杨全荣的讲道信息
杨全荣的讲道信息

What to do when you run out of joy in life? (John 2:1-12)

Sermon manuscript, preached in 2023-08-30 at CEC English Congregation

Why don’t we start with that prayer?

Father, we invite you to come today to speak to us through your Holy Spirit. Speak to each one of us. Let us see the power of Jesus who transformed life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you remember your wedding day? The flowers, the guests, the wedding dress, the song, the joy, the friendship. I see some wives nagging their husbands. You know, you enjoy each other. A wedding is a joyful event. However, oftentimes we discover that the joy of the wedding day does not last.

After the wedding day, the marriage starts. Life kicks in sooner or later, and the couple gets into some disagreement or argument. And did that happen to you? Do you used to enjoy your marriage and now you have lost the joy in marriage? Do you used to enjoy church and serving at church, but now you are just serving because of obligation?

Have you lost your joy in serving the Lord? Do you enjoy your career? Maybe you did in the past, but now you are just dragging your feet to Zoom calls. This is just a job. You have lost your joy at work? So my question for us today is what do you do when you run out of joy in life? What do you do when you run out of joy in life?

That’s the question of today. And my text is John. Gospel of John, chapter 2, verses 1 to 11. Verse 1 to 11. John, chapter 2, 1 to 11. So I have three points today. One is the problem. The problem of the text. Second is the solution that’s presented to us by the text. Third is the application. What does it mean to you?

Okay? So number one, the problem. What is the problem? The problem is the wine ran out. That’s the problem. Let’s look at verse one with me. On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was invited to the wedding. with his disciples. Well, on the third day, why on the third day?

If you look a few verses down in verse 19, Jesus answered the question. “Destroy the temple and in three days I will raise it up.” I believe John was alluding to the resurrection. This is the third day.

And the wedding is held in Cana. A wedding is a joyful time. Everybody loves weddings. Everybody is happy. The bride and the groom enjoyed the celebration with their family and friends. They feasted for not one day, not two days, but seven days. They enjoy the food together. Now, the disciples were with Jesus, you know, Jesus in chapter one, we were told the disciples saw Jesus, Jesus called them and they followed him.

So Jesus is going to use what will happen later in this text to teach the disciples something about himself. My question to you today is, what are some joyful moments in your life? When you graduated from college? When you get your first job? The first few years of your marriage? When you first become a disciple of Christ? When you start to serve in the church? What is your most joyful moment in life? We all have some joyful moments in life. However, we live in a fallen world. Our joy does not last. All of us experience seasons of life where we lose the joy in our life.

Let’s look at the text with me in verse 3. When the vine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” No wine. The wine ran out. Wine is essential in weddings in Israel because wine to the Jewish mind means joy. In Psalms 104 verse 15, it says that wine gladdened the hearts and oil made his face shine.

Wine means joy in Israel. The text says the wine ran out, and the mother of Jesus went to tell Jesus they had no wine. Mary did not just tell Jesus a fact, she expected Jesus to do something. It is like the wife is saying to the husband, we ran out of spaghetti sauce. What does your wife mean? Go get some spaghetti sauce.

It’s like the Chinese wife is saying, we, our rice bin is empty. Go get some rice. So, Mary, the mother of Jesus is saying, rice, I mean wine, wine ran out. They have no wine. So, in Israel, the bridegroom is responsible to provide wine to the wedding. When wines rain out, it is an embarrassment to the couple.

B wine represents joy, so Mary may as well say, there is no joy. That’s no wine. That’s no joy. No wine, no joy. How about you? Maybe the Spirit is speaking to you today. Maybe you ran out of your spiritual wine in your marriage. You used to enjoy each other. But now you have lost the joy in your marriage.

Maybe you have run out of spiritual wine in your ministry at church. Maybe You know, you used to enjoy serving the Lord, but now you just have no more joy when you serve God’s people. You are just doing it as an obligation. Maybe you ran out of spiritual wine at work. You used to enjoy work, but now you hate your job.

How did Jesus respond to his mother? Well, Let’s read the text in verse four. “And Jesus said to her, women, “What does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servant, do whatever he tells you.” While woman doesn’t sound respectful in our ear, in Greek it’s better, it’s more like saying, ma’am, what does it have to do with me?

You know but it’s not normal though, for a son to call his mom woman. Why didn’t Jesus call her mother, mother? Instead, she called her woman, because Jesus was entering into the beginning of his public ministry. What matters to Jesus is not that Mary is his mother. What matters to Jesus is Mary believed that Jesus is the son of God.

And, and Jesus said, “What does it have to do with me?” Jesus mildly rebuked Mary. Jesus is saying, why do you get me involved? My hour has not yet come. What does he mean by my hour? Remember, this is a word that is used by John in the gospel. That tells us this is the hour of Christ being crucified and resurrection.

That is the hour of the crucifixion and resurrection. In John 13:11, it says the hour has come to depart out of this world to the Father. In chapter 17:1, it says, “The Lord says, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.” Well, Mary was thinking about wine, but Jesus was thinking about the cross.

Mary is thinking about the wine, and Jesus is thinking about the cross. How many times do we only think about our problems? We seldom think about the cross in our life. How are the problems in our lives related to the cross of Christ? So, the problem of the text is, that the wine ran out. What is the solution? The solution, that’s my point number two.

Point number one, wine ran out, no joy. What is the solution? Jesus transformed the water into wine. Jesus transformed water into wine. Let’s read the text in verse six. Now, there are six stones jarred there for the Jewish riots of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, Fill the jars with water and then fill 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. Six stone jars of water. The text says each one holds about 20 to 30 gallons. How many gallons are there, those who are good in math? It’s about 120 to 180 gallons. 120 to 180 gallons, you know, you think about a gallon of milk.

That’s a lot of water, right? A lot of water. And this water is used for Jewish rites of purification. The Jews used this water to wash their hands before and after their meals. The water represents the old order of Jewish law and tradition. Jesus is going to change that. He’s going to transform that and replace it with something better.

Let’s look at verses seven and eight with me. The servants were obedient to Christ. Christ told them \ two commands in the text. He says two things. First, fill the jar with water. Second, take it to the master of the feast. What did the servant do in the text? The servant didn’t say anything. They just obeyed.

They filled the water into the jar, and then they took it to the feast or the master of the feast. They simply do the work in obedience to Christ without complaint. Christ commanded and the servants obeyed. Well, you are the servant, a servant of Christ. Is that your attitude in serving the Lord? Or do you serve him at church and complain at home?

Or do you just do the work and obey him?

Now let’s look at verse 9. “When the master of the feast tasted the water, now became 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 they’ll poor wine. But you kept the good wine until now.”

Well this master went to the bridegroom because it is the responsibility of the bridegroom to provide wine.

Now the master did not know what Jesus did, which is to change the water, and transformed the water into wine. Therefore, he went to the bridegroom. No one knows what happened. Only the disciples knew. Only Mary knew, and Jesus, and the servants. Now, although the bridegroom failed to provide sufficient wine, Jesus provided, because Jesus is the better bride bridegroom. 120 gallons of wine. That’s a lot of wine. That is a good wedding gift for the couples, don’t you think? That’s a lot of wine. Then he said, why do you keep the wine until now, the good wine? Now Jesus did not only provide wine, the key is He provided good wine.

That wine in Cana that day is probably the most aromatic, the best wine that ever existed on the planet Earth. Jesus is the better bridegroom.

My sisters in Christ, maybe your husband failed to provide to your emotional needs. When your husband failed you. When you are disappointed, come to Jesus. Jesus is the better husband. When your husband disappoints you, trust in Jesus, because your deepest needs can only be met by Jesus.

Maybe you think about CEC. It’s lacking in so many ways. The leaders are not really providing for the church. You complained. We have so many problems. Our jar is empty. Come to Jesus. He is the better bridegroom. He is the bridegroom of the church. This is His church.

Men and women will eventually fail to provide. But Jesus never fails. Jesus never fails. Ask Jesus to fill your empty jar. When you trust in Jesus, He will fill your emptiness with His abundance. When you trust in Jesus, He will turn your tasteless, tasteless, joyless, life into sweet, abundant life. Come to Jesus.

He is your real husband. Come to Jesus. So, what do you do when you run out of joy in life? That’s our question for today. That’s how we started the message. What do you do when you run out of joy in life? That’s my third point. The answer of that question is the third point. That’s the application of my sermon for today.

When you ran out of joy in life, believe in the transforming power of Jesus. When you ran out of joy in life, believe in the transforming power of Jesus. Let’s read the text with me. Verse 11.  “This, is the first of his signs. Jesus did in canon in Galilee and manifested his glory and his disciples believed in him.”

After this, he went down to Capernaum with his mother and his brothers and his disciples and they stayed there for a few days. You see, John uses a special word in the Gospel of John. He uses, he used sign. Sign refers to the miracles that were performed by Jesus, but it conveys deeper meaning. The miracle is the transformation of water into wine, but the deeper meaning is Jesus has the power to transform life.

Jesus does not only have the power to transform physical things. He has the power to transform spiritual things. Why did Jesus do this miracle? When Mary asked him, he wasn’t really just thinking about the water and the wine.

He wasn’t really thinking about obeying his mother. He called her woman. Jesus, all the time, was thinking about his Heavenly Father. He said, My hour has not come. He was born with a laser focus on the cross. That’s his hour. Why did he perform this sign, this miracle? To manifest his glory. So that his  disciples can know his nature.

Read the text. That’s what the text says in verse 11. “Jesus did at Canaan in Galilee, and manifested His glory. And His disciples believed in him.”

The transforming power of Jesus displayed his glory. Glory is one of the main themes in the Gospel of John. The Word become flesh and dwell among us and we have seen his glory. Glory as the only Son of God from the Father, full of grace and truth. The disciple believed in him. Their faith grew because they’ve seen Christ’s glory.

Jesus is the mighty creator. He turns water into wine through the agricultural process. He simply did this process immediately that day. This first sign is a transformation sign. It points to the kind of transformation ministry our Lord would have.

He would transform physical composites of water. He could also transform the spiritual composites of humans.

In 2 Corinthians says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come. Jesus transformed the Jewish purification of water into the wine of a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come. Therefore, what do you do when you run out of joy in life?

Believe in the transforming power of Jesus. Jesus is still doing miracles today. He’s still changing water into wine today. Jesus transformed life. Jesus changes life. He continues to do that in your life today. The purification water only cleansed the outside of a person, but Jesus would transform us from the inside out.

The power of Jesus to transform water into wine is amazing, but the power to transform Rebellious sinners like us is astonishing. It is staggering.

I don’t know if there are any unbelievers here. I assume no, but in case there is, without Christ, your life is like tasteless water. You need Christ. You need Jesus. Believe in Jesus as your Savior and He will transform your life from tasteless water into sweet wine.

Now, most of us are Christians, believers. What does it mean to you? Believe in the transforming power of Jesus. Do you enjoy work? Do you want to enjoy work more? Believe in the transforming power of Jesus. Ask Jesus to transform you from the inside out. Ask Jesus for the power to love your co-workers. Ask Jesus to reveal the purpose of your work life. He doesn’t just send you to this workplace for 40 hours of useless time. God has a purpose for you. Ask him to transform your work, transform you, so that others can see Christ in your work.

Do you want to receive joy in your marriage? Believe in the transforming power of Jesus. Wake up early in the morning and spend time with Jesus. You want to enjoy have a more joyful married life? Spend time with Jesus. The closer you are to Jesus, the more joy you have in your marriage.

Do you want to restore your joy in ministry? Believe in the transforming power of Jesus. Learn to see Christ’s glory at church, in CEC. Instead of focusing on the weakness of our brothers and sisters, the lack of the church, learn to see the glory of Christ through the transforming life in this church, in our church. Try to see the goodness of Christ. He is in the business of transforming life. Even today in CEC, in the English congregation, in the Chinese congregation, in the youth meetings, in the children’s meetings, Christ is the bridegroom of the church.

We can learn to see His glory in our church. Seeing the glory of Christ, which changes your life, is the key to transforming your Christian life. You see, without seeing the glory of Jesus, you’ll be just trying to live a good Christian life with your own strength, you’ll be complaining.

When you see the glory of Jesus, that is what drives you to serve him in CEC and beyond. So what do you do when you run out of joy in life? I repeat it like six times already. What do you do when you run out of joy in life? Believe in the transforming power of Jesus. Imagine how your life will be transformed when you believe that Jesus is truly in the business of transforming life.

He’s still doing that today. He’s doing that in your marriage, in your work, in your ministry. He’s in the business of transforming life.

Just imagine your life, and how you would change when you truly believed that. Our Lord is like the best transformer. He transforms life. So, do you remember your wedding day? Yes, I do.

Your wedding day is just a picture of the real wedding day that’s coming one day. Now I know some of you are single, and you never had a wedding day, but you will. One day, the bridegroom is coming back for his church. He’s coming back. The church is lacking in so many ways today, but one day it will be perfect because the bridegroom is in the business of transforming life.

Believe that. Let’s pray.

Lord Jesus, thank you. Thank you that we once lived a tasteless life. You came into our life. Our life used to be like empty jars, and you came and you filled us with your abundance. Lord Jesus, thank you that you are still in the business of transforming life. Lord, we want to be obedient servants like those in Canaan.

We want to just obey you without complaining. But we can’t do it ourselves without seeing your glory. So, Lord, will you help us? Will you help us to transform our lives? Will you help us to see your glory in the lives of our brothers and sisters in CEC? Will you help us as a church to look to you as our bridegroom?

Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray. Amen. Let’s stand. We’ll close our time now.

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