Jesus Saves The Best (Epiphany 3)

Pastor Steve Bauer
Pastor Steve Bauer
Jesus Saves The Best (Epiphany 3)

Jesus Saves The Best

There are times when you give your best. I don’t follow football. But I managed to watch that last play from the game on Sunday. And I can’t say this for every football game. But I admit that I wish I had watched all of that game. But above all, what impressed me most about watching it was seeing two teams giving their absolute best. And on that day, one team won and another didn’t. But both came to that field to give their best. And all of this I mention because there are times in our lives when we have to give our best. But what about Jesus? Jesus too gives his best. But what does that look like? In John 2, we see what the best that Jesus has to give looks like: 1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”” (John 2:1–5 NIV11-GKE)

Here in John chapter 2, we learn that it’s the third day. It’s the third day since John the Baptizer baptized Jesus in the Jordan river. And as we spoke about last week, Jesus was baptized to go out and take action. He was supposed to give sight to the blind, heal those with diseases and even raise the dead. All of this was promised and pictured in the Old Testament. So Jesus is baptized and what happens? Nothing. Nothing amazing, nothing miraculous happens. So then, a couple of days pass and Jesus and his disciples are invited to a wedding. Now, in those days weddings were a little different than today. On the first day the couple would be married and begin their married life together. But the wedding banquet would last for entire week. With that in mind we can begin to see the problem and even panic if they ran out of wine and other provisions. And so Mary, the mother of Jesus mentions this problem to Jesus.

Now, we’re going to come back to these words in a little bit. But first we need to pause for a little while and speak about what these words do not mention. Here in these words we find one man and one woman getting married. Here we find a good, wondrous and beautiful picture of what marriage should look like: one man, one woman, for life. But what’s the problem with this picture? The problem is that even though Jesus was there at the beginning to make Adam and Eve for each other, nevertheless each of them and both of them fell into sin and destroyed their faith in God as well as their marriage with each other. And ever since that day the path to marriage is not easy and persevering in marriage is not easy either. And there are so many traps and pitfalls we can fall into. From the moment that boys and girls stop thinking that the other gender is weird and instead find them wondrous in their own way and are attracted to them—from that moment, they have about ten years to wait till they get married (at least!). And if you think about it, that’s ten years to get derailed. That’s ten years to follow sermons the world around them preaches to them that either marriage is stupid or pretending to be married is good enough. And then if they manage to make it to marriage they soon realize that persevering in marriage is not so easy too. The bride and groom realize that they have married a sinner. And sinners can destroy. And then, if they manage to make it all the way to their later, elder years, then there are new temptations to face in those years. It’s not easy to stay married when you spend all your time caring for someone seems to need more than you can give. It’s not easy to stay married when dementia descends and your beloved spouse of so many decades doesn’t remember you, or worse, is even scared of you.

It’s not easy. The path to marriage is not easy. And persevering in marriage is not easy either. And the temptation we face is to conclude that marriage is easy. It’s easy to attain and easy to maintain. And that’s why these words here are so important for us to see. For this example here is an exception. The bible is filled with adulterers and divorcers. It’s filled with people who pretended to be married when they weren’t and destroyed their marriages when they were. But look, my dear friends, at the amazing love and forgiveness that Jesus shows here. For Jesus doesn’t just forgive the times we break the 6th commandment. He does so much more. He saves his best for massive problems. And I’ve been a pastor long enough to see this. If you want to see how Jesus uses his best, just look at the power of his word. Look at the young adult who has the confidence to listen to the promises of Jesus and continually pray for a faithful spouse despite all the false promises in the world around them. Look at the newly-wed person who gets married in just enough time to see their parents get divorced. And yet, with faith mixed with fear, they trust in Jesus’ promise to bless their promises they made on their wedding day. If you want to see Jesus saving his best for massive problems, look at the elderly couple when their spouse’s body or mind fails, and they love that person just as much after 60 years as 6 months. All of this is what Jesus does over and above what he does to forgive us. He doesn’t only forgive, he also gives us faith to cling to his promises.

Jesus saves the best for massive problems. But he also saves his best for another area of our lives. We read: 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 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. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 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.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:6–11 NIV11-GKE)

What was Jesus’ first miracle? Was it healing a blind person? Was it driving out a demon? Was it raising a person from death? No, it was turning water into so much wine. The worst that would have happened if he didn’t perform that miracle is that they would have been embarrassed. But time would travel on. And years later the embarrassment might turn into a good story to tell. It was such a small problem that would eventually pass. But this preaches and proves to us a very important truth. Yes, Jesus saves his best for massive problems. But he also saves his best for minúte problems. One of the temptations we face is to conclude that Jesus has bigger issues and bigger problems than the ones we face. It’s as if he deals with the big problems, but we’re supposed to deal with the little problems in our lives. And so, if we give into this we stop praying because, after all, we shouldn’t bother Jesus. And if we don’t want to bother Jesus, then most definitely we shouldn’t bother him with several prayers about the same, small concern in our lives. And what these words preach and prove to us is that just the opposite is true. Jesus saves his best not just for the massive problems. He also saves his best for the minúte problems too.

So, my dear friends in Christ, in your prayers take all your massive problems to Jesus your Savior: all the weight of your past, all the pressure of the future—take them all those massive concerns to him in prayer. For he saves his best for the massive problems. Oh, but don’t forget about the small problems too. The small test you have to take; the short car ride you have to make; the lost keys you cannot find—all these and more, take to your Savior in prayer. For Jesus saves the best for you. He saves his best for the massive problems and also for the minúte problems too. Amen.

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