No Other Name Week 1: Water Into Wine
Pastor Dan’s sermon, “Water Into Wine” in the new “No Other Name” series is available to watch or listen to right here!
We started our new series in the book of John yesterday! I’m excited for what we’ll learn as God continues to reveal Himself and His character through His word. What a privilege it is that we get to come together each week to study it together!
I’m really excited for this series on John. I think we’ll get to know Jesus better as we look at the signs in this book — we’ll study these miracles and see how He really did (and does) change lives. I think it’s really powerful that we just studied Deuteronomy and now we’re exploring John. It strikes me that in those early Old Testament books we see God, who is holy, tell His people how they should live so that they can represent Him well. And He gives so many instructions on the tabernacle and sacrifice, not just for the sake of instruction, but because He is a holy God and He wanted to provide a way for people to approach Him and be in relationship with Him. How beautiful and amazing, then, that as we jump over to John we see this same God humble Himself in order to walk among us. The Word who became flesh. Jesus, the holy God who revealed His glory to us personally!
The book of John is one of the four Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often grouped together — they were written earlier, and they contain a lot of the same material. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often called the Synoptic Gospels because they talk about things very similarly. Then comes John. Oh, John. He likes to be different.
John’s Gospel tells a few different stories than Matthew, Mark, and Luke. His writing is a bit more poetic — sometimes he even makes up new words. John’s Gospel was the last one written, so it’s possible that he had read the other ones. John shares some new things about Jesus, but admits at the end of his book that Jesus did so many things that, “If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
Because John’s Gospel was written a little later, there were many people who had already become Christians who would have been reading his book. During the time John wrote, the Greek idea of Gnosticism was very popular. Gnosticism considered the physical world to be bad and the spiritual world to be good. Because of this mindset, some Christians had a tough time believing that Jesus was a real, physical person. If He was God, they believed He had to be solely spiritual in order to be perfect. So throughout the book, we see John combating this idea. He talks about Jesus as a physical being. During the crucifixion, he points out that Jesus’ side was pierced and blood and water flowed out — Jesus had a physical body. John emphasized that he saw it with his own eyes — Jesus was fully God and fully man.
So, John approaches his Gospel a bit differently, but the message is the same — Jesus is Lord and offers us new life!
I loved how Pastor Dan pointed out the comparison between Genesis and John yesterday. John takes great care to parallel his book with Genesis. He doesn’t start with the birth of Jesus or a genealogy like the other Gospels. John goes back to the very beginning, to creation. Throughout his book, John uses the number seven to convey wholeness or completeness. He parallels God’s creation in six days and rest on the seventh day with Jesus’ work and crucifixion. Jesus repeats God’s creative work and then rises to a new beginning!
I’m excited for this series in John. It was powerful to look at Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine. I love how Jesus provided above and beyond what was needed. He can do more than we can even imagine. He can take what we have broken and restore it and make it into something beautiful. God invites us to entrust our lives to Him — He can make all things new!
In what way have you entrusted yourself to Jesus?