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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wedding at Cana – New Wine -- Part 5

      We saw in last week's teaching that Jesus' salvation, grace, truth and His abundance and blessing are the superior wine. We eat and drink the holy communion meal in remembrance of Jesus' shed blood given for us (wine) and eat the bread of His Word to feed our spirit. We are betrothed to Jesus and drink the new wine of grace and truth.
     We will drink the wedding cup with Jesus when we are wedded to Him for all eternity.
     As Jesus told His servants to fill the waterpots with water, He wants believers to be filled with the water of the Word and Holy Spirit.
     At the wedding at Cana, the former wine was inferior to the new wine that Jesus provided through transformation, just as we improve as we allow the blood of Jesus and the water of the Anointed Word to transform us into His image and likeness. Jesus makes us new creations full of His new wine (abundant life). Jesus is the Word of life and the Tree of Life. Jesus takes the temporal blessings of the Older Testament and makes them eternal in Him. The Law is the inferior wine because it cannot save or perfect anyone. Hence, the wine of Christ's blood and eternal spiritual life is superior wine. Nothing or no one can become eternal except through Christ. Jesus is the only One who could obey the Law perfectly. In so doing, Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. God gave the Law and the words of the prophets.  Once God speaks truth, it is permanent. His truth in the Older Testament cannot be destroyed, but it can be fulfilled making the way for the "new" in Christ.
    In biblical times, wine would be diluted with water at these feasts – two parts water to one part wine. The wine of Jesus' salvation and abundant life is not diluted and cannot be exhausted. We are also not to dilute the water of His Anointed Word that brings us to His abundant life. All believers are invited to Christ's feast. We can feast and drink freely and fully of the bread of His Word and the cleansing and potent wine of His blood.
    Jesus did in an instant what would have taken man months and even years to do. Jesus turned the Jewish purification rights of the Law (Numbers 19:11-13) into the new wine of the Gospel of grace and truth through Him. As Jesus turned the water in these 6 earthen vessels into the finest wine, Jesus can turn mankind, indicated by the number 6, into vessels filled with the salvation and abundant life in Him. A lack of wine symbolized desolation in the Older Testament scriptures. Jesus will change the desolation of no wine into His gift of blessing and abundance. In order to do this, He must have the willing cooperation and obedience of His servants.
New Wine in Older Testament
    In order to tie the two testaments together regarding new wine, I will give you scriptures in the Older Testament that speak of new wine which ultimately, fully and spiritually were fulfilled by Jesus.
    When God spoke to His priests and prophets in the Older Testament about new wine, He was speaking of natural wine that came from earthly vines. However, God used the “natural” in the Older Testament to point to the spiritual reality and fulfillment in Jesus. The natural wine pointed to the new spiritual wine of Jesus, the Spiritual Vine who gives the abundance of spiritual grain (Word), oil and new wine. God told His people in the Older Testament that in the new land that God was giving them, there would be an abundance of grain, oil and new wine. This grain, oil and new wine become spiritual in Jesus who will give the grain of His Word, the oil of the Holy Spirit and the abundance of life through His blood.
    God told Aaron, the first High Priest, that all of the holy offerings (gifts) of the Israelites given as sacrifices to God were to be eaten by him, the priests and their families. God said that He was giving them the finest olive oil and the finest new wine and grain. Everything in Israel that is devoted to the Lord is yours.” Numbers 18:8-14 Whatever belonged to God was the portion for the High Priest and his family. God had promised them that He would give them the best in His Promised Land. (see Numbers 18:12) God honored His Word to the Israelites. When they went to spy out the land, they came back carrying a cluster of grapes that were huge indicating abundance of fruit.
    Jesus is the fulfillment of this. He is the High Priest of God and we are His sons and daughters – His family. Jesus gives us all that belongs to Him and His Heavenly Father. As God said that He would bless the grain, the new wine and the oil for the Israelites in Deuteronomy 7:13, He blesses Christians with the best grain, best wine and new, eternal life through Jesus. The Godhead is the Giver of all spiritual gifts. They are also the givers of all natural gifts. God provided the seed that produces natural grain, wine and oil. He also provided the Seed who provides spiritual grain, wine and oil -- Jesus. As the seed that is in the fruit reproduces like kind, the Seed of God -- Jesus – wants to reproduce spiritual people who are like Him.
    God also told the high priest and priests in Deuteronomy 14:23 to eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place He will choose as a dwelling for His Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.” The tithe of the firstfruits to God belonged to His high priest and priests. The place where God chose to dwell in the Older Testament was the temple in Jerusalem. But, in the New Testament, Jesus is the Chosen One, the First and Only One born of God, the High Priest of God and the Temple of the Lord in whom the Name of the Lord dwells. We are to abide in Jesus and revere Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit so we too are the living temple of the Lord.
    Because Israel disobeyed God, in Hosea 9:2 God said that the threshing floors and the winepresses will fail them and not feed them. The disobedience of God's people brought lack. They had forgotten who had given them the grain and the new wine. Another prophet -- Joel -- sent a wake up call to God's people telling them that the grain is ruined and the new wine is dried up because of their disobedience. (see Joel 1:10) But, when they mourn their sin and repent, God will send them grain, new wine and oil that will satisfy them fully. Not only will God send these things, He will send them in abundance. (see Joel 2:24) This abundance will come from Jesus through His shed, sinless blood and abundant life.
   At the Wedding at Cana, Jesus transformed water into new wine – choice wine -- through the obedience of His servants in fulfillment of the preceding prophecies. Lack came to the Israelites because of disobedience, but abundance came through the obedience of Christ. Jesus did what humans couldn't -- obey the Law and the Prophets completely and perfectly setting us free from its penalty of death for disobedience. Jesus did it all for us, and then He sent the power of His Holy Spirit and the truth of His Word to help us become like Him.
Draw Some Out   
    Jesus told His servants to draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” John 2:8 Jesus did the transforming, but He used His servants to draw the wine out and give it to others. Jesus wants us to draw from His well of life and the Anointed Word – Jesus --to bring in His abundant life and share it will others. Jesus. the Anointed Word – is a well of water springing up to eternal life. His well never runs dry. It is eternal and abundant. The same river of life that flows from the Father and the Lamb in Revelation 22 flows in us -- the Holy Spirit.
    The master at this wedding in Cana will taste the goodness of God through Jesus and His transforming power! Jesus can change the ordinary into extraordinary and then use it for His glory. Jesus, our Master, will taste our spiritual fruit when we allow His transforming power to change us into vessels full of His grace and truth. Jesus will bring fullness where there is emptiness, abundance where there is lack. It is the transforming power of the Word and Spirit that will fill us with the new wine of Jesus.
    Obedience to Jesus' Word by His servants brought the blessing of the new wine. They did so, 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. John 2:9 This miracle was hidden from the eyes of the “significant” (bridal party and guests) at this wedding feast but revealed to the “insignificant” servants, disciples and Jesus' family (remnant). The bridal party and guests were Jewish and followed the Law and the Prophets. This miracle was only witnessed by those who followed Jesus and knew He was the promised Messiah and the Son of God. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the revealers of Truth.  The time for Him to reveal Himself as the Son of God publicly had not yet come. Jesus wanted those who believed in Him and were close to Him to see His transforming, miraculous power to increase their faith and trust in Him.
    The master of the feast called the bridegroom aside and said, Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink, but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:10 The master of the feast didn't know the “giver” of the choice wine, but he recognized the quality when he tasted it. O taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed are those who trust in Him! Psalm 34:8 In the parable of the Wedding Feast, Jesus said that those who were invited to the great banquet and had excuses as to why they couldn't come would not taste of His banquet.” Luke 14:24 God has given mankind the banquet of His Anointed Word to spiritually feed us and prepare us for His heavenly wedding feast. We can eat of His Word and drink of His Spirit as much as we desire. These are His gifts to us, but we have to desire to eat and drink of them. We must be careful not to get too busy in our everyday life and the cares of this world that we don't take time to eat the Word and drink the Holy Spirit. If we do, we have no power over the tricks and wiles of our Enemy.
Choice Wine
     An earthly master of a wedding feast would bring out the choice wine first, but Jesus is the reverse of the “natural” because He is “spiritual.” He transforms and serves the choicest wine last. The Greek word used for “choice” is kalos meaning morally excellent in nature and characteristics, surpassing, precious, useful and befitting just like Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The master of the feast recognized that Jesus had departed from tradition. Jesus doesn't want us to approach Him through traditions but through relationship based upon our love for Him.
     God too saved the best for last. He sent Jesus to satisfy our deepest needs and provide God's richest blessings. Jesus gave an abundant wedding gift to the couple and their guests at this wedding at Cana. The wine didn't run out! When we follow Jesus lovingly, obediently and joyfully, His supernatural wine provides for our every need, and His wine never runs out.
     God released the abundant life and new wine in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Those who mocked those filled with the Holy Spirit said that they were full of new wine! They thought they were drunk from drinking too much new wine. Instead, they were drunk on the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus so graciously poured out. They were so intoxicated and overwhelmed by the abundance, joy and blessing of God through Jesus that those witnessing it thought they were drunk!
     Jesus used this earthly wedding feast to teach us what He is doing spiritually and eternally. Jesus will drink the fruit of our labors for His Kingdom with us in heaven. "Oh taste and see the goodness of the Lord!"

His Glory Strengthens Faith
    The revelation of Christ's glory strengthened the faith of His servants, disciples and His family. They would continue to walk with Him and experience His transforming power and love. We get a glimpse of who Jesus truly is when His glory is revealed. God glorified the Son, so He would glorify God. Jesus glorifies us so we will glorify Him in our words and actions. Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise. Revelation 5:12






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