INDEX

John 2:1-12

Jesus’ mother knew what a wonderful son He was and how she had brought so many of her problems to Him, especially since Joseph had died. Her natural reaction, when there was a problem for her friends, was to do the same. She simply told Him what the problem was and left it with Him. She then said to the servants: "Do whatever He tells you to do." She had discovered for herself that whatever He had told her to do had always worked out. Obedience was vital to the fulfilment of the answer.

Obedience

Obedience in our lives means yielding to authority and complying with someone else's commands. For the Christian beleiver, it can take various forms.

Obedience in body means following the word of God in the area of our strengths, talents and sexuality. These are given to us by God to be used for pleasure and fulfilment according to His rules, not ours.

Obedience in our finances means deciding that all of the resources we have ultimately come from God and that we are to be managers of them and not owners.

Obedience in soul encompasses our mind, will and emotions. It involves the following:

  • Mind - choosing to think how God wants us to think by knowing Him and His word and allowing His principles and values to form the foundation of all that we think and do.
  • Will - choosing to give ourselves completely to God.
  • Emotions - choosing to love God more than any other relationship, activity, achievement or possession!

Obedience in spirit means allowing our born-again, inner spirit to choose to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to do what He says, rather than what we think or have always done. It includes:

  • Past - choosing to put the past behind us and to press forward.
  • Present - knowing that everything we have comes from God. (Romans 1:5)
  • Future - making it our main purpose to serve God and others as our life’s work.

Blessings of obedience

  1. Healing - Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
  2. The saving of lives - Genesis 7:5 (Noah).
  3. God’s glory – Deuteronomy 8; Leviticus 9:22-23.
  4. Miracles - 1 Kings 17:13,14.
  5. Peace - 2 Chronicles 14:1-6.
  6. Victory over temptation - Luke 4:1-13.
  7. Finding the key to living as Jesus did - 1 John 2:6; Hebrews 5:8.

Mary told the servants to: "do whatever He tells you to do." (John 2:5)

Alcohol

By changing water to wine, Jesus was not encouraging alcoholism. Drunkenness was a great disgrace. Today alcoholism presents a massive problem which few people are able to address. It threatens lives every day with people dying from alcohol-related diseases and half of fatal car accidents being related to alcohol. It destroys family relationships and encourages young people to lower their guard against drugs and sex. As Christians, we have to be bold and very courageous and show,

Firstly: life in Jesus Christ is so exciting that we certainly do not need any artificial stimulus for our fun. Walking with Jesus is moment-by-moment, power-packed excitement. We also need to be constantly alert and spiritually aware and to keep our armour on and prepared for all temptation.

Secondly: we should not be drunk with alcohol, but drunk with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)

Thirdly: anything that abuses the human body (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit) is wrong. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Drinking without drunkenness is not directly condemned in God's word. Each Christian needs to pray about this and not cause a problem to a brother or sister. (Matthew 18:6) God wants your temple to be holy. Whatever we may have to do without is no price to pay when compared to the price that Jesus paid for us by dying on the cross. If unsure about what is right, just stay on the lemonade!

Later in this chapter, we read the account of Jesus cleaning out the Jewish Temple. (John 2:14-16) This is exactly what He wants to do for us in the temples of our own bodies. He may want to "get on our case" about alcohol or various other things. Are we eating properly? Do we dress wisely - or to kill? Do we live in divine health? Are we exercising well? Are we involved in unwise sexual activity? Do we have an unhealthy balance in any area of our physical being? Do we have any life-controlling habit?

Whatever it may be that Jesus is saying to you, decide today to do something about it. Ask for His help in removing unhelpful desires and restoring to you control of your life. (Romans 12:1-2) If you still have a problem, do not give up, but fight with the weapons that God has given us until you know that you have the victory. (Ephesians 6:10-18) If you need to ask for help, go to someone who already has self-control in that area of life, but remember that it is your choice that will bring you through. No one else can do it for you.

Blood-Soaked Entry (BSE)

Read John 2:13-25. Jesus chose the time of the Passover to go to Jerusalem and start declaring who He was. To make this easier to understand, He pointed people to a number of "signs". Even dates were important. John had already named Him the "Lamb of God" twice. The Passover was the feast (celebrated every year) when the "children of Israel" remembered how God had brought them out of Egypt. Unblemished lambs were sacrificed and the blood was put on the doorposts and lintels of Jewish homes to protect those living there from the "angel of death" as he passed by and killed all the first-born. (This plague had been sent by God as a punishment for the Egyptian pharoah's disobedience and refusal to submit to God's authority.)

Year by year, the Jewish people repeated this sacrifice of a lamb, linking it to that first "pass-over" when God had demonstrated His willingness to "pass over" their own sins, covering them with the blood of a sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:3-4) Jesus recognised (as John the Baptist had also indicated) that God had appointed Him as a perfect (unblemished) sacrificial lamb for an even greater sacrifice. When the time was right, Jesus would shed His blood for the sins of the whole world, washing them away, once and for all. (Hebrews 10:10)

We are marked

One of the most thrilling truths about the blood of Jesus (and frequently overlooked as such) is that it marks those who trust in Jesus Christ and distinguishes them from everybody else.

The first mark is internal. It is an inner cleansing. When a sinner calls on the "Name" (character) of the Lord to be saved and takes Jesus personally as Saviour, the blood of Jesus does a deep and thorough work in that person's life. There is a cleansing of soul and mind, conscious, subconscious and unconscious. Every evil image is cast away. There need be no more nightmares about hell and judgement, but God-given "visions and dreams" instead. It is wonderful to dream about Jesus. Our past has been put away and God remembers it no more. There's no need to keep digging it up and asking again and again for forgiveness. God never recalls it. The enemy and his demons have a good go at reminding us, but God makes it clear in His word that we should "take every thought captive to Christ". (2 Corinthians 10:5) However, this does not mean that we are already spiritually perfected Christians. As we feed on the word of God, the Holy Spirit will lead us from one growth step to the next.

The second mark is external. It is foreshadowed in the "Old Testament" and fulfilled in the "New Testament". We read that, “Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot”. (Leviticus 8:23)

Then, in the "New Testament", we read about its fulfilment. After Jesus has cleansed us inwardly from all our sins by His blood, an outward mark is impressed upon us. "And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago." (Ephesians 1:13) The presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer is a mark that both heaven and hell can discern. Satan sees it and trembles - but his only defence is attack. God looks after His property. We cost God too much for Him to neglect and lose us. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

When Jesus takes over, He saves and keeps us by the power of His Spirit. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) As long as we follow Him, He will not permit repossession of His property by the enemy (in the form of unclean spirits). “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1) This mark becomes visible over the course of time as the fruit of the Spirit. "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" (Galatians 5:22-23)

God's protection

They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11)

This is the glorious and perfect protection which the Lord gives His children, free of charge:

No weapon forged against you will prevail and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17)

No curse can be fastened on believers and no witchcraft can harm them. “Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.” (Proverbs 26:2)

The external mark of God's protection is also eternal. God's blood marking does not rub off. The Holy Spirit remains with us for all eternity. However, we need to appreciate our salvation and keep on following Jesus. The blood of Jesus is no licence to sin. God has given us an everlasting salvation and we are His for ever - not just when we feel like it. Hallelujah! All heaven will be filled with blood-marked saints. Not one of them will go to hell - not even accidentally.

Satan comes in the darkness and tries to frighten the children of God with his mighty roar. But when you switch on the light of the word of God, you discover that there is no lion; there is only a mouse with a microphone!” (Reinhard Bonnke).

He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 Revised Standard version).

It happened at Jesus' execution: the foot of Jesus crushed Satan’s head. Since that moment, the enemy has suffered some kind of “brain-damage.” He can no longer “think the things of God”. (Matthew 16:23) God already knew in the garden of Eden that the blood of His mighty son would destroy the works of the devil. It was no empty promise when Jesus spoke to His disciples (including you and me) and "gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness”. (Matthew 10:1)

He could do that because Jesus has power over the devil. His blood leaves nothing untouched: body, soul, mind, spirit, heart; it reaches to the depths of our being. His blood is the secret of victory. Let Jesus mark you, internally, externally and eternally; then you will be a son or daughter of God - a member of the royal house of the Lord. You will have every right to apply the protection of His blood to all your possessions, activities, communications and relationships. Like Job in the "Old Testament", the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives can put "a hedge" about us to protect us from the works of the enemy". (Job 1:10)

Make sure you have "BSE". To us it is a blessing!

My Father's house

Jesus was totally motivated by love. When He says in John 2:17 that He is "totally consumed for the Father's house", He is showing amazing love for the Father and for us. That love can show itself in unexpected ways. When He saw what was going on in the Jewish temple, He regarded it as an insult to His Father God, so He did not deal with it half-heartedly, but was righteously angry.

We need to check our own attitude towards that part of the body of Christ in which we are involved locally and make sure that we are doing everything in our power to keep it growing. We do this by loving and encouraging one another. Each part of the body is vital. A body does not function well unless each part is doing what it was made to do and knows how vital it is to the health of the whole body. (Ephesians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-25)

We have no time or energy to criticise the body of believers of which we are a part, because we are responsible to pray for them, love them and allow the zeal of Jesus to totally control us. (Romans 12:8) Reconciliation and encouragement should be part of our "ministry" (service) to others, especially in the household of God. Churches up and down this nation need leaders who know that those they serve are for them, not against them. This will help them to encourage us all to walk in our full potential in Jesus Christ and to feel secure in what we are doing. Then the world will know that Jesus is alive - because of the way that Christians love one another. (John 17:21)


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