In the last couple of weeks, we considered how John starts his gospel by drawing us in to look at how big God is. In the first five verses we see evidence that suggests God is:
- Infinite – He has always existed and will always exist. Never gets older because He is outside of time.
- Three-in-One – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit existing as three persons that make up one God.
- God is self-sufficient – He doesn’t need anyone or anything to exist. He is all that He needs.
- The creator of all things. Creating everything in known existence with the authority of His words.
- The light of the world who dispels darkness and invites us into the light.
Not only are these five truths evidenced in the opening verses, but as the chapter continues, we continue to see what happens when a divine being encounters mankind. But what is interesting about what happens next, is that Jesus was in the form of a man. The lowest form in which He has or ever will exist. Surely if a man were to see Jesus wrapped in His glory we would surely die because of the sin and lowliness of man. Yet Jesus in the form of a man is still noticed. In verses 34-51, there are seven titles attributed to Jesus. These titles came from different people, none of whom really knew Him yet, just encountered. These titles are significant: Lamb of God, Rabbi, Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, King of Israel, and Son of Man. Each title is a bold statement, especially for a first encounter. Its as though the five truths in the first verses are on display even in this lowly state.
This week, we will be looking at “A Command, A Sign, A Temple.” Each of these occur in John 2. The command comes from Mary the mother of Jesus to the servants at a wedding, she says “Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you.” This is a command of great wisdom and significance. They do what Jesus says and suddenly we see water that was to be used for washing the body turn into what is called the “best” wine. No one knows where this wine comes from, not the master of the wedding, those getting married, or the head cook. Just Jesus, these servants, and Mary. It’s a miracle done in secret. Not a public proclamation that calls the crowd to look at Jesus. But a first sign of many to come. We also see Jesus do this in John 4:46-54 and then in 15:15 we see a change of status. Point being, while Jesus did do miracles in public spaces, there are also ones reserved for the lowly servants. Those who “do whatever He tells you.” This is a way of speaking to our need to live in surrender. Surrender to God, the high king of heaven who deserves more than we can ever give Him. But it starts with believing and being obedient. Through this we will learn to surrender more of who we are so that He can continue to make us more like Him.
After the wedding, Jesus goes to the temple in Jerusalem. As He walks into the outer courts He finds money changers, selling animals for sacrifice and taking advantage of those who came to seek forgiveness. Jesus drives them all out of the temple as it is to be God’s house of prayer, not a place for people to be taken advantage of or a place for financial profit. In 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 we see a image of the reverence and holiness of God’s temple. Yet these people abuse it - neglecting the very purpose, ignoring the profound sin, and using it for themselves. They are not being obedient to God. They are not surrendered. They have taken control of their own lives in selfish, manipulative ways. Isn’t this the same thing we do when we do not obey?
Questions for you to ask your students:
1. In what ways are you holding back surrender to God? (Parents, this is a great opportunity to be vulnerable and share first. You should not assume you cannot share with your student(s). Your vulnerability will help them enter the conversation).
a. What should we do with these areas where we have taken control?
2. How can we learn to lean more on God?
Hayes Corn Maze – October 20, 5:30-9:00 pm. Cost is $10 per person, we ask that students bring exact change. They also will have concessions open if students want to bring a couple extra bucks. This is a great connecting time with students and each year we are able to build special memories as we come together for fun, food, and challenges. It is these types of memories that give us the opportunity to further invest in deep relationships with students which we believe to be a critical piece to making disciples.