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Don’t Forget to Feast

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Don't Forget to Feast

Jesus healed many people, but His first miracle didn’t heal anyone. For His first miracle, he turned water into wine. Why was this His first miracle? I believe it was for two reasons:
 
  1. Jesus turned water into wine to honor His mother.
Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.‬‬
Because of the promise given at the end of the fifth commandment, I’ve always believed that honoring our parents leads to blessings. I used to beg my parents to give me advice, so I could follow it.
 
  1. Jesus turned water into wine to keep the party going.
 
In Jesus’ day, scheduled celebrations were at the heart of Jewish culture, and wedding celebrations went on for a week.
The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
 
“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
 
But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
 
Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
 
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
 
This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
 
After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.
Do the math. Jesus made 180 gallons of wine! That’s 900 bottles of wine…on the wall… Perhaps Jesus was preparing them for Heaven. We know very little about what Heaven will be like, but we do know one thing we will do in Heaven: feast. We are going to party, and that should not be surprising to us. When God gives His people instructions, He usually includes the importance of holidays (known as holy days). When God established the old covenant with the Jews, He told them to celebrate seven festivals every year.
 
King David also loved to party:
[God] makes grass grow for the cattle, 
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
It seems like he wants us to be happy, hot, and healthy. David is painting a picture of paradise. He’s taking us back to Adam’s garden where we had everything we needed. God makes some things for enjoyment. He gives us wine to make us happy.
 
There are, however, some Biblical cautions about partying. How should we enjoy wine? Let’s go back to Adam’s garden for some context. God placed two kinds of trees in Adam’s garden:
 
  1. Some trees are for food.
 
One of the trees in the center of the garden was The Tree of Life. That tree was meant to provide food. It could have sustained Adam and Eve forever, but there was a second tree in the middle of the garden. It was The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That tree was not meant for food.
 
  1. Some trees are for enjoyment or beauty.
 
They were invited to enjoy its beauty, but not to eat its fruit.
 
Too often with alcohol, we’ve mixed the purposes. When we drink it as if it is food instead of sipping it to enjoy its beauty, we misuse it.
 
So how do we wisely enjoy the beauty of wine?
 
  1. Be careful how you drink.
 
Some drinking habits and some drinks are designed purely to get people drunk. Avoid those.
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.
You can enjoy it, but don’t misuse it. If you misuse it, you’ll turn glad hearts into sad hearts, like Adam did with the fruit.
 
  1. Be careful where you drink.
 
Do not drink around an alcoholic. If your drinking tempts someone else to get drunk, don’t
If what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.
If you’ve ever been addicted, run from whatever it is that you have been addicted to.
 
In addition, don’t drink alone. If wine was intended to help us celebrate the good things that God has done, it should be an act of fellowship, and good community can help us drink responsibly. God gave us wine to remember, not to forget.
 
  1. Be careful why you drink.
 
This will likely disqualify a lot of drinking habits. Don’t use drinking as an escape. It doesn’t work. It will not help you escape your problem. In fact, if you attempt to use it for that purpose, it will only make your problems worse.
Who has anguish? Who has sorrow?
Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining?
Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns,
trying out new drinks.
31 Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is,
how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.
32 For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake;
it stings like a viper.
33 You will see hallucinations,
and you will say crazy things.
34 You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea,
clinging to a swaying mast.
35 And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.
I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.
When will I wake up
so I can look for another drink?”
If you turn to alcohol to cover your pain, you’re just causing more pain. Instead, when we struggle, we turn to God.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
The master of ceremonies at the wedding ceremony in John 2 pointed out that hosts bring out the cheap wine when people are drunk. In other words, drinking makes you dumber. We would be wise to avoid making decisions when we drink.
 
The master of ceremonies also pointed out that Jesus’ wine was the best wine. If Jesus’ opening miracle was intended to make people happy, why is the church so tempted by heavy handed justice and anger? Christians are called to live joyfully under God’s grace. 
 
Jesus’ introduction of the Kingdom is a feast! It’s fun! The wedding in Cana is a glimpse of the new kingdom, the new heaven and the new earth. It’s time for Christians to learn how to enjoy and celebrate life.
People should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
Yes, gifts should be enjoyed responsibly, but they should be enjoyed. Your life is a gift!
 
When God put Adam and Eve in the garden, He announced His first command: eat freely (Genesis 2:16). Then, in the book of Revelation, God gave His last command: drink freely (Revelation 22:17), but that invitation was to drink the water of life.
 
Don’t forget to feast, to celebrate together the great things that God has done.
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