2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b] 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 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.”
— Luke 2:1-10 NIV
TODAY, I’d like to preach to you this powerful message. If you can help me preach this, tell someone beside you, Be a Bringer.
To me, the Wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine is the most special miracle He ever did. It might not be the greatest of all time. It wasn’t as jaw-dropping as when He walked out of the tomb. It wasn’t as amazing as when He cast out demons. After all, He just turned water into wine.
What’s so special about this one?
Because it was the first one. Everyone knows that the first is always special. Your first crush. Your first love. Your first kiss. Your first break-up. Your first job. Your first paycheck. Your first airplane ride. Your first time to see our founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez, preach live. That’s a special one for me. I remember it like it was 12 years ago. Walking into Valle Verde one day and seeing this enigmatic preacher speak with fire on stage. And the first thought in my head was: OMG! Kuya Bojie from Batibot is now a preacher! And he even shortened his name to Bo!
That’s why I think this miracle at Cana was special. Because it was Jesus’ first miracle. It marked the beginning of His public ministry that would be filled with a multitude of miracles.
HOW many of you were blessed by the Feast Conference? Are you more joyful today than yesterday? Or is your joy still the same?
One time, I made the mistake of saying that a friend ‘stole my joy’ because he did something that angered me. But later on, I realized that it was the wrong thing to say. No one can steal your joy — unless you give it to them. Many people don’t know this, but your joy is your job. You’re responsible for your joy. Did you know that?
The Psalmist said:
Everybody say, “I will rejoice!”
Even if it’s traffic on the way to work, I will rejoice. Even if I’m sick, I will rejoice. Even if I’m stressed out, I will rejoice.
Because to rejoice is a personal choice.
You might not feel like it, but you choose to do it – because your joy is under your jurisdiction.
How many of you want deeper joy in your life? Let me share with you three powerful lessons from this passage…
Lesson 1: If you want to experience joy in your life, Start with What You Have.
1Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b]
The verse says that these jars were used by the Jews for ceremonial washing 6 something that they did on a regular basis. So, it’s logical to say that these jars were worn out. They were used regularly. There was nothing special about them. Out of everything that He could have chosen, that’s the vessel that Jesus chose to use for His first miracle. He could have chosen a pitcher encrusted with precious gems or a big bucket with a gold handle. Instead, He chose the most ordinary thing He saw: jars that were made out of stone. If there’s a lesson to be learned here, I believe that Jesus is teaching us that if we want to have joy, we have to start with what’s available.
News Flash: You don’t need the best stuff in life to have joy. You don’t need to go and have that special vacation to have joy. You don’t need to have a better paycheck to have joy. You don’t need to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend to have joy. You don’t need that big house to have joy.
What if the joy that you need is already there in something that you already have? If you want joy, then start with what you have. What do you have right now? What’s available? You have a family? Start with that. You have some money? Start with that. You have a small ministry? Start with that. Joy is not found where you’re going. But it’s found where you are right now. Start with what you have.
Here’s Lesson Number 2: If you want joy, Serve Where You Are.
Some people might say that the ones who were blessed the most during this miracle at Cana was the master of the feast and the guests of the wedding. After all, they were the ones who tasted the best wine ever. They went home with a really good hangover.
But I beg to differ. The ones who were blessed the most were not the guests but the servants.
Let me explain this. The master of the feast was blown away by the wine. The guests probably felt the same way too. But they had no idea where the wine came from. They only tasted the finished product. They didn’t experience the process as the servants did.
So, who do you think went home more blessed? The servants, of course. Because they witnessed the miracle of serving.
Let me share with you about my good friend Kim Lato. Kim operates one of the biggest gadgets store in the Philippines.
Once upon a time, when she was in college, Kim started a store business through the Multiply Money app (which helps people manage their savings). Kim called her business Kim.Store.Multiply.
Because she was young, nobody wanted to trust her. But recently, a few weeks ago, she celebrated the 15th Anniversary of her company. Her business has grown from a small entity into a big company serving nationwide. Kim runs a warehouse that stores all kinds of gadgets. She started with just one person–just herself. Now she has 200employees. People might see Kim’s success and say God is blessing her. But if you never got to see her struggles before her success, you’ll never appreciate the miracle God made in her life. The process I am talking about.
Kim started her business in 2006. In 2013, Multiply closed down. So, she had no idea where to sell her products. She had to operate through a website – completely from scratch. And as Kim was scaling her business, little by little, she was finding her identity.
If you are in the middle of a process now, open your eyes because God may be blessing you right there.
The reason God has blessed Kim is that she is serving people. That’s the recipe for success. There is success when you serve people.
I have a term for that: Joy in Service.
No matter how tired you were or how hungry you were, you didn’t mind it. Why? Because there was this feeling of immense joy. That’s what happens when you serve: You experience the miracle of joy. The servants experienced this joy simply because they were in the right position. We already know that Jesus used WHATEVER was available –six stone jars. But now we’re also finding out that Jesus used WHOEVER was available. If you can make yourself available to Jesus, you, too, can experience real joy.
Mama Mary said it loud and clear in verse 5:
Right now, I’m thinking of two servants of our Feast who have the same obedience to the Lord: Amie Fortaleza and Badet Bongon. You probably see them around but you never know their name.
There are a lot of Feast servants you know by face but you don’t know who they are. I praise God for people like them who don’t need a title or a position to love and serve the Lord. Clap your hands for people like them.
We praise God for people who don’t need a reward, who don’t need accolade, who don’t need encouragement. They serve the Lord even if you don’t tell them because they love the Lord. Nobody is going to tell them otherwise.
I praise God for somebody like Bro. Bo who doesn’t need a title or position to praise God. Let’s clap our hands for our leader for showing us the way—not just preaching, but showing us the way to serve the Lord.
If you can come into any situation in your life thinking of what you can give more than what you can take, God can use you to turn water into wine. This is a truth that you need to receive. Right now, we live in a culture where everyone is grabbing power. No one wants to let go. Some even want more. Today, Jesus is reminding us that there’s a better way: His way. Jesus didn’t grab power. Instead, He gave it away. He empowered people. He shared the power with His disciples. If you want to experience the joy of Jesus, be a giver.
Here’s the Third Lesson: Stock Up as Much as You Can.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. (v.7)
Take a look at this.
This is our dishwashing container at home. It’s so special because it’s miraculous.
Why do I say miraculous? Because I never refill it, and by some miracle, it always gets refilled.
I told my wife Kristel one time, “This thing is miraculous. I never refill it and somehow, when it’s almost empty, it always gets filled up again. I wonder when this miracle will happen again?”
She looks at me and says, “It’ll happen…when you fill it up yourself.”
‘Fill it up.’
Jesus didn’t give a long instruction to the servants. He just said, “Fill it up.” Imagine if one of the servants is the lazy, disobedient type. He wants everyone else to do more than he wanted to do. But then all of a sudden, this guy named Jesus, who’s not even responsible for his paycheck, bosses him around, and tells him to fill up a jar. The nerve of this guy! In his arrogance, the servant fills up the jar only half-full. If that alternate story happened, they would have been half a miracle short that evening.
The reason the miracle was fulfilled in the greatest measure possible was that all the servants had the initiative to fill their jars to the full.
Here’s the truth: If you want to overflow with joy, have the initiative to fill it up. Don’t wait for people to fill you up. Receive it from the Lord. Jesus told the disciples to fill the jars with water so they filled them to the brim. That’s what’s important. Not how big the cup is, but how much you fill it. It’s not how big the container is. It’s not how successful the person is. It’s not how talented the person is. It’s not how big the jar is, but it’s how much you fill it up. Are you filling your life to the full?
There are people who don’t have the best things in life but they still manage to find joy because they look for ways to fill their life with small joys. Fill your life with joy to the brim.
Wine Is a Symbol of Joy
Let me end with this thought.
We’ve been talking about joy this whole time. But there’s something important I must point out to you.
Back in the day, a wedding Feast would not be special if it didn’t have unlimited, free-flowing wine. To the Jews, wine was considered a symbol of joy. So, if anyone ran out of wine during a wedding, it was as if the party also ran out of joy. Sadly, this is how some people still function today. They’re only joyful when they’re drunk. Do you know anyone like that?
If they’re not on some substance, they’re not happy.
Wine was important to the Jews. When I thought about that, I remembered a similar passage written by the apostle John. Get ready to be blown away.
28Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”[a] 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
–John 19: 28-30 NLT
Jesus started His ministry with wine. And here we see that Jesus also ended His ministry with wine. But take note. It wasn’t fine wine. It was “sour wine.”
I want you to know that when Jesus did the miracle, He was doing more than just save a married couple from embarrassment that day. He was doing more than just producing fine wine. But He was challenging our values and changing our systems. God’s wine used to flow freely but it became watered down because of the traditions of men. So, God needed to give us New Wine. A new covenant. A new way of receiving His joy.
If you’re getting your joy from things or positions or achievements or likes, I’ve got news for you: your joy is going to run out. That’s an old way to be joyful. There’s a new way of being joyful. A long-lasting one. How do you experience it? Get your joy from Jesus. He’s the new wine. Bring your life to Him. Bring your sins to Him. Bring your pain to Him. Bring your burdens to Him. And then let His love transform what the world has watered down into the best wine ever.
Receive His love. Receive His joy. And don’t just receive a portion of it. But allow Him to fill you up to the brim– so that His joy will spill over and you can bring it to the people around you. Be a bringer.
The Greatest Miracle
The miracle that happened that day wasn’t what Jesus did to the water. Remember that this miracle was the first of many signs that would reveal the glory of Jesus. He wasn’t just changing water into wine. He was changing hearts.
That was the greatest miracle. The miracle wasn’t what happened in the jars. It’s what happened in one’s heart. People started to believe that Jesus can turn water into wine. He can turn sorrow into strength. He can turn mourning into dancing. He can turn depression into joy.
Are you ready to receive Jesus into your life?