“Don’t interfere with God”

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 1 February 2015

John 2:1-11
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

This portion is very well known, especially amongst drunkards. But this wine caused those who drank it to believe on Him. This was the first miracle Jesus performed.

It is said that back in the 1700’s, James Taylor proposed to a young lady and the wedding day was set. Neither were Christians. James detested Christians. He heard of an itinerant preacher that would preach in their area (connected to John Wesley). James decided to attend to disrupt the service. But the preacher preached from Joshua, ‘as for me and my house we will serve the Lord’ (Jos 24:15). It struck him in the heart. On his wedding day those thoughts still troubled him. He went alone in the woods and surrendered his life to God. When he looked at his watch he suddenly realised it was already time for the wedding to begin. He rushed to the church and apologized for being late. There he announced to everyone that he had surrendered his life to God. His wife was shocked and resisted it. But that evening he took her and made her to kneel beside him and there she tearfully gave her life to God as well.

Hudson Taylor was his great grandson who founded the China Inland Mission.

Marriage is no small thing. Though his wife was resistant, being a real man he won her to the Lord.

We read here it was on the third day. The weddings in those days lasted for a week.

When Mary told Jesus that the wine was finished, He answered her in a strange way. Though Mary was His mother, Jesus was still her Lord. Jesus was busy with God’s business and allowed no human interference. His heavenly Father was far greater for Him than His earthly mother.

Remember when Jesus was 12 years old He was in the temple busy with God’s business (Luke 2:41-52).

One of the first co-workers who preached the Gospel with Rev Stegen was Mrs Mzila. She was also a very diligent woman, growing fields of vegetables and selling it with her pickup truck. Her husband, however, initially refused to let her preach the Gospel because his brothers told him that as a man he cannot allow it. However, shortly after he refused to let her preach the Gospel, he met up with a terrible accident where a bus drove over his leg and he was taken to King Edward Hospital. Rev Stegen visited him there, and he said that he realised God was speaking to him and he decided to allow his wife to preach the Gospel. His brothers were very upset and arranged a meeting with him, without his wife being present. He answered them with wisdom, telling them how diligent his wife was and asking them to tell him of their wives, if they were as diligent as his wife. That shut their mouths and they couldn’t answer him. In that way he overcame their resistance.

When you become a Christian you become hard working. Laziness comes to an end.

There was another person who used to drink heavily, and he became very poor as a result. But when he became a Christian he stopped drinking. His pals mocked him. They quoted the Bible and asked him if it’s true that Jesus made wine. He answered them to come to his house to see what God had brought about since he was saved. For he had had nothing before his conversion because of his drinking habits, but since Jesus came into his life, his house was filled with furniture, groceries and good things.

Boozing creates poverty.

But the wine Jesus made caused those present to believe on Him.

When the master of ceremonies tasted the wine Jesus made he called the bridegroom and enquired why he had kept the best wine for last.

A marriage without Jesus is awful. However if Jesus is there the beauty and love and harmony only gets better with time.

We are like these jars holding the wine. When Jesus fills you joy, patience, love and the other fruit of the Spirit only increases in your life (Gal 5:22-23).

One child without Jesus is too many, but if Jesus is there even a dozen is like heaven.

A certain rich Afrikaner had only one daughter. When she was 18 she was touched by God’s word and wanted to go to China to preach the word of God. However her father refused to let her go, for she was his only heir and should inherit all his riches. However, two years later she fell seriously ill and despite the best efforts from the doctors, she died. As her coffin was lowered into the grave her father’s heart broke and he exclaimed, “I refused to let my daughter go as a missionary to China. At least then I would have had a living daughter in China, but now I have a dead daughter!”

Do not interfere with God’s way in your life, but bow to His will.