by the witness of everybody at the marriage actually turn water into wine of special quality-andso He can now transform your character and make it such as Nature, when best educated, can never produce!
I say again, the specialty of this manifestation lies in the fact that it revealed the Lord Jesus, by His own Almighty power,uplifting everything He touched, transforming men, things and facts into nobler ones than they were before, or could everhave become. This is the specialty of the manifestation of Christ-He says, "Behold, I make all things new." He brings forththe best last! He raises the poor from hunger to feasting! He lifts up fallen humanity into something so glorious that itstands, in His Person, near to the Throne of God! In all this Christ is revealed and His name is glorified!
III. And now, lastly, I think we have here A REASON FOR THE CONFIRMING OF FAITH. It is said, "And His
disciples believed on Him." Brothers and Sisters, notice something here. How did John know that the disciples believed onHim? Why, because he was one of them and he himself believed on Him. The best witness is that of one who has a share in thefact. When you feel a thing yourself, you have a full assurance of it. John knew that the other five disciples believed onJesus by what they said to him, for their feelings coincided with his own. Let us see to it that we, also, share in the faithwhich the marvels of our Lord are designed to produce.
Note that the guests at that feast all partook of the wine but the disciples at that feast had something far better- theyhad an increase of faith. An increase of faith is better, far, than all the dainties of a feast. Others ate and drank butthese men saw God in Christ Jesus manifesting His Glory! Our enquiry is, What was there in this miracle which would tend toconfirm their faith? Notice that I say to confirm their faith. It did not originate their faith, but it established it.
Their faith had been originated by the Word of the Lord preached by John the Baptist-they had believed in Jesus as the Lambof God which takes away the sin of the world.
Secondly, they had enjoyed personal communion with Jesus, by going to Him and dwelling with Him. This had greatly strengthenedtheir faith. And now they begin to taste of the benefit of being associated with Jesus and to see for themselves what Jesuswas able to do. Thus their faith grew. His disciples believed on Him already, but this miracle confirmed their confidence.The miracle abundantly justified the disciples in implicitly believing in Jesus for it is manifest that one miracle provesthe power to work every miracle. If Christ can turn water into wine by His will, He can do anything and everything. If Jesushas once exercised a power beyond Nature, we may readily believe that He can do it again-there is no limit to His power-Heis God and with God all things are possible. Thus, the first miracle rightly confirmed their
But, next, it showed their Master's readiness to meet unexpected difficulties. Nobody had foreseen that the wine would fail.Jesus had not gone to the marriage, prepared and primed, as we say among men. The demand came all of a sudden and the supplycame, too. The wine ran out and He was ready for the difficulty. Does not this confirm your faith? Christ is always readyfor every emergency! Something may happen tomorrow that you have not thought of-Christ will be ready for the unexpected. Betweenhere and Heaven you will meet with a great many unlikely events, but they will not be surprises to Him. He has clear foresight-whenthe trial comes He will provide-"In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen."
Again, their faith was confirmed because He had showed that He could allow nothing to fail with which He was connected. Ilike to feel sure that Jesus is with me in any business, for then I know that the pleasure of the Lord will prosper in Hishands. True, it was not the wedding of one of His relatives or disciples, but still it was a marriage at which He was a guestand He would not suffer it to be said that they ran short of provisions when He was there. His connection with the feast mayseem to have been remote, but it was a connection-and slight connections are observed by our Lord Jesus! O my Soul, if I canbut touch the hem of His garment, virtue will come from Him to me! I get into the same boat with Jesus and if I drown Jesusmust drown, too, and therefore I know that I am safe! O my Heart, if I do but get the hand of Christ in my hand, or my handin His hand, I am linked with Him and none can separate us! In that union is my life, my safety, my success-for nothing thatHe touches, or that touches Him, will ever fail.
He is only one of a party at a wedding, but because He is there things must go well. I think this must have encouraged thedisciples much when, in later days, they began to preach. Their confidence would be that Jesus was with them and they mustprevail. They were poor, unlearned men and all the scholarship of the age was arrayed against them-but they said to themselves,"We fear not, for Jesus is in this controversy and He will see it through." Let us get Christ into our quarrel for God's Covenantand Truth and the battle is no longer doubtful! If, in the matter of your salvation, faith brings the Savior into the business,you may rest assured of eternal life!
It showed to them, next-and this must have greatly confirmed their faith-that He could use the poorest means. To make winethe Lord had only water and six large water pots. Yes, but He can make better wine out of water than men can make out of grapes!Behold His vats and His winepresses-six water pots of stone. You and I-what are we? Well, we are poor earthen vessels anda little cracked, I fear. There is little enough in us and what there is weak as water-but the Lord can bring forth from usa wine which will cheer the heart of God and man-words of faith which will please God and save man! The disciples would, inlater days, know themselves to be nothing but earthen vessels and they would remember that their Lord could work miracleswith them. When they saw the majestic ease of His working, do you not think it confirmed their faith? He did not call forangels. He did not deliver a long prayer, much less repeat a sacred incantation. He did but will it and the deed was done!
Next time they came into a difficulty, the disciples would believe that the Lord could easily enough appear for them. Theywould stand still and see the salvation of God! In some way or other the Lord would provide and He would do wonders withouttrouble to Himself. Brothers and Sisters, we shall come out at the big end of the horn, yet, for God is with us! It showedthem, also, that from now on they need never be anxious. Will you that read your Greek Testament notice the expression here?Is it said, "His disciples believed Him"? No. Is it "Believed in him"? No. "Believed on him"? Yes. It is so in our version,but into would be more correct. The Greek is, "eis"-His disciples believed into Him. They so believed that they seemed tosubmerge themselves into Jesus!
"Into him"-think what that means! John, Andrew, Nathanael and the others cast their life-long concerns upon Jesus and feltthat they need never have another care! Jesus would see them through to the end. They would leave everything to Him. Marytook the matter a little into her own hands, but she erred therein-the disciples entered into Jesus by the open door of thisconfirming miracle and there they rested. Be this your condition-"Casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you." Theybelieved right into Jesus. It is one thing to believe in Him and another thing to believe Him-it is a restful thing to believeon Him, but it is best of all to believe right into Him so that your very personality is swallowed up in Christ and you feelthe bliss of living, loving, lasting union with Him!
Those six men could not have produced a drop of wine for the wedding-but count their Master in with them and the seven couldflood the streets with it if there had been need! Entering into partnership with Jesus, their faith rose as a morning withoutclouds. Now were they sure, steadfast, strong-for their weak and watery faith had gained the fullness and richness of generouswine!
I have done when I have said to any here who are undecided-see, my dear Hearer, Jesus Christ will come and visit such as youare! He is willing to go to plain men's houses even when they have a feast going on. Ask Him to come to you just as you are.See how He is able to bless human joy! You think, perhaps, that you will go to Jesus next time you are in sorrow, but I sayto you, come to Him at once, while you are in joy. You that are getting on in business, you that rejoice over a new-born child,you that are lately married, you that have passed an examination with honors-come to Jesus in your joy-and ask Him to raiseyour happiness to a higher degree and quality and elevate it till it touches the joy of the Lord!
Jesus is able to raise you, beloved Friend, from what you now are into something better, fuller, grander, nobler, holier andmore God-like! May He do it now! Believe in Him! Believe Him! Believe on Him! Believe into Him and it shall be done! Amen.
PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON- John 1:35-51; 3:1-11.