The Word for Prayer

July 15

This is a companion piece to my blog on theHeartSeekerblog.wordpress.com

I don’t often take the time to “breakdown” Bible words in my posts (most folks really aren’t that interested in the details), but I think that such a practice can be very beneficial from time to time – especially concerning the key practices of the Christian faith.

We all tend to “gloss over” the things that are common to us. “We know what we are doing – why bother to waste time wondering if we are doing it right!”

But, we can get so caught up in the form (various forms!) of prayer… and miss the vital importance of it’s function.

5 forms of prayer

But what is the function of prayer? It’s not just to talk to God. It is far more than that. Prayer is real communication between two (or more!) persons – AND One of those Persons is the Almighty Creator of the universe!

Here’s where looking closely at the word for “prayer” can be helpful. The word in the New Testament is a compound word (two separate words connected together). The first of the compounds means “to move actively forward (with implied connection/interaction).” It’s an act of the will to begin a conversation with someone with whom you desire to speak.

The second part of the word has to do with “exchanging wishes or requests.” I emphasize the exchange because true prayer is never one-sided – true prayer is always an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and (especially) desires.

View of a road sign saying two way communication

The important part in this, is that God also desires to move towards us and exchange His thoughts, ideas, and desires with us. This IS prayer.

A perfect example of this concept of prayer is the record of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. We know the story… Jesus is about to be betrayed and go through the horrific ordeal of the cross.

Jesus prayin

Rather than fret and worry about it… He goes directly to the Father in prayer. Remember what He prayed? Basically: “Father, here’s what I want (this cup of immense suffering to pass from Me).” But I hear what You want (“Go, suffer and die for all of mankind, so that they can be Mine.”)

In the end, of course, we know that Jesus took His want and tossed it aside in favor of what the Father wanted. The conversation led to an exchange – and a decision… to yield to the will of the Father.

Ultimately, prayer is finding out what God wants (in conversational exchange) and yielding to His will.

When we pray, we all need to understand that God desires to speak with us as well – to share His wants with us, so that we can be an active participant in bringing what He wants to this earth.

Posted in Christianity, God's Word, Hearing God's Voice, Prayer, Seeking God, True Christianity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Angry Culture

This is a companion piece to our look at Jesus’ teaching on anger @ theHeartSeekerBlog.wordpress.com

June 10

Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” (Jesus)

As I survey our current cultural climate, two interconnected things just jump out:

1) Never have we been more focused on not offending people; and

2) Never have we seen more people being offended.

It’s like the more we draw attention to an issue, the more we see ten others surface and clamor for equal attention – with equal zeal and determination.

You can’t go through a day without hearing about someone somewhere getting all bent out of shape about something (and quite often, that something seems rather trivial).

Everywhere we turn, we see angry people.

angry-couple

On the news. In the papers. In magazines. Online. On the job. In the car next to us.

It’s like angry is the new normal. And that is a terrifying proposition.

It’s interesting what Jesus had to say about anger – and it’s (often) unrecognized effects on us. He told us that murder is wrong. Everybody knows that…

angry at brother

Judgment of what??

In context: murder.

What Jesus is telling us is that unresolved anger is the fertile soil where murder resides and grows and seeks to give bloom in our lives. Unresolved anger is the poison plant. Murder is just the fruit that uncontrolled anger produces.

Jesus tells us the real heart of the matter – and it is a matter of the heart.

Unresolved anger leads the sane into insanity. The just into justified injustice. And sickens the collective heart of every culture who drinks in it’s deadly poison.

Until we honestly deal with the issue of anger in men’s (and women’s) hearts we will always have murderous intent coursing among (and within) us.

school shooting

So when we see horrible things like school shootings or mass murders or serial crimes or genocide or any of a number of abusive behaviors, we need to realize what is really at the heart of the issue.

The answer is not (and it never has been) gun control or better education or more laws or even greater sensitivity to people’s sensitive issues.

The answer ALWAYS comes back to treating people like you would want to be treated – and a large part of that “treatment” is to refuse to be angry at the minor offenses that can, so often, plague our day.

Sure. There is a time to BE angry. Jesus got angry. But (if you’ll notice) it was never about how HE was treated. Jesus’ anger was always directed at when God’s ways, God’s standards, and God’s Heart were ignored, misrepresented, or distorted in people’s efforts to find a “better” more self-centric (i.e. humanistic) way of doing things.

And one more thing… the real solution to anger in our lives is never revenge, or outrage, it is to willingly/willfully “forgive those who trespass against us.”

forgive

This, from the Author of forgiveness to all of us who had most certainly (and willfully) offended Him.

Posted in Anger, choices, forgiveness, God's love for sinners', Relationships, True Christianity, Uncategorized, Unforgiveness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The BE-attitudes… A Few Final Thoughts

This is a follow-up post to our look at the Beatitudes over at theHeartSeekerBlog.wordpress.com

May 23

Having looked closely at “The Beatitudes” (you can read those thoughts @ the above-mentioned site) I wanted to conclude by pointing out something really important.

When we see such amazing admonitions in Scripture, the tendency for so many of us is to see such things as something that we need to take great care (and apply our energies) in accomplishing. In other words, we read the Beatitudes, realize our shortcomings, and make our pledge to do better at what Jesus asks of us. We see the Beatitudes as some kind of holy “to-do” list, in order to gain all the blessings that God seeks to give us.

to do list

The problem is that we see how poorly we compare to the list, and we make it our solemn duty to try and do better to live up to the standards that Jesus lays out for us.

But I have some really good news… the Beatitudes were never intended to be a set of standards by which we measure our godliness – they were intended to give us insight into the very heart of God… and into what His work has already accomplished for us.

The profound message of the gospel is NOT that God has “turned over a new leaf” for us (so we can leave behind all our screw-ups and try to get it right this time!).

new leaf.png

The gospel is that Jesus came and accomplished everything that needed to be done so we could live a completely new kind of life.

The Beatitudes are the description of that kind of life. They describe a life free from the burden and bondage of sin, and empowered to live just as Jesus lived when He was among us. They describe a life that is totally in love with God… and in that deep love, also deeply in love with all humanity (even those who mistreat us!).

The amazing news is that we do not have to try and do what the Beatitudes are describing – because of Jesus’ work on our behalf… we already ARE.

Jesus came to end the need for us to try hard (and try harder) to live up to God’s holy standards. Through His work, we are given a gift of righteousness, we ARE new creations, and rendered completely fit for God’s Own habitation.

new-creation

True Christianity is… God living IN us, doing what God does through us.

From the very first moment that we surrender our hearts to Jesus (and receive what He has done) God comes to live within us. And from that very first moment, God is committed to doing what only He can do, through our lives.

Our failures are not because we are not doing what God wants… our failures come when we get ourselves in the way of what God wants to do through us – each and every moment of our days.

We do not have to try and do what the Beatitudes are telling us – because of Jesus, the Beatitudes ARE our new nature – the very nature of God, displayed through our surrendered hearts.

Posted in Beatitudes, Being blessed, Christianity, Completed Work of Christ, Freedom in Christ, God's Handiwork, In Christ, Just Like Jesus, Life-lessons, New creation, New Nature, the new you, True Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blessed… a Second Look

This is a companion, follow-up piece to Thursday’s post on… theHeartSeekerblog. wordpress.com

May 3

“Blessed are…” (Jesus – Matthew 5)

In yesterday’s post in “The Red-Letters,” we talked about being blessed – and approached Jesus’ teaching from a Hebrew perspective. Sometimes we can forget that Jesus moved and ministered amongst God’s chosen people, the Jews – who were well-versed in Jewish tradition and terminology. It is most likely that Jesus’ talks were saturated with Hebrew words, connotations, and meanings.

So it is appropriate to draw our understanding of Jesus’ teachings from what He intended His original listeners to understand. When it comes to the whole idea of “blessed” (the central concept of the Beatitudes) the picture from the Hebrew is vivid and accurate to what Jesus wants us to know. We are “blessed” because we have come under God’s tent and experience His abundant goodness.

Blessed Hebr

Many scholars (who study such things) believe that Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew (later to be transcribed into Greek). This makes sense considering that Matthew’s gospel is directed to the Jewish people – seeking to make the case that Jesus IS the long-awaited Jewish Messiah.

But for those who study your New Testaments and notice that “blessed” comes from a Greek word (makarios), I thought it might be beneficial to look at “blessed” as it is understood from the Greek word…

makarios

Makarios means happy or blissful – but implies a self-contained happiness. To understand “makarios” we need to understand its background.

Off the coast of modern-day Turkey, is the Island of Cyprus.

Greece-report-map

At the time of Christ, it was known as “the happy isle.” This was because (as I understand it) the Greeks believed that everything that was good and enjoyable in life was represented on Cyprus. It had a wonderful climate and fertile soil – that yielded some of the best produce in the region. It came to be accepted that anyone who lived on Cyprus knew the best that life could possibly offer. In short, to live on Cyprus was symbolic of happiness – because everything one needed to be happy was there. Those who lived in such a place were called “makarios” = blessed!

This whole idea fits well within our Hebrew notion of “blessed” in that happiness is not dependent on our external circumstances, but rather on where we ARE. Our condition is based on our position – being in the place where blessing is a state, not some thing to be obtained by our virtue, good fortune, or efforts.

This is exactly what Jesus meant when He talked about being “blessed.” We are in a state of “blessedness” because we are IN God’s Family – because we have responded to God’s invitation to live IN His Household (because of what Jesus has done!).

Posted in Being blessed, Belonging to God, Child of God, God's goodness, God's kindness, God's provision, our identity in Christ, The Bible, True Christianity | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

They Left Everything…

This is a companion, follow-up piece to the Monday and Tuesday’s posts on… theHeartSeekerblog. wordpress.com

April 24

“When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:11)

They had fished all night and caught nothing. Then the Master showed up and bid Peter (and the other fishermen) cast their nets one more time…

It was a ridiculous request. This time of year, fish are only caught at night.

But… at the Master’s request, the boat rowed out… and the net went in.

One hopeless cast… and no one could ever remember such a huge haul of fish. Enough for a year’s wages… maybe two – for all the fishermen that were there that fateful and miraculous day.

great catch

Miracles have a way of changing us. Changing how we see things. – and of causing us to wonder about things that we had never wondered before.

Miracles are even more impactful when the Miracle worker is right in front of you – and calling you to follow after Him… wherever He might go.

But to follow Jesus costs more than we often realize. The price is steep to hang out with the One Who is able to make something out of nothing.

A quick study of Scripture reveals that Jesus often asked people to leave everything behind to come and follow Him. He asks people to abandon what they are, and what they have known – to become and know something infinitely greater.

He commends those who sell their all… to buy a field hiding a priceless treasure.

He applauds those who sell everything… to own the invaluable pearl.

hidden treasure    pearl of great price

He seems to be telling us that there is something that is worth losing all that we have – to gain something that can only be held in our empty, impoverished hands.

A tax collector (Matthew) leaves behind his table (and his lucrative job) to answer the call to follow Jesus.

After the fishing miracle, Peter, James and John “left everything and followed Him.”

The lesson is obvious, yet so hard for us to accept.

The Kingdom of God is all about losing… to gain.

About emptying yourself… to be filled.

And about leaving everything behind to gain something infinitely more precious and meaningful.

And Jesus calls each of us to follow after Him. To abandon everything that provides for our own self-sufficiency – to truly find intimate friendship with the One Who loved us so much He gave Himself (emptied Himself out) for us.

emptied

We don’t tend to like this message. We want Jesus, all right. We want to add Jesus to what we already have… or what we already do – to what defines us – or makes us feel like our life is worthwhile.

You know… nets. All the things that order and define who we are.

But the secret to a real and vibrant faith can only be found when we leave our “nets” behind – abandoning all – to follow in the steps of the only One that can truly make our lives full and meaningful.

It’s the call that every believer must face…

Posted in Christianity, Commitment to Jesus, discipleship, Dying to Self, God's provision, Honoring God, Life in Jesus, Purpose in Life, surrendered to Jesus, True Christianity | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Capernaum

March 27

“And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali…” (Matthew 4:13)

In my studies for “The Red-Letters” – Thoughts on the Words of Jesus (@ the HeartSeekerblog.wordpress.com [shameless plug!]) I keep running into a fact that captures my interest.

Out of all the towns, villages, and cities in all of Israel, Jesus chose to make Capernaum His home. Why??

I have come to discover that God does nothing without a purpose. So there must be a really good reason behind Capernaum as Jesus’ choice for the homebase of His ministry in Galillee.

capernaum map

Not only was Capernaum a thriving little village (located on the Sea of Galillee) but I discovered that it’s very name was tremendously significant.

Capernaum, in Hebrew, means: “Village of Comfort.”

If we understand anything about Jesus we know that He came to fulfill God’s promise of the Messiah – and as the Savior of all the world’s people.

In those days, there was no New Testament (the New Covenant had not yet been established) so people had to glean their information about the Messiah from “the Law and the prophets” (what we know as the Old Testament).

One of the primary sources for this Messianic information came through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53 is a phenomenally accurate look at the Messiah as the suffering Servant). But there are other very significant passages.

In “The Red-Letters” we just talked about how Jesus came as the fullfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2, and how that pronouncement got Him into such trouble.

But one of the more important passages of Messianic fulfillment occurs in Isaiah 40:1-2… “’Comfort, comfort My people,’ says your God. ‘Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her forced labor has been completed, her iniquity has been pardoned…’”

Is 40 1

Isaiah prophesied that Messiah would come as the initiator of divine comfort – for all those in captivity to sin, and in bondage to fear and hopelessness. He came to fulfill the promise of “Comfort, comfort…” made by God Himself.

He came to turn our sorrow into joy, our grief into celebration, and our bondage into freedom. He came to BE the relief that our souls desperately needed – and He came to offer Himself as the guarantee of divine help.

In short: “the God of all comfort” (2Corinthians 1:3) came to us (in Jesus) and made divine comfort the goal of His work on our behalf.

So it makes perfect sense that the One Who came to bring God’s comfort to our weary souls would choose His homebase in the “Village of Comfort.”

Posted in Belonging to God, Child of God, Christianity, Friendship with God, God's Word, Peace in Christ, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A Day of Loss…

March 1

This week brought one of the saddest of days for our household. We had to say “goodbye” to our Golden Retriever, Daisy.

Daisy Doo

I’m the type of person who believes that each episode of our lives can teach us something… if we are willing to take notice, we can learn valuable lessons. Even in the death of a beloved family pet.

It only seems like yesterday we were holding Daisy (as a puppy – and choosing her over the big snuggly boy) and teaching her all the “rules of the household.” She was a great student – learned what was “right and wrong” so quickly. And lived out her 12+ years with a keen notion to please us. She was a faithful and endearing companion. She loved her family… and her family loved her.

There was nothing particularly special about Daisy. She didn’t do tricks. She never won any prizes or competed in any shows. But she was always there to meet you at the door (with one of her “babies” [toys] in mouth) to make you feel like you were the most important person on earth. She never met a person she didn’t like – often (when on our walks) she would take off running to greet total strangers (who weren’t real certain if her intention was to befriend them… or end them!)

She was gentle. Good-natured. Loved to eat (she was a big gal!) …and loved being “scratched” behind the ears (honestly, she could go for hours!).

Lessons to be learned…

* Make people, not things or success, your center of attention. Daisy was always wanting to be near people (especially her people). She was outgoing, kind, and just had a welcoming presence about her. Those qualities alone are some of the highest and best to which any of us could aspire.

* Make a difference in your little world. When Daisy passed there were probably only a handful of people that mourned her loss – but those of us who mourned cried buckets of tears because of the place she had gained in our hearts. So often in life we want to be somebody. Woo the masses. Become someone to so many – that we miss the importance of just making a difference in the lives of those around us. We can get so caught up in trying to impress the world that we miss the vital importance of just making a lasting impression on those around us.

* Life is so fleeting – cherish those around you. Death has a way of reminding us just how important life is… and how precious are those people in our lives. Treasure your “loved ones.” You just never know how much time you may have with those in your life. Spend time with them. It doesn’t even have to be doing anything particularly special – just be with them, and love on them in all the small ways.

* (In this life) Death is final. There is something so sorrowful in a creature’s last breath. But we all know we are going to be there someday. Death brings down the curtain on our opportunities to make our lives count for something worthwhile. We each have just one lifetime to fulfill what our Creator created us to do – and we never know how much time we have. There is a line in one of my favorite songs (linked at the end of this post) that rings so true about what truly matters in this life: What we give is all we have, How we love is what will last.” These are the things that are foundational to a life well-lived.

* Live to please the Master. Daisy’s best quality was her obedience. She lived to do what was pleasing to us – even when she might want to do something else. In so many ways, I think that is what God is seeking in us… a simple trust and a willing obedience. These are really the nature of Biblical faith.

I have often wondered if dogs go to heaven – or if our beloved animals will be there waiting for us. I have heard it said that if it is important to us… it will be there in heaven for us. I hope that is true. When I pass from this life, I sure hope that Daisy is there with toy in mouth waiting for me. I’d like to just take a few hundred years and scratch behind her ears just one more time…

Cody and Daisy 1

The Afters… “This Life”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLhu-T8OBEA

Posted in choices, Death and Dying, Hardship, Life-lessons, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Lessons from a Royal Official

This is a follow-up piece to this week’s work on… theHeartSeekerBlog.wordpress.com

February 22

In chapter 4 of his gospel, John records a powerful account (vs. 46-54).

royal-officialSummarizing… a man (identified only as a “royal official” in Capernaum) has a sick son who ebbs near death. In desperation, the official hears about Jesus (a man who can do miracles) and makes the 20-mile journey to Cana… to beg Jesus to come and heal his dying son. Upon finding Jesus, and making his plea, Jesus sends him back home – offering only the encouraging words: “Go, your son will live.” The official takes Jesus at His word, and returns home.

Along the way back, he meets his servants… running to greet him with the wonderful news that his son is recovering – and is no longer in mortal danger.

The account ends with the stunning realization that the son began to get better at exactly the time that Jesus spoke the words to the official (4:52). John concludes with telling his readers the other wonderful news about the official… “and he himself believed (in Jesus) and all his household.” (v. 53)

I offer a couple of lessons for us to learn through this miraculous account.

1) If we seek God in earnest… we will find Him. The official in this story knew only that Jesus was seen in the vicinity of Cana. He did not know exactly where… or if he was still there. But he had only one hope… the God of Heaven who was doing mighty works through this Man – and he would not return until he had exhausted every possibility of finding Him.

Sometimes, we all have to ask ourselves about our passion for God. To what lengths would we go to gain His touch in our lives. God is always there. He is always available to any of us. But He seems to desire that we amp up our desire for Him before we are able to encounter Him in the fullness of His goodness. Scripture is abundant with admonitions to seek after God – but we can forget the important caveat… we need to seek with ALL our hearts.

first-pursuit

Anything less than engaging our whole hearts only reveals that we feel that God is merely supplemental to our lives. The royal official had no other hope… find God or else. True faith is relentless in pursuing the Object of our hope.

2) God answers us in His way, on His terms. The royal official went to find Jesus and compel Him to come and heal his son. But Jesus refused to go with Him. Instead, He offered the hopeless man only a few brief words. But they were words spoken by the One Who spoke all things into existence (Col. 1:16). Words of infinite and unrelenting power.

The official did not argue or complain about Jesus’ method (though it certainly did not meet his expectations). Instead, he took Jesus at His word – and returned in the faith that Jesus’ words (spoken from twenty miles away) were enough.

It is often easy for us to convince ourselves that we know what God needs to do for us. Our prayers can often reflect our will… and the way we want for God to work in our lives. But true prayer seeks only the will of God – and the Heart behind that will. And humbly accepts God at His word.

Take at His Word

There are many other lessons we could learn – but the main lesson is that Jesus is the answer to all of life – not just to our problems.

The same Jesus Who created all things, and died for us, seeks to invest His Life into us.

IF we will only seek Him with a true expression of our whole-hearted faith.

Posted in Belonging to God, Child of God, Christianity, Commitment to Jesus, Needing God, Seeking God, True Christianity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Light?

February 1

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (Jesus – John 3:19)

In Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, Our Savior talks about many important issues – jesus-nicodemusbeing “born again,” seeing and experiencing the kingdom of God, judgment of our sins, and what is required for us to believe in Him. But at the very heart of the matter is the all-important matter of the heart.

The key concern for each of us is whether we will embrace the Light or remain in our darkness. These are the issues that resound from the core of our being – and become what determines if we will turn from all our vain attempts at being “good” people – and turn to the One Who came to secure our righteousness with His selfless sacrifice.

In my companion piece (at theHeartSeekerBlog.wordpress.com), I made the observation that it is human nature to prefer darkness to Light. We so often tend to value human opinion over God’s viewpoint – and value our own reasonings to the One Whose reason is absolute truth.

Jesus came to tell us that our deep desire to hang on to darkness and refuse to embrace the Light is the verdict that condemns us to an eternity of separation from God. We, as human beings, are too proud to let go of what we want to think, say, and do… to lay hold of what God thinks, says, and does.

In a very real sense, God sends no one to hell – those who will go there… choose to go there themselves… simply because they prefer darkness to light.

hell

When Jesus speaks of Light, He speaks first-Hand. He is God, telling us what is absolutely true. Often, we do not like what He has to say – but the only path to find what Jesus has come to offer us, is by accepting Him at His Word.

He came to be the Light of the World. This means that He came to show us (and tell us) one very essential thing… God’s viewpoint.

When Jesus speaks, He is telling us God’s thoughts and God’s truth. When Jesus acts, He is showing us God’s ways and God’s Heart.

Jesus IS the full and complete expression of the Living God – so we can see God and know Him as He really is (see John 1:1-4).

And what do we see? We see a deep and profound love for all human beings – even for people that may not have their act together… or people who oppose and mock Him. We see Someone Who has time for “the least” and the “rejected.” Someone Who accepts people whom society can only see as morally (or religiously) unacceptable.

jesus-woman-taken-in-adultery

And Someone Who would willingly be tortured to death for EVERY person on earth… past, present, and future.

It is also WHY Jesus is the only way to God. He is not only the Light… He is the Source of all Light.

Irregardless of what any human might think or say…

Posted in Being the Light, Christianity, Light, Light of the world, Right and Wrong, Seeing God, seeing Jesus, Truth of God | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Water into Wine

This is a companion piece to my work going on at: theHeartSeekerblog.wordpress.com…

January 21

“(Turning water into wine), the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and revealed His glory. And His disciples believed in Him.” (John 2:11)

water into wine

The Bible tells us that turning water into wine was Jesus’ very first miracle. John called it a “sign” – not just an event that was impossible… but an event that was proof of Who Jesus was – God with us!

Just for educational purposes, it is important to note a few facts about this first miracle…

* This was an orthodox Pharisee wedding reception – as evidenced by the “stone water pots” mentioned, and their purpose was for ceremonial hand cleansing (an emphasis of the Pharisees).

* The pots were about 2-3 liters apiece. Many English translations wrongly describe the water pots as 20-30 gallons apiece. But this size would be nearly impossible to carry (made of stone, and filled with 160/240 pounds of water!). Archaeologists have found many of these stone water pots (from this time period) in various digs to verify their size.

* To run out of wine at a wedding celebration is a profound embarrassment – that reflects very unfavorably on the host (and all in charge!).

* Also, most English translations give the appearance that Jesus is annoyed and (quite frankly) rude to His mother – when she asked Him to do something about the fact that the party had no more wine. Actually, given her authority over the servants, Mary was apparently in a position of responsibility which merited Jesus’ more respectful response of (something like): “My lady, this is not my concern – but of those who are higher on the guest list than I.”

* After some discussion (Moms do have a way with their kids), Mary commands the servants to do “whatever He tells you.” Jesus tells the servants to fill the pots to the rim (according to Talmudic tradition) and then draw out some water and take it to the master of the feast (most always the Head Rabbi of the community).

water-into-wine

* Upon tasting the water-turned-into wine, the master of the feast declares it superior to anything they have been drinking up to this point. He comments on how curious (borderline offensive) this is…

What do we learn from this first miraculous sign?

Jesus has power over nature – and the ability to take the common and make it extraordinary. We learn that drinking alcohol is not wrong or immoral (in spite of what some churches may teach) and all things given by God are for our enjoyment (in their proper context and within limits). We learn that Jesus cares about people, first and foremost – even when their own mistakes may deserve their just rewards.

And most importantly, we see that Jesus’ disciples made the connection between Jesus and Who He really was. Up to this point, Jesus was just the Teacher, the professed “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world,” the One Whom John the Baptist had declared to be worthy of their time and attention. This was the first real evidence that Jesus was more than just a man – that He could do things that could only be attributed to God.

It was the first time, but not the last time, Jesus would offer such convincing proof…

water into wine 2

Posted in Christianity, Daily devotional, God's power, Jesus!, Miracles, Power of God, the Gift of Jesus, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments