Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Miracle at Cana Part 2 (Jn. 2:1-11)

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong on 28 June 2009 in True Way Presbyterian Church. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: John 2:1-11

Jesus Christ is God Incarnate. In the flesh, He demonstrated the power of God. Christ never married when He became man on earth because He was God. But He was very concerned about human needs. Marriage was institution established by God. God wants men to have holy love in marriage. Human marriage symbolises the church’s relationship with Christ, and man’s relationship with God. For women, marriage is the most glorious day in their lives. Men are usually not as concerned about wedding.

In this event, problem arose during the wedding and people could not do anything about it. They did not have experience. But there are many things in life which we only do once, like marriage, so we cannot rely on experience and have to listen to advice. Many people criticise others but end up in the same decadent life. They never think that what happen to others would ever happen to them.

Without experience, how can you learn? First, by being attentive to how others do it and learn from them. Some young people are overly confident and overly ambitious. So they have setbacks and disappointment which are not necessary. In Rom. 12 it says not to look at yourself too highly, but according to the measure of faith God has given you. A lot of young people cannot take sufferings. And parents protect and spoil them. This is very dangerous. Even the Son of God did not have this privilege to be kept from adversity when walking on earth.

People tend to look at their failure through what they have done and failed, but God look at our failure through what we have not achieved. God spoke to Joshua that he was already old but still have not conquered many lands.

Mary realised there was problem during the wedding. She never criticised but wanted to help. Most people criticise more than help. Mary was kind-hearted. She approached Jesus and He said, “Woman, what do I have to do with you?” Mary felt a lot of contradiction within her. Each time Jesus spoke something, it was like a sword piercing her heart. This is her son, and this is God. She submitted to God’s sovereignty to do things in His own timing. Mary did not serve her own ego. She rejoiced in God. She said to the servants, “Do whatever He says to you.” This is similar to what God the Father said during Christ’s baptism, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.” That is what they have to do: to listen to Jesus. But many people serve their ego and want to take charge. In the Old Testament incident when Naaman was asked by the prophet Elisha to wash in the river Jordan seven times to cure himself of leprosy, a little servant girl advised Naaman to just follow the prophet’s. The general submitted and was cured of his leprosy. We need to learn to see the authority of God higher than the authority of men.

Jesus’ time came. There were 6 big jars of water which was used to wash hands. The water level kept dropping each time people washed. So the servants were asked to refill it with water. After they filled the jar with water, they were asked to take the water out and serve the guests with it. Jesus asked them to drink water used for washing hands. This seemed very uncivilised and discourteous.

A lot of times what God wants us to do does not make sense to our reason. We think our reason is the truth. It might not be. We think the dirty water will always be dirty. But God can transform something unclean to become clean. We cannot see it as always unclean. God can transform Saul into Paul. We should not use our pre-conceived notion to judge God’s works. We cannot judge what God has changed using our own reason. It is like the incident of Paul. God has transformed him who persecuted Christians to become a Christian. We are so conservative we refuse to change our minds. But God allows His ministry to be given into the hands of such people so that our mindsets will change.

How could the dirty water be used to serve the guests? But Jesus transformed the water into the best wine. This is His power of transformation. We see everything as unclean, but God can transform it. So history changes and the glory of God shines. When they followed Jesus’ instruction to bring the water to the guests, it tasted wine. The master of the banquet called the bridegroom and asked why he brought the best wine last. The custom at that time was to give the best and then slowly give something lesser and lesser than the best.

This custom reflect the way we treat people. Initially we smile and treat strangers with courtesy, and we show our temper to people we are familiar with. But we should treat people better and better as we change. In the Bible, darkness come before the night. Sunset is the beginning of everything, and sunrise is when we start enjoying the second half of the day. But today we define a day as morning first, then night.

Mary submitted. Jesus performed the miracle. The effect is that the disciples put their faith in Him.

4 Comments:

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Raymond said...

Hi Mejlina,

I'm Raymond from Indonesia. I'm currently studying in Newcastle and searching for a church which has a same vision with Stephen Tong's doctrine. Would you please help me?

Thank you very much!

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger Mejlina Tjoa said...

Hi Raymond,

Have been asking my friends as I'm not familiar with Newcastle. A friend of mine attended a church under the umbrella of United Reformed Church (URC) when studying in Newcastle and said that the teaching was quite sound. You can look at this website to see a few churches under URC: http://www.urc.org.uk/church/search_results?name_town=newcastle&postcode=&county

Hope that helps.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Raymond said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Raymond said...

Thank You Mejlina, I'll try to visit URC. The info is very useful. Jesus blesses you.

 

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