feast: My Hour Has Not Yet Come
Given 22-Sep-13; Sermon #FT13-08; 42 minutes
Some things in marriage may seem impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Christ's first miracle was a flourishing entry, taking place in the midst of an elaborate wedding celebration, (prefiguring the union of the Lamb of God with His Bride) requiring expensive preparation of food, drink, and entertainment. The responsibility of providing wine fell to the Bridegroom. To fail in providing this commodity would have led to major public embarrassment and expense to the family. This miracle of transmuting water into wine was actually the changing of a lifeless inorganic compound to something living, symbolizing the giving of life through the shedding of the blood of Christ. The response Jesus gave to His mother, ending with "my time has not yet come," was not to be interpreted as disrespect, but perhaps a challenge to attach real faith with mere knowledge. As powerful as her belief in her son was, it may have been somewhat skewed by influence from family and neighbors. With this miracle is the whole unfolding of the plan from Genesis to Revelation - the impending Marriage of the Lamb. God's plan and purpose for us - to be the Bride of Christ - is awesome.
Jesus first miracle, turning water into wine, marriage may seem impossible, but with God, all things are possible. The first miracle, flourishing entry, elaborate wedding celebration, prefiguring the union of the Lamb of God with His Bride, preparation of food, drink, entertainment, Bridegroom, giving of life through the shedding of the blood of Christ, "my time has not yet come," challenge to attach real faith with mere knowledge, Genesis to Revelation - the impending Marriage of the Lamb, God's plan and purpose for us, Bride of Christ
A few months ago, Nancy and I were at our niece’s wedding. When it came time for a short sermon before the actual ceremony to begin, the Catholic priest, who was conducting the wedding, chose to use the example of Jesus Christ’s first public miracle at the wedding feast. The point he chose to pass on to my niece and soon-to-be husband was something he considered very important for a newly married couple to understand about life’s difficulties that they would face. He proposed that within the setting of the marriage feast, Christ was teaching that life is full of nearly impossible situations, but nothing is impossible with God. Every faithfully married couple needs to be mindful of this marriage miracle as they face their own seemingly impossible situations in life.
It was an interesting thought and an important lesson to be considered. As he was completing his message, I began to think of just how important that first public miracle of Jesus Christ was. What should it mean to us, those who have been called to be the bride of Christ? As I began to consider, I wondered, “How much more does God expect from us to glean from this miracle, because of its position as the first recorded public miracle of our Savior and soon coming King and Bridegroom, Jesus Christ?”
Someone once told me that there is an old saying about giving a speech. They said you are known by your entrances and exits. This miracle is one of the most significantly vital entrances you will ever see, because it pointed to an absolutely glorious exit into eternity.
We will take a few minutes today, during this Feast of Tabernacles, to take a short peek at some of the vitally important pieces of God’s plan and purpose for us that we should be able to glean from this wonderful event in that significant time at the marriage of the Lamb.
The New Living Translation Study Bible writes the following about the miracles of Christ as recorded in the Book of John:
The gospels use three words to describe Jesus’ miracles listed in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The Greek word is dunamis. It describes an active raw force that amazes observers and leads to inevitable conclusions that God must be at work in Jesus! John does not use the popular term, dunamis. Instead, he labels each of Jesus’ miracles as a sign, the Greek word semeion. This event has deeper meaning. John also describes Jesus’ miracles as ‘works,’ the Greek word, ergon. Christ’s miracles were part of a work that God gave Him to do, as John 17:4 says. He was to reveal the Father to the world.”
John selectively records seven miraculous signs that occurred during Jesus’ ministry. They were: changing water into wine, healing the official’s son, healing a paralyzed man, feeding the 5,000, walking on water, healing a blind man, and raising Lazarus from the dead. John also records the miraculous catch of fish after Jesus’ resurrection. Most of the seven signs were met with belief, however, the sign itself is not Jesus’ purpose. Instead, the message behind the sign is always in view. The signs are usually meshed to a discourse by Jesus. Jesus fed the 5,000, for example, not just to meet their physical needs, but so that the people would be able to see Him as the Bread of Life given for them as He died on the cross.
With this in mind, le us turn to John 2.
John 2:1-12 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then that which is inferior; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
Brethren, throughout this sermon, please keep in mind what Jesus Christ said at the end of verse 4. “My hour has not yet come.” I believe this is a vitally important statement intended for hope and direction to those that will be His at His return to earth. This is Feast-time encouragement to all who have gathered in His name as part of our preparation to be the bride of Christ. In spite of obstacles and dilemmas that besiege us and try to keep us from being here at the Feast, Christ opens up to us an incredible mystery of the Kingdom of God through this marriage miracle. We should be overwhelmingly ecstatic because this miracle was far beyond an incredible entrance. It actually points from Genesis 1, all of the way through God’s orderly plan to become all in all.
Concerning how weddings were celebrated during Jesus’ lifetime, I am going to quote from The New International Dictionary of the Bible. It generally follows the other research I did on this subject.
The wedding ceremony itself was usually brief, but from the early days it became surrounded by an elaborate tradition of ceremony and feasting. It was very much in vogue in the time of Christ. Both the bride and groom were attired in the finest, colorful clothing. The bride being especially in splendid, elaborate dress. She had previously been washed, perfumed, and decked out with golden jewels of the family, together, with any personal gifts she had received. Towards sunset of the marriage day, the groom would set out on a procession with his friends. Attendants and musicians from the home of the bride’s parents were waiting with her. She and her handmaidens would then turn and proceed with the bridegroom. Then the procession, all torchbearers [Keep in mind Matthew 25; the wise and foolish bridesmaids. Maybe they were part of the torchbearers.] The torchbearers would pass through the village and town streets to the accompaniment of shouts and singing. At the house where the groom’s family lived, the feasting, dancing, and entertainment would normally for last seven days; or occasionally for fourteen. The crowning of the bride and groom, as king and queen of the nuptials, dates from the time of Solomon and with the accretions, also became a part of the wedding tradition.
At this point, I would like to add something that Martin Collins wrote in a two-part Bible study he gave on this miracle in 2006, about the serious consequences of running out of wine. Martin wrote,
Weddings in the ancient Near East included a strong legal side, especially regarding providing the appropriate wedding gift, of which the wedding feast, itself, was a part. When the supply of wine failed at this wedding, more than just social embarrassment was at stake. The bridegroom and his family could have become financially liable for inadequately providing for wedding provisions.
Please consider what I have just read from Martin’s Bible study when reading John 2:10, where the master of the feast tastes the wine.
John 2:10 And he said to him, “Everyman at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then that which is inferior; but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Did you get that, brethren? It was the bridegroom who was responsible for the wine. Not the master of the feast or anyone else.
I worked in the hotel industry for most of my adult life. I was present at weddings that cost thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. Several hundred people would be invited to attend in these grand ballrooms with names like, ‘The Great Hall,’ ‘The Gold Room,’ ‘The Florentine Room,’ or ‘The Pinnacle.’ We would have housemen and stage crews making sure the rooms were adequately set. There were main kitchens and satellite kitchens manned by chefs to prepare the meals. There were banquet servers that were responsible to serve and clear off meals. There were bar porters and bartenders to make sure the proper brands of alcohol were there. There was even a sommelier to make sure that the proper wines were provided. There were flower arrangers, musicians, photographers, and assorted personnel to take care of sound systems. All of these people were included.
However, there was one representative from the hotel that was in charge of all of these people. A tuxedoed maître d’ (who is also known as the room captain). He would be in the same position as the master of the feast. He was the one who was there to make sure that things ran smoothly and in accord with the one who is ‘footing the bill.’
In our society today, the responsibility of ‘footing the bill’ at a wedding has fallen to the father of the bride. But almost 2,000 years ago, during Jesus Christ’s day, it was the responsibility of the groom’s family. Specifically here, as God points out clearly to us, the wine is the responsibility of the bridegroom.
Right now I would like us to consider the wine and the water, from which it was miraculously made. Although water is the most important, abundant substance on the face of the earth, it makes up 62 percent of the human body. Of and by itself, water is a simple inorganic compound consisting of hydrogen and oxygen. There is no life in it by itself, even though it is absolutely necessary for life. However, scientifically, wine is water that has been converted from an abundant, inorganic fluid to a specialized organic fluid. Its minimum composition of water is 70 percent; maybe up to 90 percent in the poorer grades of wine. Wine also has a very close chemical composition to human blood.
When researching the water and wine, I ran across this quote from a research scientist from MIT. He wrote,
No scientist is capable of transmutation of water into wine without a powerful nuclear reactor, and even then, only a very small amount can be transmuted at a very, very high price, using horrendously large amounts of energy from a nuclear reactor to do this.” He continued, “But Jesus did all that in six jars of water—changed to wine as His first miracle at the right moment! What kind of divine intervention and power was that? Even for twenty-first century research scientists, this is beyond their comprehension. It is frightening and spine-chilling to me to think of this, even now.
I am certain that you understand that this wine that had been transformed from a lifeless, inorganic compound, represents the very life-giving blood of Jesus Christ Himself. I think you also understand that from this point forward, at that marriage feast, everyone who had been invited to attend that feast: guests, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etcetera, drank only that wine.
With this in mind, I want us to focus our attention through the remainder of this sermon on a couple of things contained in this miracle. The first one is a serious warning to those who have been given the opportunity to know the truth of Jesus Christ now.
The second is the gift of encouragement God is giving to those He has called now and gathered together now, preparing for service in the Kingdom of God for eternity. Because the week-long wedding feast was held in a small place like Cana, all who lived in the town probably were invited and were coming back and forth throughout the week. They would stop and enjoy the food, drink, and joy of the occasion. They probably enjoyed good conversations and music on and off throughout the entire week-long period.
To add to the significance of this miracle at the very beginning of Jesus Christ’s public ministry proclaiming the Kingdom of God, it is very likely that the third day, in John 2:1, may literally be referring to the time within the chronological week that began, as recorded in John 1:19, with John the Baptist’s explanation of who he (John) was, followed by his proclamation proclaiming the identity of Jesus of Nazareth, as the son of God.
All of these events starting in John 1:19 through John 2:11, very likely took place within the same seven day period. Therefore, the first thing Jesus did after some of His disciples had been called to Him, was to attend this marriage feast. This, in and by itself, is a clear indication of the importance God places on the union of marriage.
We are also told in John 2:11, this very miracle manifested His glory to them and caused them to believe in Him. Again, this positioning and timing is another added block in our understanding of just how important this miracle was in proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
In John 2:3-5, we see that Jesus’ mother, who also was in attendance, was apparently someone who had something to do with the family of the bridegroom. Because of this, she seemed to be in a position of attending to some of the feast preparations and their smooth execution. As you see in verse 5, she was in a position to tell the servers at the wedding what to do.
Many of the commentaries I looked at said they thought there was a family connection and that is a reasonable assumption. Some even ventured to say it was the wedding of John, whose mother was Mary’s sister. At this point, I want you to note Mary’s absolute conviction that Jesus could and would do something about the situation. Even though this is a good thing, it is also leading us up to a very important warning.
Please turn with me back to the book of Luke 1. We are going to be building a case for why Mary could with absolute faith know that Jesus could do this. We will begin with Mary’s reaction some 30 years before, when she began her life’s experiences with Him as she visited her cousin, Elizabeth. She found out from the angel that she was pregnant. Her response to Elizabeth’s proclamation that her babe leapt in her womb.
Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.”
I think that you can see there that Mary pretty much knew what had been prophesied. She knew a lot of things the Bible had to say. She was not dumb as to what God’s Word is. As we look further on in Luke, we will continue to build this case of why Mary had this strong faith. This is when Jesus Christ is born.
Luke 2:13-19 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Now turn with me please to verses 42-52. This is when Jesus Christ was missing from His family because He had gone with the teachers in the temple. They came back frantic to find Him.
Luke 2:42-52 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem and Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
As an aside, a number of things I saw, Luke may have very well have heard these things directly from Mary. It could possibly have been at the time that they were all assembled in the upper room, waiting for the day of Pentecost. It is something to think about.
We see here, after spending most of her life in His presence, Mary had consistently weighed what had been prophesied about Him, as well as all of His words and actions till that point. This led her to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He would and could, in mercy, relieve the embarrassment and discomfort of someone. But that did not mean she really understood Him or that she could not be deceived.
As we will see in a minute, just knowing and trusting most of the time, based on our own carnally-influenced life experiences with Him, cannot convict us to God’s sovereignty in all things, all of the time. Sometimes, what we think we know to be true and right, according to what our other life experiences have taught us in Satan’s world, may very well be leading us away from the direction that God wants us to go.
This does not mean that God did not allow this to happen, but it certainly means it is something for us to consider as I go through the rest of this warning to us. As the apostle Paul said, we see through a glass darkly, and we must be both constant and patient in waiting on God in order to continue to follow Him in truth, under the direction of His Holy Spirit, even when things are not heading in the directions that we think we know to be right.
Keeping this in mind, turn back to John 2. There are many different ideas concerning Jesus Christ’s response to Mary in verse 4 and the tone of the response. But one thing is certain, brethren, I want you to understand, and I think you do: Jesus would in no way disrespect His parents! It was not in His nature. It was against everything that He was. This could not possibly be any disrespect toward Mary.
The word, ‘woman,’ as used in Jesus’ day, would have meant ‘madam’ or even better, ‘dear madam’ or ‘my dear madam.’ Remember, this is the same word Jesus used as He hung on the stake and turned over the care of His beloved mother to His apostle, John, as recorded in John 19:26-27. However, most sources agree that this verse does indicate a moment when Jesus actually began to be separated from His physical family, going forward about His Father’s business. I like the New International Translation of this verse best. I think it is in keeping with Jesus’ holy character and may even be giving us another clue into the whole message of this miracle.
John 2:4 (NIV) “Dear woman, why do you involve Me? My time has not yet come.”
Was He asking Mary, who knew Him better than any other human being on the face of the earth at that point, if she really understood why He was there and who He really was? Perhaps we need to see ourselves in this verse. How could this be addressed to us? If it was addressed to us, it might read, “Dear ones, do you really know why I came and what I’m doing, according to My Father’s time schedule? Do you see the big picture or are you in the position of not seeing the forest for the trees?” Perhaps this was not His intent, but I would like you to consider this within the scope of just how much do we allow our own physical backgrounds and the thinking of this world—Satan’s world—to influence how we approach our responsibilities to the Father, the Son, and each other.
John 2:5-11 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then that which is inferior; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory;
Concerning the water pots, which is in verse 5, you probably all know that these stone pots were used in the ritual cleansings of those who came to the feast. From what I have read, not only washing their hands ritually; but for washing the dirt from their feet. We do not know whether they had some water in them or not when they were filled to the brim. If they did contain water, a couple of questions may cross your mind. Was it clean water? Was it the water already used in the washings? I do not know.
But even if the pots were empty, they may have been considered unclean because Jewish ceremonial law dictated that many vessels that contacted unclean things, as in ritual washings, became unclean themselves. According to the history of the Jewish people at the time of Christ’s time also, contaminated ceremonial vessels were to be smashed into little pieces so small that they could not contaminate or cause other things or people to become ceremonially unclean. I was not able to determine if these stone water pots would be included in this dictate of earthen vessels, which had been added to the law. It is a possibility.
This brings up a very interesting part of this miracle account. Only the servants, it says, and apparently His disciples (verse 11), knew at that time where the wine came from. Brethren, how did this affect those who heard about it later, including His mother, Mary? Word may have spread like wildfire about the incredibly fine wine, like no other, which actually came from contaminated pots! Now, because of what they believe, according to their tradition, not only eaten with unwashed hands, but ingested whole glasses of unholy liquid (according to what they thought) and thereby became unholy themselves. At least Satan would have them believe according to their own traditions.
Is this a possibility? I do not know, but if you consider how important this miracle was as a key to the whole plan and purpose of God, do you think that Satan, the accuser, was idle after tempting Jesus in the wilderness just a short time before this? With this miracle is the whole plan and purpose of God from Genesis to Revelation. I am sure Satan was doing everything he could to obfuscate the truth and stir the people up.
You can imagine human nature at work. One servant told someone who told someone who told someone else who told someone else and on and on it went, adding more pieces to the case that brought the people to demand Jesus Christ’s death.
With this in mind, I would like you to think back to Mary’s formerly firm belief in Jesus’ ability to solve a particular problem based on her life experience with Him. I want to read something that John Ritenbaugh said in a series of Bible Studies on the book of John regarding John 2:12, which immediately follows the miracle as recorded in John 2:1-11. “Verse 12 is the kind of verse that one would say, it doesn’t have to be there. It’s sort of like four o’clock in the afternoon in John 1:39. Who needs to know what time it is? But we are supposed to live by every word of God.”
John [Ritenbaugh] continues,
I really feel that verses 11 and 12 are related and that Capernaum became the base of His operations. That’s where His home was. His family was from Nazareth and there are indications, and the indications are, it was from this time on His family just kind of abandoned Him. They separated themselves from Him.
You can see a little bit more of this revealed in Luke 4. How when He came into His own, He read in the synagogue and they tried to stone Him. I’m sure that the family was beginning to believe by this time that He was somebody who had ‘gone off His rocker’ and that He was a strange one indeed. They didn’t want their reputation to be soiled by this person who was preaching things that were different from what they had learned to believe from the rabbis from the time they were growing up.
They were beginning to feel the heat of His righteousness. They were beginning to feel the anger of their neighbors and relations were beginning to be very strained between Him and the family. Why do you think He would say a little bit later to His disciples that your enemies are going to be of your own household in Matthew 10:36? Because He had experienced it.
John finishes this section by saying, “I think John 2:11 is there to give you a little indication that this was the separating point when He returned to Judea in Jerusalem and came into Galilee. This was the beginning of the end until He was crucified.”
Brethren, this is why I tried to show you, as strong as Mary’s belief was from the years of knowing Him, it was very possibly skewed and severely misdirected, based on what she thought she understood—based on human experiences and Satan’s deception. You can read more of just exactly how far Mary and Jesus’ brothers came in Mark 3:20-35, when they came to Him to put Him away.
God is teaching us a very important lesson here. In spite of the strength we may have in faith, we can never let down our guard because Satan is always trying to use our carnal life experiences to separate us from God and from one another. Unless we are relentless in the loving pursuit of the living God, even when it seems to go against the grain of what we think we know to be right from our carnal experiences, we cannot cave in to the intense pressure from the world around us and our own deceitful hearts.
Remember, I told you at the beginning of this sermon, I was going to focus on two things; one of warning and one of encouragement.
This is so encouraging for all of us. I want you to look at the overall blessing of the encouragement of this wedding feast miracle. Here is the special blessing that God has given to those called now to be the bride of Christ at this time, awaiting His coming. God binds His creation and the union of marriage together as inseparable parts from the beginning. God inspired John to begin his gospel message with the very same words that start the Bible, ‘in the beginning.’ The gospel of John covers all created time from Genesis to Revelation and the miracle at the wedding feast is an eleven-verse synopsis of God’s plan and purpose, not just for us, brethren, but for all of mankind.
Those given eyes to see now can see this incredible plan started in the physical type in Genesis and ending within the spiritual union of all men to the Son and glory of the Father for eternity in Revelation 21. It is a mystery that God is showing now to His firstfruits, those called now in Revelation 19 the bride of Christ at His return. We need to realize and appreciate our place within the awesome plan of God.
The apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15,
I Corinthians 15:22-26 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each man in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers up the Kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all power. For He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
I Corinthians 15:22-28 When all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Do we really appreciate our marvelous part in this now? The bride of Christ being adorned by her Husband with a magnificent adornment. God’s plan and purpose is awesome. We have the eyes to see it now.
In Genesis, as I said, we see God ordain physical marriages, an intrinsic part in His creation. We see through the Old Testament the physical bride, Israel, who because of the hardness of their hearts, without God’s Holy Spirit, proved unfaithful. We see Jesus Christ’s own words about marriage in Mark 10, when the Jews asked Him a question about why Moses offered a bill of divorcement, even in their own personal marriages. His response was,
Mark 10:5-9 (KJV) For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Marriage from the beginning was intended to show an unbreakable union in anticipation of the marriage of the Lamb. When we move into the New Testament, those called to be the bride of Christ now are given the opportunity through our own marriages to understand the mystery of the plan and purpose of God. This is the closest of human relations.
I was going to take us to Ephesians 5, but we are not going to have time. You all know what it says. It is Paul’s comparison of the relationship, the union between a husband and wife, and he says he is telling you a mystery that this is Jesus Christ and His bride.
How hard are we working at our own physical marriages? Because we understand in faith that they are a joyful anticipation of the marriage of the Lamb to the bride. Brethren, in the days of the apostles, once the bride was selected and the bride price agreed upon, the man seeking the bride would go to the young lady in mind and present her with his cup of wine. He would tell her his cup represents his life and proposes marriage by offering his cup to her. He would then voice his desire to have them share their lives together. If she takes this cup and drinks of it, she accepts his marriage proposal and agrees to live by the terms of the new covenant that they have made for each other.
At the wedding in Cana, all who attended shared the same wine offered by the real Bridegroom, whose time had not yet come, but it was pointing to that time all the way in the future when all would share the wine He had provided, as acceptance of the union that only He could make possible for everyone. Please turn with me to Revelation 19. This is talking about us, brethren.
Revelations 19:6-9 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
This is the marriage of the Lamb that takes place at the return of Jesus Christ and His bride has made herself ready. In faith, we know that we are part of this bride and will live and reign with Him forever for the glory of God.
Revelation 21:1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Revelation 21:9-11 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. And her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
Revelations 21:22-27 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Here is that which God planned and purposed from the beginning. It is the union of the Lamb of God with His bride, the New Jerusalem, and all who are in it. We will have already been in the bride of Revelation 19, the bride of Christ. Revelation 21 speaks of the time when God will finally be all in all!
The miracle of Cana is a most important sign revealing the mysteries of God, in order to encourage those now called into the bride of the Lamb. So that we are driven to loyally and faithfully continue the course all the way to the end and prepare to serve all of those who come after us. Christ’s vision, that drove Him, was not just what He would be doing that day, or at that Feast, or within a few years, or within 3,000 years; but to the glory of the union of the bridegroom, His bride, and the Father together for eternity. With God, we finally will be all in all.
My wife suggested this. Clint Zimmerman, at the end of his sermons at the Feasts, used to have everybody stand and raise an imaginary glass to toast the Kingdom. So I would like you all to stand please. I would like to propose a toast to our Great God, the Almighty God who will be the All in All, and to His Kingdom and to the bride and the Bridegroom at the marriage feast. To God!