Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
First miracle significance of Jesus when he turns water to wine shows us God saves the best for last.
John 2 contains a passage where our LORD performed HIS first miracle and emphasized a few important principles such as the place of Mary, as the mother of the humanity of our LORD, not the mother of GOD; JOH 2:1-11.
First, let’s read the narrative beginning with JOH 2:1-3, And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding. And when the wine gave out or when they ran out of the good wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
- First of all, the LORD knew that they had run out of both good wine and cheap wine. So that in JOH 2:3 the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Under the principles that deal with this problem, in the Near East of the ancient world, there was scarcity of water and wine which was considered was a necessity rather than a luxury, so it came to symbolize sustenance and life. Due to its close relationship to the ongoing life of the community, in association with grain and oil, wine is also representative of the covenant blessings that GOD promised to Israel for their obedience. HE would withhold blessings because of the disobedience which also represents HIS joys, celebrations, festivities, or expressing the abundant blessings of GOD to the believer who has positive volition toward doctrine; (PVTD).
Potentially, wine can generate either positive or negative results. Negatively, wine can be abused, causing a person to lose self-control and be negative as far as his life is concerned.
PRO 20:1, “Wine is also said to be a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
EPH 5:18, “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation.”
When Jesus made the water into wine, HE did not intend for the wedding guests to get drunk, HE provided and intended the right amount for the number of people in attendance to enjoy themselves but not lose control while drinking it. They needed a miracle to express and expose our LORD to trust in GOD the Holy Spirit to perform or fulfill that miracle through HIM, our LORD Jesus Christ.
JOH 2:4, And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come.”
There’s a two-fold answer, our LORD says, “what do I have to do with you?” In other words, I have everything under control and you have nothing to do with the works that I am about to do. Secondly, HE says, “My hour (His hour to die in His spiritual death) has not yet come or arrived or separated from, which is a reference to our LORD’s spiritual separation or spiritual death during those three hours on the Cross from 12 noon to 3 PM. It was during those three hours on the Cross when HE died for us and for the sins of the world!
JOH 2:4-5, And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what do you have to do or have to do with you? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Notice, the first problem, the problem of arrogance where we have Mary the mother of Jesus, the humanity of Christ. She interferes with the ministry of our LORD when she starts giving orders to the waiters and the disciples and she tries to take control of the situation.
JOH 2:6-8, Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. (And now our LORD takes over in verse 7) 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 headwaiter.” And they took it to him.
Notice the obedience of the others and how our LORD reflected and intended to reveal HIS love, omnipotence, omnipresence, and faithfulness.
JOH 2:9-11, And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when men have drunk freely, then that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
The main principle of this miracle is that the LORD saves the best for last. This is a reference to our LORD performing miracles and operating in the power of GOD the Holy Spirit and the calling of GOD. In fact, a few principles emerge concerning the lessons found in this chapter, especially in verses 1-11.
- Mary was the mother of the humanity of our LORD Jesus Christ, but she was never the mother of GOD; Luk 1:47.
- The beginning of the exaltation of Mary, the “Mother of GOD,” was first applied to Mary her by the Council of Ephesus (431).
- Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints and angels, about 600 AD.
- The Ave Maria (part of the last half was completed 59 years later and approved by Pope Sixtus V at the end of the 16th century); 1508 AD.
- Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary proclaimed by Pope Pius IX. 1854 A.D.
- Mary proclaimed Mother of the Church, by Pope Paul VI – 1965.
- Assumption of the Virgin Mary (bodily ascension into heaven shortly after her death), proclaimed by pope Pius XII – 1950.
Because of this Roman Catholic prayer on Mary, the average believer elevates the mother of Jesus to the point of calling her the mother of GOD. It is thinking like this that straightens out the believer’s perspective when it comes to the seriousness of one’s physical death which the apostle Paul tells us is a matter of the sovereign will of GOD; JOB 1:21, PSA 68:19.
Job expressed this in JOB 1:21 when he taught us that, “The LORD gave and the LORD takes away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In other words, the LORD decides when it’s time to go. David expressed this in PSA 68:19, “GOD is to us a GOD of deliverance, and to Jehovah the LORD belongs escapes from death.”
Until the LORD is ready to take us home to be with Him, we are going to continue to live on this planet until it’s time to go. And, the very moment that the sovereignty of GOD decides to take us home, nothing will keep us here. In ECC 8:8, No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of one’s death. All believers must realize that physical death is precious in the sight of the LORD. The victory over death is given to us in PSA 116:15, “Precious [valuable] in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” This refers to all his saints, winners and losers. The death of any believer is valuable in the eyes of the LORD. Solomon said this same principle in ECC 7:b, The day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth. In fact, the death of every Church-age believer, both winners and losers, also means to be face to face with the LORD, 2CO 5:8 where we are said to be “absent from the body and face to face with the LORD.” We have no idea of the perfect happiness that will come to us when we check out of these bodies. We know that death will be a state of perfect happiness because everything related to your body that can produce sorrow, pain, and suffering, is gone, REV 21:4.
REV 21:4, “And he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes [comfort]; furthermore, there shall no longer be any death, no longer will there be any mourning, and no more crying, and no more pain; the first things have passed away.”
You use your body for mourning, for pain, for many unpleasant things and some pleasant things. Our resurrection body will have none of these unpleasant things. You accept the fact that death is an appointment with GOD that all members of the human race have to keep that appointment, HEB 9:27, It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment [for the unbeliever]. You will only die once. Only unbelievers will be judged and cast into The Lake of Fire.
For we read in REV 20:1-3, And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and [literally Michael the Arch angel threw him – a reference to the Satan and the fallen angels] into the abyss or the prison for all the fallen angels and unbelievers, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he [Satan] must be released for a short time.
I don’t know!
REV 20:4-10, And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of GOD, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of GOD and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
This is the final destiny of Satan and the fallen angels.
REV 20:11-15, And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is all prophesied in ECC 3:2, when the LORD says, There’s a time to give birth, and a time to die; You realize that death is simply a shadow and a valley to pass through and into the eternal state. The believer also realizes that people have been held in bondage and slavery all their lifetime because of not understanding the victory over death.
HEB 2:15, And might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
And so, having confidence while living will give you confidence while dying. Dying is a part of life. Dying is a part of the Christian experience which does not depend upon the volition of the believer, but on the sovereignty of GOD. And if you like living in GOD's plan, you will love dying. In the living phase of GOD's plan, the believer has control over his life for successes or failure, for execution of GOD's plan or failure to do so. Therefore, the believer approaches dying as a winner or as a loser, as an invisible hero or as one who has fragmented his life. In the dying phase of GOD's plan, the believer has no control over the time, place, or manner of his death. The physical death of the Church-age believer is a matter of the wisdom, integrity, and sovereignty of GOD. And, because the integrity of GOD cannot be unfair or unjust, the time, place, and manner of our physical death is a perfect decision from HIM. Because of the infinite and eternal wisdom of GOD, he cannot be wrong in any decision he makes. This means that anytime you become critical or upset, blaming GOD for the departure of a loved one, you're in a state of blasphemy. Because it isn't a matter of when we think the death should be; it is a matter of when GOD has decided. And GOD cannot be unfair. His decision about the death of any person is never unfair.
And if GOD decides to take you out by some terrible disease, all the health food and vitamins in the world won't help you; you will die of disease. The point is that nothing will prolong your life beyond GOD's time for you to die. Now, this does not imply that long life means that you have advanced spiritually. It simply means that GOD in his own wisdom has made the decision regarding the death of each one of us. All of us will die with the exception of the Rapture generation.
Prin -Since the omniscience of GOD knows all the facts in each individual case, the time, place, and manner of our physical death is a wise decision. And all decisions from the sovereignty of GOD are made in perfect and eternal wisdom, including the time, place, and manner of dying.
So, for the believer who has the ten problem solving devices, dying is the ultimate experience of all. The problem-solving devices are just as pertinent in dying as they are in living. The person who has been using them while living is ready to die. Therefore, the death of every believer, winner or loser, is always GOD's DECISIONS and man’s victory.