Aloha Friday Message – January 18, 2019 – Do what he says.

1903AFC011819 – Do what he says.

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   John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Today we take a few moments to look at Jesus’ first recorded miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee. It is the conversion of water to wine – and not just a glass or two of wine! John tells us “Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons.

The Greek word used here makes this measure quite impressive. The word is μετρητής (metrétés) {met-ray-tace’} – a measure equivalent to about 39.39 liters or 8.75 gallons. The Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV) describes the jars as “containing two or three firkins apiece.” A “firkin” in terms of size, is equal to 9 imperial gallons, which is 10.8 US gallons; 2-3 firkins then would be 21.6 to 31.8 gallons and average of 26.7 gallons. SIX of those would come to just over 160 gallons of first-class wine!

When Jesus sent the servants to the wine, the headwaiter was amazed at the quality. Not only had Jesus supplied in quantity, but also in quality! That is how he does everything when we do what he tells us. And there’s something else, too. He used just simple things even at a BIG wedding.

Do whatever he tells you.

The wedding was nearby Capernaum where Jesus and his family and disciples had moved after he started his ministry. (See Matthew 9:1 and Mark 2:1) His mom had just said, “They are out of wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” He called her אִשָּׁה (ishshah) {ish-shaw’} – woman, as the first Adam had called Eve. (See Genesis 2:23 – 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman [אִשָּׁה] for out of Man [אִישׁ] this one was taken.” It was a respectful way to address his Mother. Simple questions are wonderful when followed by simple words and simple actions. “Do whatever he tells you.” The servants did what servants do – they served by obeying. They had simple things around them – stone jars, water nearby, and they fetch it. The top off the stone jars as told in the simple command, “Fill the jars with water.” The filled them to the brim – they did their part to the best of their ability. Then Jesus did his part to the best of his ability – and the miracle happened. He made 160 gallons of water into 160 gallons of wine. (We don’t know if it was Chablis or Merlot – or even what color or taste it had – because that is unimportant.) Ordinary things done in ordinary ways become extraordinary when we do what he tells us. Remember last week and John’s hesitancy to baptize Jesus? Matthew 3:14-15 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. John did what Jesus told him, and John beheld the Trinity and the one about whom he said “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (See John 1:29) Jesus Disciples soon learned that Jesus would show them many signs that testified to his Divine Nature. We could probably draw up a group of 7:

  1. The Wedding Feast Feat, changing water to wine – John 2:1-11 “Fill the jars with water”
  2. Healing the royal official’s son at Capernaum – John 4:46-54“Go. Your son will live.”
  3. Healing the man paralyzed for 38 years at Bethesda – John 5:1-15“Stand up, take your mat and walk.”
  4. The Loaves and Fishes and the 5000 fed – John 6:5-14“Make the people sit down.” and then “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”
  5. Jesus walks on water in the Sea of Galilee – John 6:16-24“It is I [I AM]; do not be afraid.”
  6. Healing the man blind from birth at Siloam John 9:1-7“Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”
  7. The raising of Lazarus – John 11:1-45 – “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” and Take away the stone.” and then, “Lazarus, come out!” and finally “Unbind him, and let him go.”

There are other passages we might recall such as

  • “Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” John 8:11
  • “Stretch out your hand.” Matthew 12:13
  • “Give me a drink.” John 4:7
  • “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” Mark 1:15
  • You give them something to eat.” Mark 6:37
  • And especially this one: “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” Mark 9:19

None of these are especially difficult. They are things any of us could do any time on any given day. We seem to want to make it far more complicated – because we are unworthy of Jesus’ love and help. Do you remember the Centurion whose servant was ill? Recall these passages from Matthew 8:5-13The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour. (This is the verse that led to my notes on The Healing Word.) Being worthy has nothing to do with doing what Jesus tells us. One need only Trust and Obey (↔ Music Link) – simply do what he tells us. Why? The answer is here in John 14:21  21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Belovéd, how has he revealed himself to us?

He has spoken to us. First, he speaks to us in our hearts; sometimes we call this “using common sense.” We know what is right, we know what is True, but we don’t listen when our hearts tell us we have gone astray – or as I like to say, we ignore the voice of that little old man in the back of our head, the one who is always so irritatingly reasonable and correct. God has shown us he also speaks to us through Scripture. Here are some examples of the kind of common-sense guidance available there:

  • Ecclesiastes 10:2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left.
  • Isaiah 30:21 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
  • Jeremiah 6:16 16 Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
    But they said, “We will not walk in it.”
  • Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”

Our “natural heart” carried the intentionality to be good before sin entered the World. Our “human nature” fights that at every turn if we are not listening to The Word. We are called to believe, as the Apostle Paul said: But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? […]So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (See Romans 10:12-17) That requires listening, and intentional effort to hear and understand. Intentional effort is based on CHOICE. WE CAN CHOOSE TO LISTEN. We even have parables – short, simple allegorical stories that convey deep meanings – which Jesus uses to help us listen: Matthew 13:13 13 The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ Jesus is quoting this passage in his answer:  Jeremiah 5:21 21 Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear.

All of this depends on our willingness – our intentionality – to try HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD. (↔ LEARNING Link) Will we listen? Will we hear The Logos, the Living Word of God? Can we stop yelling at that annoying little old man to shut up and leave us alone? When Jesus speaks The Healing Word, will we accept the miracle he would love to place into our lives? Will we ever learn to “Do whatever he tells you” and not be afraid? What is there to fear in doing that which is good? NOTHING! That is why we remember Jesus saying in Luke 12:32 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Listen. Trust. Obey. Be blessed! “Do whatever he tells you,” and Philippians 4:7 shall be yours and All Will Be Well (↔ Music Link).

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Share-A-Prayer
Please pray with us here
Ephesians 3:20-2120 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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