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

17 January 2016

Epiphany 2C Sermon: The Wedding Feast Begins

Preached on Luke 2:1-11
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany
17 January AD 2016

Title: The Wedding Feast Begins (MP3 Audio)

The Wedding at Cana Summary: Of all the signs He could have worked, Jesus chose His first to be changing water into wine at a wedding in Cana. He didn’t heal someone lame, sick, or blind. He didn’t cast out a demon. He didn’t raise someone from the dead. Instead, He prolonged a party and spared a Galilean gentleman the shame of shorting his guests’ wedding wine.

While this seems odd at first glance, it’s quite in keeping with the person and work of the Christ. In the Gospel from Advent 3, about a month ago, Jesus noted that many of His enemies had branded Him as a party animal — calling Him “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! (Luke 7:34)”

When the Pharisees would later ask Him why His disciples didn’t fast, He replied, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. (Mark 2:19)” Even as He was helping Cana’s bridegroom with the festivities, Jesus was also beginning to reveal Himself as the heavenly Bridegroom, come to cleanse and claim His bride the Church.

If you observe Jesus’ other signs and miracles, you notice various Old Testament direct prophecies and types being fulfilled. Along with the subtle reference to God’s “marriage” with His people, could Jesus have been fulfilling a specific prophecy? Perhaps this sign announced Him as Judah’ heir (cf. Genesis 49:3-12), claiming the prophesied scepter and ruling staff by making wine flow so abundantly that even most impoverished vine grower could afford to tie his donkey to his grapevines without risking ruin.

Jesus and His Mother Text: 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

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 The Wedding Feast Begins.

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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