Jesus showed up at a wedding feast in John 2, and the wine was gone. This is how life can be — we run out of the joy. But Christ made the water into wine to save the feast. He went to the Cross to make us part of another wedding, another marriage — one that will never end. Hear what Mary said, “Do whatever He tells you to do.” (John 2:1-10; Matthew 9:14-15; Revelation 19:7)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 1/12/2020
P. Schaller –
We have a lot of little things but important things. First of all our travel. P. Pete mentioned and I say
this to thank the Body for the prayers because we felt like we were walking in your prayers. We
felt God was answering prayers. It’s a long story but an amazing story that in 1990 a group of us
from here moved to Budapest, Hungary and the map is going to go up. Some of us used to live
in Finland and we would travel into the Soviet Union.
We saw atheistic Communism, materialism, and the whole political ideology and social effects and the lack of freedom. We said in those years in 1970’s if it ever changes, we’re going to go. P. Mati and Hannele and
others went in the late 70s and started to work in the Soviet Union, 1980, 1981 and sowed
seeds. In 1990, we moved to Budapest and had a vision to reach Soviet Block countries,
republics of the Soviet Union. It happened in 10 years’ time we planted churches in 24 different
Communist block cities (He’s naming them).
That’s all foreign language to many but if we have the map of where we were here. This is the city, Bishkek. Can I draw on this, Pastor Steve? That’s where we went. We took a flight from Moscow. It was a four-hour flight to that city.
About ten years ago, a donor, a generous person gave $40,000 to buy a piece of property in
that city for the church because the church was moving because they were renting. They rent
for two months and the owner maybe would say I don’t want you here anymore. It is Islamic.
There is a bit of persecution there.
After moving around, this donor said I could buy some land. That happened and then we needed money for the foundation and documents. It happened. There is a large, good, church building size which cost $170,000 and about $80,000 came from abroad. A small group of poor people gave a lot of money through this ten-year period. They
love being together. We have a Bible college and the vision is to invite Central Asian students –
Mongolia, Kazakhstan, – in the area to come to the Bible college. It’s happened in a measure,
but more can happen. They are excited about it. I’m asking for your love and prayers. It was amazing. People came from other countries for the conference. One from here, two from there, and 12 from Uzbekistan, 8 or 10 from Kazakhstan so this is God’s work. It’s amazing.
Second thing I want to mention is the end times which we are going to speak a little about in our
message. We have an end times class starting February 3rd . The book of Revelation and the
three epistles of John. I’ll be teaching that. Then P. Ben is coming at the end of the month of
January for one week. We are excited about welcoming him and having him for evening
meetings and lunch rap times. That’s going to be happening. Now comes our message.
Turn with me to a wedding story from John. 2. Someone gave me a gift for Christmas which was a book
by Timothy Keller called “Encounters with Jesus.” As I’ve been reading it, I see his insight into
the Scriptures. This is one of them. I’m not taking his message in entirety, but the Spirit is using
that message in that book to stir my mind and imagination. I believe you can follow this with
me. It may sound a little abstract, but I’ll try to make it as clear as possible.
You have to step back from the event and see the Bible in the way where, in short, God made the world. Let’s
make it white. He planted a garden and the curse came to the human race. The world did not
become what it was supposed to be. Do you believe that? This world is not to be the way it is
just now. It’s not totally bad. Many of us love life. We feel it and love it. Being born again
answers everything in my heart and mind. I know it’s intended to.
I believe there is a new world coming one where there is no death, no sorrow, and no pain. We read that in Revelation. 21:4. That day is coming. There is a kingdom coming that is better than this one, than the devil and death and sin. There is another world we do not see it or cannot touch it with our hands. It is here
amongst us. There is a new world coming. We had a message in Moscow. We went to Moscow
for three days. Three days in Kyrgyzstan and then P. Pete and I flew to Moscow.
There was 190 or 200 plus people. Beautiful time with P. Teplov and P. Gromov and many of the pastors. We
had pastors meetings in the morning. We talked about what it is to be an elder. We talked
about the high standard and day to day living, temptations, failure, recovery. We had a
beautiful time every morning we were there. Thank you, Lord, and thank you, church. Amazing.
Is there a better world coming? I want to put in here this word “marriage.”
Revelation 19 it’s called the marriage of the Lamb. That Jesus is the bridegroom. For some people this is too crazy sounding but bear with me. God when he made the world wanted Adam to be the head of this world.
God in Adam and Eve were to be one with each other and then God and Adam and Eve, the
governance of the world and the kingdom of heaven was to come in the world, not death or sin
or confusion or destruction, not fear or hatred, not demonic activity but the kingdom of
It didn’t come as it was intended in the beginning, Titus 1:2. Man was to have eternal
life, not to die. We die. Every time someone dies, and we stand at the grave site and shake our
head in unbelief. It doesn’t fit. Death is an anomaly. We are not to die. We are to live. We feel
it. We live in a cursed world. There is a marriage with all of us believers through history that will
be married to Christ. When that marriage happens, it will be happening when he’s done saving
souls and in the Rapture he will bring us to himself.
All the believers that have already died and their bodies are in the grave, their bodies will come up out of the grave in Philippians 3:20-21. There will be a marriage in heaven. Let’s go to our diagram here. The house. Our famous house and our church. Marriage in Canaan. This is John 2:1-10. I want you to see a couple things here about the
marriage on the earth. We have all been to weddings. There is in this story the bridegroom
mentioned. He’s the guy that is to make it happen.
He’s the bridegroom. It’s his wedding. He has a manager there, the person overseeing the wedding. Then we have wine, but it’s limited. Then we have jars and water. Many of you know the story. This is a wedding with its limitations.
This is a wedding that runs out of wine. This is a wedding with people, a bridegroom, a bride, a
manager of the event. They say in the ancient world that the wedding was for the whole
community, and that’s probably why Jesus was invited and his disciples.
Also, it was for the community and it was to be festive. It was a time of celebration. So they had the attitude, the
thanksgiving, the rejoicing and they had wine. They said sometimes maybe the wedding would
go for a whole week. I know in Poland the weddings can be for three days and many times like a
drunken festivity. This is a kind of picture of life which is generally experienced by us as people.
When the embarrassing thing happens and they run out of wine, Mary, Jesus mother says to
him, they have run out of wine in vs. 3.
That sounds like a mistake. A mistake at the wedding. A mistake with its limitations. Vs. 4. You wonder what hour does he mean? What hour is he talking about? The hour, like this is his first miracle. In the first miracle there is a statement going to be made. He’s going to take all those limited things and bring them to another place.
He’s going to bring a common festivity and bring it to something extraordinary. This is why he came. He actually said my hour hasn’t come.
But the hour I believe is the hour of the cross. Because through the cross there becomes the possibility of another wedding, a marriage between God and man. When Jesus goes to the cross, he takes us who are lost and brings us to God. We are brought into him. We have something new. That he does in this story, he takes the
jars of water and turns them into wine. The jars were religious jars, jars for ceremonial
washings. When Jesus comes with his kingdom he takes us from ceremonial washings into the
reality of his own person in the Spirit that we know him.
This is the new wine. The wine of the Holy Spirit, the wine of joy, the wine of something that has no limit. We are married to God. in the story, vs. 5. Very powerful statement for all of us here today. Whatever he says, do it. Mary
do you see into the future? No, I don’t know much about this. I know that that man I had by a
miracle. I believe he is the Messiah. I have been pondering his life since his birth. I’m mystified
who this person is. But I believe whatever he says, do it. Now is the time of faith. For we walk
by faith in whatever Jesus says.
He said also to the disciples, I send you a Comforter. I want you to look at this word Advocate, is how it is translated in many different translations. In the KJV it is “comforter.” I read in this book by Timothy Keller that this word “Advocate” is better because when you say Comforter you think of someone sitting by your bedside comforting you, hand holding. But he said the word is actually stronger. It’s like we use the word, it’s PARAKLETOS,
and in our English we can say paramedic or paralegal.
What’s a paralegal? Someone working in the law office who is helping the lawyer and the client. We could say a lawyer is an advocate for me. He may be strong with me. I don’t know what it is I’m doing regarding the car accident that happened. If I was in charge, I’d probably mess up the whole case or have no case. If I have a
lawyer who knows how it is, he is not a comforter but a stronger word, an advocate, someone
who could be my counselor and get me from point A to point B.
As a believer, this is what happened to us. We have an Advocate, the Holy Spirit who speaks to us and sometimes very firmly and says to us you don’t know what you’re doing. You are going to run out of wine. You
don’t know what you are doing. You got these religious jars. By the way, there were six of them.
That’s man’s number. 666 is man’s number in the book of Revelation. When we have men that
only have water in them, and we have a festivity, they can’t make the thing happen.
They can’t get it anywhere. We get stuck in our stuff. We get stuck in the stuff of life. We get stuck in our
disappointments, our identity even. I’ve been thinking a lot about identity. When Jesus came
and he was water baptized, the devil took him to the wilderness and then he basically
challenged his identity. If you are the Son of God, then. If you are the Son of God, then. I think
this is the way he attacks us. You aren’t what you think you are. He attacks you and questions
who you are and what you really believe as a person.
The Advocate speaks. My Advocate speaks for me, my counselor. He says back to the devil who we are. I am not my sin. I am not my failure. I am not that empty guy all shriveled up inside in my heart very discouraged about
my personal life which happens to all of us. We have an advocate. Be careful to hear what the
Advocate says. Be careful to hear what God says to you. By the way, I know many of you are
gifted people and maybe intelligent and gifted and capable and very energetic and good
May I warn you, at your wedding – by way of analogy, not your literal wedding – your
life is supposed to be a feast. Your life and mine is supposed to be a feast supplied by another bridegroom, that is supplied by another manager of the feast. Your life and mine is where we
are ultimately going and before we get there in the story, Jesus is saying when I am here – look
at our picture. The marriage in heaven will be full of joy, eternal, oneness, perfect, without pain
or sorrow or doubt or fear.
That marriage is coming. But look at the story. Before that one comes, what is happening in this life. Before we find our perfect glorified bodies we are living in this world and the jars of religion are filled with water but when Jesus is here, he turns them into joy, life, freedom, peace. This is his first miracle. It seems to be, and this is what Timothy
Keller is saying, it seems to me the first miracle he did is a statement for the whole thing he is
going to do at the cross. When my hour is come, mother, my hour has not yet come.
She says, whatever he says, do it. She got that right. Then he is prophesying about what is going to
happen when I go to the cross. My hour comes. I’m dealing with sin. I’m dealing with death. I’m
dealing wit h the devil. I’m dealing with the unbelief. When that happens, I want my people to
experience what I can do at a wedding on the earth. What I can do in a wedding on the earth in
a workshop, on the Beltway, in your personal home; what God can do in a gymnasium, a
bathroom, a shower room, in a classroom, in a university room.
What God can do in a forest, a desert, in Kyrgyzstan, in Afghanistan. By the way, I talked to some people very interested in going into Afghanistan and sharing the message of Christ. Very dangerous, but you know, when
Jesus shows up at this wedding in Afghanistan or in Kyrgyzstan or in Moscow or Eurocon or
6025 Moravia Park Drive, when he turns the water into wine and uses religious jars. He is saying
I am more than religion. I am Christ.
I am more than an empty heart. I am the Christ. You’re going to run out. If you rely on yourself, you’ll run out. You don’t have a manager big enough to handle this world. You don’t have a bride groom big enough to handle what is needed to be done in this world. My hour has not yet come but let me tell you and show you who I am. My
hour is coming, and I will overcome and bring a great victory. I want you to taste it in this life. I
want you to get up in the morning and experience the joy and taste it.
I want you to be built up in your identity. I want you to know I love you; I am for you; I am here for you in this world.
When this marriage turns into this thing, everybody is wondering how did it happen. Look at
the rest of the story. Vs. 6. They were water pots of clay. What are we made of? Clay. What’s in
us? Just water. We can purify something religiously but can’t get beyond that. Vs. 7-10. How
could you be the head of the wedding and not know where it came from?
The world doesn’t know where this comes from. They cannot find it out. I had a neighbor in my former
neighborhood, he came over to me and said how do you do it. I told this before. He said I see
you take the garbage cans down to the streets. Why are you smiling? How do you do it? We
talked a little bit. I go, we have to talk. We sat on the porch and had a talk. I told him about who
Jesus is. Then P. Jim Hadley was painting his house and Jim Hadley lead him to the Lord. We
moved away and P. Jim moved in, not moved into the house but he had the work for him and
led him to the Lord.
Beautiful. Amazing. I might not bring someone to the Lord that day, but I
could sow a seed. I might not be able to sow a seed unless maybe they could see something
happening in your life. Why are you carrying a Bible around? Why do you go to church in the
morning? Why are your kids happy? Why is your dog so old? Why are your tomato plants so
bushy and green and red? My neighbor said I have to take Prozac to stay up and feel good because I’m depressed. We understand this is how it goes in the lives of people.
They run out of wine. Hey, the Ravens! They ran out of wine. Hey, the New Orleans Saints! They ran out of
wine. The New England Patriots ran out of wine. And on and on it goes. How many losers there
are in this world. How much our wine runs out. How much trouble is in our marriage and in our
family. How many problems we have with regard to our self-life. How much of that is
happening in this world. It’s everywhere. Jesus is here.
Find him and you find everything. Find him and walk by faith in him and you will see it. When they poured the water, they saw it and they knew. They knew. That’s like us. Vs. 9-10. Let me finish with this thought. When you read
the Bible, be very prayerful and respectful of the Bible in your heart. Be humble before God
when you read the Bible and take notes and be very slow reading. Take five minutes and read a
portion. Don’t just read it and say I know it. I don’t know it yet. Just read it. Read it again. I’m
looking for it. Read it again. Ten times.
Read it again the next day. Read the same portion and
water turns into wine. The Bible lives. I don’t know sometimes what I’m reading but as I focus
and wait on God, the Bible starts to speak to my heart. People don’t know where I got it from,
but I got it. Where did you get that? I got it. God gave it to me from the Bible. It spoke to me.
Do that as a habit. This is 2020. Have a personal vision for your own life. Don’t get discouraged.
Do whatever he says.
Read and listen and you’ll find more, and it will become like food for you.
Vs. 10. We manifest his glory in our lives because we have a bridegroom who has provided for
us a feast. That is coming but until then, we also have it here on this earth in our everyday life.
If you say pastor, I haven’t got there yet. It will happen. Walk by faith. Do whatever he says.
You’ll find he is the same yesterday, today and forever. That marriage supper that is coming
one day is now to be here in measure, here on the earth through his person.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.