Monday, May 21, 2007

In Search of Truth, John Chapter 2

John, Chapter 2

Okay, before we get started, have you read Chapter 2? Well if not, what are you waiting for? WE sure aren't the Word of God, so if you skip reading this week's chapter you'll miss the most important part. So really, take a minute and read if you haven't. We'll wait...

...all done? Okay.

We see here Jesus' first miracle, although John is quick to also call it a "sign". What's interesting to note is that when Jesus performed miracles, he was never just "putting on a show". He could have just as easily said, "Look everybody! I'm God!" and then proceeded to shoot lighting out of his eyes or fly around rescuing kittens from trees. But whenever Jesus did something supernatural, he did it with a purpose. To teach some truth about himself, or to express love to others.

At the wedding described here, Jesus provided very practical assistance to a family that would have otherwise been guilty of poor hospitality. Maybe not a big deal to you and me, but in first century Hebrew culture a mistake that would have haunted them for the rest of their lives.

It's also interesting to note that Jesus involved other people to help carry out the task. After all, if Jesus could re-arrange the molecules of water and turn them into wine, it would have been just as easy for him to make brand new, wine-filled pots appear out in the banquet hall. One reason for his subtlety and use of others may be the result of his statement to his mother. "My time has not yet come." The destiny of the cross was constantly in front of Jesus, and he always seemed very purposeful in how much of himself he revealed and at what pace.

After this we see Jesus go to the city of Jerusalem and then "go to town" on the money changers. This continues to be a message to Christians today. Let's be careful that we don't see our church communities as places to "network" and establish a customer base or business opportunities.

The Jewish leaders essentially asked Jesus, "Who do you think you are?" They had apparently become used to this level of corruption near the temple, and probably felt judged when Jesus held them up to a higher standard. They asked him for a sign to prove his authority. And here Jesus established the ultimate mark by which he should be judged. He said that if they killed him, he would raise himself from the dead in three days.

To this day, Jesus' physical return from the dead is the single event that holds so many back from faith in Christ. We're willing to believe he had some level of supernatural powers. We may even be willing to believe that he "died for our sins". But for some reason, when it comes to an actual, physical resurrection, we so often draw the line.

No one else in all history has raised themselves from death. This supernatural act, more than any other, separates Jesus from all other spiritual figures.

Even those who aren't sold on whether it happened or not should readily admit that the claim itself makes Jesus a figure worth very careful study and consideration.

And count on us to help out!

See you next week!

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