Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

20 January 2013

Sermon: Epiphany 2C (Gospel)

20 January AD 2013

Title: Blessing the Wedding, Claiming the Crown (MP3 Audio)

Jesus and Mary at Cana
Summary: Compared to all His miracles of healing people broken and wounded in body, mind, and spirit, Jesus’ turning water into wine can strike us as a game of “one of these things is not like the others.” Rather than restoring the blind, the deaf, and the lame, instead of casting out demons, Jesus’ first sign can seem like the work of a glitzy stage musician.

Yet just as when He worked His other signs and miracles, Jesus here is not at all flippant or gimmicky. This sign had the desire effect of confirming His words, so that “his disciples believed in Him.” But still, why this choice? Couldn’t He have started out dealing with a major problem rather than rectifying a minor inconvenience? He could have, but He chose a different path.

As Jesus began ushering in the Kingdom of God, He did so by claiming the scepter and the ruler’s staff foretold by Jacob in his blessing of Judah. When we pay attention to Israel’s words, shouldn’t we be wondering, “What sort of jackass ties his jackass in the vineyard and cuts his own harvest?”

However, you’re not so foolish if you already have more and better wine than you’ll ever need. And so in Cana, the Messianic Age commences with free-flowing, abundant wine. Moreover, this ain’t old “Two Buck Chuck.” Jesus produces the “best wine” while staking His claim to the kingship belonging to his tribe. More importantly, He claims the kingship of all Creation, the rule of God Himself.

Establishing His rule at the wedding serves as a reminder that He’s the Bridegroom and that He came to claim His bride and to prepare her for the unending wedding feast of life everlasting. Therefore, the Marriage Feast at Cana is intimately tied to the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom that shall have no end. It’s the first course of the never-ending banquet that is ours for all eternity.

The Wedding at Cana
Texts: On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it.

When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11

Donkeys in the Vineyard
“Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

“Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.

“His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.” Genesis 49:(8-9) 10-11 (12)

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Blessing the Wedding, Claiming the Crown, preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Kearney, Missouri.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 128; Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

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