√ Re·new·al: the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken
John 2 NIV
• 2:9…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.
• 2:14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
• 2:23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
The Wedding was people coming together to celebrate an important event and an important time in an ordinary village. The very happy circumstances of a village wedding became unique and even more memorable because Jesus stepped in.
The scene at the Temple is also about people coming together to celebrate an important purpose at an important time but this time in a very important place. Chaos, animals and noise were a different set of circumstances that became unique and even more memorable when Jesus stepped in.
Those two stories couldn’t be any more different in their circumstances but there is a common thread; Jesus stepped in to effect change in the people involved. Thankfully Jesus doesn’t entrust himself to the polar opposites of human thoughts and behaviors. He has entrusted himself and his heart, instead, to our need for renewal whatever the circumstances look like.
NLT Hebrews 1:1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days…he has spoken to us through his Son.” This is it folks, the absolute truth that has lasted through such a long history that it’s beyond our calculation of time. Christ is “the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised.” [Hebrews 9:15]
God has promised you a changed life for today and an inheritance for all eternity. We have this inheritance because “in these final days, he [God] has spoken to us through his Son” not because of all the do’s, dont’s, could’s and should’s we cling to. “When he [Christ] “cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven” to celebrate your inheritance with you…got it?
“I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the mashiach [Messiah], and though he may tarry, still I await him every day.” [Click here to read Rambam’s 13 Principles of Jewish Faith then click the word(show) to view.]
We know the desire of Israel’s heart was that Messiah would come as a powerful and conquering King. Remember that? They were tired of war but who would choose a helpless baby to win a battle? Answer: God himself. I hope you’ll click on the link above and read all 13 Principles. They are powerful and beautiful. I think they will surprise you as they did me. Moses’ and the prophets are still our truth. The big change for us is the tense in that twelfth principle has changed for us from “will” to “has.” That one “small” variation is what we’re celebrating in this season of preparation.
Now we are in the “New” Testament and Paul tells us we are still at war. We fight a war against strongholds, arguments and pretensions that keep people separate from the knowledge of God. We fight hoping to capture their minds and hearts forever. This is the reason we remember and celebrate this season: God’s own gift “has” come with the power to assure our confidence in Him and ensure the certainty of His promise to us that insures our success. Today Scripture is the final word for us.
“II Corinthians 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
My Jesse Tree of 2017
This is why we celebrate past, present and future.
“God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.” Titus 2:11-14 [MSG]
Luke 5:31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Today is Ash Wednesday; the beginning of the observance many of the faithful call Lent. This is the period leading up to Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Your church may not “officially” observe Lent but why not think of it as your own forty-days visit with Jesus in whom you have placed your life and your eternity?
We can make these days a personal, purposeful opportunity to examine our own spiritual health. That’s how we honor the Savior’s sacrifice. We can choose to repent of believing we are “good enough” because of the work he has already done in us AND we can choose to celebrate we are still under the “doctor’s” care with the promise of complete healing.