A Lesson in Obedience
Intro: This passage is most often mentioned in the introductory part of a wedding; that’s because it is very appropriate since it took place at a wedding. Still there are other lessons involved here than just realizing that Jesus honored marriage by his presence at this wedding and by working his first miracle at this wedding also. There are some great lessons in regard to obedience in this account.
I. Mary’s Advice
When the hosts of the wedding realized that they had run out of wine for the feast, they did not know what to do. Clearly they could not just run out and buy what they needed; they were in a very embarrassing situation. No one likes for others to think they failed in their planning or preparation for such a public event. Mary became aware of the predicament and went to Jesus about it. He replied to her that his time had not fully come to launch his public ministry; he probably had not intended to do anything out of the ordinary at this wedding for he was just attending it as a guest and friend. Mary KNEW who Jesus really was and she KNEW about his divine power so she persisted and gave the servants advice before Jesus had even actually agreed to Do anything.
The words of Mary in Vs. 5 are familiar and they are full of great truth for us.
“Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” Mary’s words; her advice; her instructions called for Simple but Serious Obedience.
A. Entire Obedience.
What so ever he saith...
She wanted them to know that it Didn’t Matter WHAT he said; they were to obey;
It didn’t matter how unusual his commands might seem- they were to obey.
It didn’t matter what his commands required of them- they were to obey.
We are so hesitant at times in obeying God. We waver; we doubt; we try to reason it all out; we tend to pick and choose what we obey and what we do not obey; and it almost always depends on whether we Understand the purpose of it or not. Still, we are called to Entire Obedience. We are Not just to obey Part of what God has said but ALL that he has said. We are Not just to obey what WE Think makes sense, or what we Want to obey, but What so ever he has said.
God’s Word is our authority; it is our Final and Complete guide in all matters of spiritual life; earthly life; eternity. It is not a smorgasbord or buffet that we can pick and choose our favorites from and bypass all the rest. Paul declared that ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
B. Exclusive Obedience.
What so ever HE saith...
Mary did not tell these servants to do what so ever ANYONE said, but what so ever HE said. We are not called to obey EVERY voice that offers commands or instructions or advice. We are called to Obey our Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ and the precious Holy Ghost. We are not called to obey EVERY book that has been written; not even every book by those who claim to be Christians and spokesmen for God. We are called to obey the WORD OF GOD; for it alone carries the approval and authority of God himself. John said that we are not to believe Every spirit for there is a spirit of error just as there is a Spirit of Truth. John told us to “try the spirits, whether they be of God.” He is not telling to “try them out, to experiment with them;” he is telling to Put them to the TEST; try them, test them; prove whether or not they are really of God. Only what aligns with the Revealed Word of God is to be obeyed. Paul told the Galatians that even if an angel came to them and gave them instructions, they were only to obey them IF they agreed with the Word of God they had received.
Yes, we are called to Entire obedience, but also to Exclusive obedience- only what God has spoken and revealed.
C. Exact Obedience.
What so ever he saith unto you, Do IT.
Mary wanted them to Do exactly what he said to do; they were not to change the instructions; they were not to modify them or tamper with them; they were not to think they could improve on them; and they were not to take shortcuts- DO IT. When we know God’s will, we should Do it just like he said. Since we have his revealed Word we should obey it just like he said it. These 3 lessons in obedience will help all of us to make it from earth to heaven. Do you obey entirely? Do you obey Exclusively? Do you obey Exactly?
II. Servant’s Actions.
A. They Obeyed Immediately.
Vs. 7- Jesus said unto them Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
Wow, there is no time lapse; no delay; no procrastination; no arguments; no questioning; no trying to reason out the WHY of his command. They obeyed immediately.
I have not always obeyed immediately, I admit it; and I believe God has enough knowledge of our human weakness and frailty that he extends great Mercy to us. Still, we must not become self centered; we must not balk and rebel; we need to obey the Lord immediately. When we read it in the Word of God we need to obey it immediately; when we hear it preached from the Word of God we need to obey immediately. Whether you are Young, or Old; Man or Woman; Husband or Wife; Dad, Mom or Child; however God’s Word instructs us we must obey immediately.
B. They Obeyed Completely
“they filled them up to the brim”
Jesus said, “fill them,” and they FILLED them. There was no halfway obedience here; no cutting corners; no looking for loopholes. They obeyed completely. When God says, Just Do It. Do it immediately and do it completely.
C. They Obeyed Progressively.
First Jesus told them to fill the water pots; they did it immediately and completely.
Then he told them to draw out a cupful; and they did it. Then he told them to take it to the master of the feast; and they did it. An initial act of obedience is great; but progressive obedience is Vital. If we cease to obey we are lost; if we fail to continue we are lost.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Ac 13:43 Paul and Barnabas: persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Ac 14:22 Confirmed the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith,
Col 4:2 Continue in prayer,
1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of,
This Faithful Obedience was followed by a Great Miracle of Power and Provision. Plain, common water was transformed into Fresh and Delicious Wine. There was an abundant supply and the guests testified that it was even better than what they served at the first. God will honor a life of obedience with his presence and his power. Your life will be abundant and better than it ever was before.
Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC