Do Whatever He Tells You

John 2:1-11

Dear friends in Christ, grace and peace. Amen

One of the things preachers don’t tell you is that most of us, if we are honest, are usually preaching each Sunday out of the context of our own lives.

It makes sense, right. We are no different than you in that you come to worship and you hear the Sunday text and sermon in the context of your own lives as well.

What kind of week you have had? What are the issues you are struggling with or even the things you are celebrating all play a part in what the Holy Spirit will say to you when you come to worship.

Yes, the Holy Spirit speaks into our lives in worship so I guess we better listen up, right.

The power in theses stories is the ability of God’s word to connect with our daily lives and that is certainly the case today where Jesus shows up at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.

We will hear in the upcoming weeks, longer stories of Jesus and his encounters with individuals as well as groups of people.

Today’s story is in the context of a joyous occasion. This is not a doom and gloom Jesus story we hear today but rather a wedding feast. It is unique in that it is not a healing story. Jesus is not helping people walk again, see again and he’s not casting out demons. It is not a story about a person in crisis.

Although there is a bit of a crisis but this crisis is more the result just poor planning on the part of the wedding coordinators.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

This was a problem, a real problem. Good thing a Mom was around right.

Good thing it was the mother of Jesus.

What did she know about her son at this point in time? I’m curious about that. I love the interplay between son and mother. “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”

It is at this point in time that the story pivots and this is where we need to sit up and take notice.

The mother of Jesus tells the gathered servants; “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

There is a wow factor here isn’t there. Water to wine. A sign revealing the true nature of Jesus and his power. But lost in the sign is the fact the servants did as Jesus told them and this is the part of the story that intrigues me and has gotten me thinking.

If we don’t do what Jesus tells us to do our faith won’t amount to much more than a general belief in God and something that just sort of sits on the periphery of our lives. Taken off and the shelf and dusted off once in a while when we might need it.

If we don’t do what Jesus tells us to do, how do we expect our faith to grow, to make a difference in our daily lives, to change us into the person God intends for us to be? I know that sounds a bit unlutheran but I think it is a fair question.

When people do what Jesus tells them to do, the outcome is always life.

In John 5 Jesus tells the man who had been paralyzed for 38 years to take up his mat and walk.

He did and he walked.

In John 9 Jesus tells the man born blind to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.

He did and he regained his sight.

In John 11 Jesus tells Lazarus, dead in the tomb for 3 days to come out.

He did and he was alive.

Life always follows Jesus.

What is Jesus telling you to do? Right now? Today?

Is he telling you to not be afraid?

Is he telling you to forgive someone? Yourself perhaps. A loved one? A friend?

Is he telling you that it is time to give up your right to yourself and start following Him?

If you want to find your life you need to lose it for Jesus sake and it requires the death of your old self. Are you willing to do what he tells you to do?

Is he telling you to stop worrying about your life and about stuff, what you will eat and what you will drink and what you will wear and instead seek first His kingdom, His righteousness knowing that all these things will be added unto you?

Is he telling you cannot serve God and wealth at the same time and you have to choose?

Is he telling you to begin paying more attention to your spouse, or to your children, or to a parent?

Fill up the stone jars with water. Take it to the steward of the feast. Taste the new wine, the very best.

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Belief follows the sign. The sign is seen as a result of obedience to the command to do whatever he tells you.

If the mother of Jesus hadn’t said what she said and if the servants would have ignored the command the wedding guests would have been very disappointed.

I don’t think it is a stretch to say that we are much more likely to see the signs of God’s activity in our lives and in our world if we do the things Jesus tells us to do.

And what comes out of the jars filled with water turned to wine. The steward of the feast marvels that it is the very best wine that is now being served.

The sign of the water turned to wine is a foretaste of what Jesus exclaims 8 chapters later in John’s gospel when he says I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.

If that is the life you are seeking. If that is the life you know you want to have, then start doing what Jesus tells you to do.

I do not believe it is a coincidence that the people I know who are always seeing the signs of God’s activity in this world are also the people who are quietly going about each day, doing the things that Jesus tells them to do.

We love miracles because they are so out of this world, or so we think. But signs are more subtle. They are right there for us to see, pointing us in the right direction, showing us the way to Jesus. They happen every day, at weddings, at funerals, at work, at school.

And the not so surprising thing about it all is that the people who see the signs, the ones who believe in Jesus, are more often than not the ones who are already doing what it is He is telling us to do.

We know, don’t we, and we trust that life always follows His instructions and He promises to give us the very finest wine and it will never, ever run out.

Thanks be to God. Amen