The Advice of a Mother: John 2:1-11
How many have at one time or another received advice from your mother? Wise is the one that heeded their mother’s advice. I would venture to say that there have been many times when we did not adhere our mother’s advice, to our dismay. In John 2 we not only have Jesus’ first miracle but the advice that Jesus’ mother gave some servants at a wedding feast.
Jesus, His disciples and mother were attending a wedding feast (celebration) in which they had run out of wine. This would have been a great embarrassment to the all at the feast. Mary gave this advice to the servants at this feast, “Whatever He says unto you, do it” (John 2:5). Great advice! The miracles that would take place in our lives if we would but heed this mother’s advice. Jesus proceeded to tell the servants to fill six large water pots with water and draw some of the water out and take it to the governor of the feast. They obeyed Mary’s advice by doing what Jesus told them and when the governor tasted the water that was now made wine he was amazed saying, “Every man at the beginning does set forth good wine: and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but you have kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10).
Note the word “whatever”. Will we do whatever Jesus tells us? Will we do whatever He tells us no matter how foolish, risky or hard it may seem? They stood the risk of looking very foolish by drawing water out of the water pots and taking it to the governor to drink, who was expecting wine. But because they obeyed the Master, as Jesus’ mother advised, a miracle took place. Will we obey Him even when it doesn’t make sense? Allow me to share with you a fews things concerning obedience.
Obedience adds stability to life (Matt. 7:24-27). Here in Matthew 7, Jesus gives the example of two houses, one built on the sand and another built on a rock or a sturdy foundation. When the storms came the house built on the sand falls or is destroyed while the house built on the rock survives. The house on the sand represents those who hear the word of God but do not obey it. Whereas, the house built on the rock represents those who hear the word of God and obey it. Those whose lives are not built on obedience to God and His Word will usually fall apart when trouble comes. On the other hand, those whose lives are built on a foundation of obedience to the things of God will withstand all the storms of life. Read also Hebrews 2:1.
Obedience opens the door of growth and disobedience closes it (Matt. 25:29). “For unto everyone that has shall be given, but to him that has not shall be taken away even what hes has” (Matt. 25:29). If we use what has been given us we will be given more and if we do not the very thing that has been given us will be taken away. If you don’t use it you lose it. If we are given opportunity to obey God and do not do so sooner or latter we will lose our opportunity or we will lose ground. If we will obey God in faith when He speaks or shows us something He will then give us more opportunity to obey, thus we grow. Life is not a long jump. We do not go from step one to step ten. We must take one step at a time. When something is revealed to us we must step out in faith and obey. When we do we will be given step two and so forth. The same thing goes for the church as it does in our personal life. The church must move in obedience when God gives it vision and direction. If it does not growth will be stunted.
Obedience either hinders or flourishes the work of God (Acts 4:18-20). How many times is the work of God hindered because His people fail to obey? I’m not referring to failure. Peter failed yet afterward moved forward to obey the Lord fearlessly and as a result the work of God flourished. They took serious the great commission (Matt. 28:15-20; Mk. 16:15-20 and Acts 1:8).
This applies not only to those who are sent but to those also who send. Paul said, “How shall they preach except they be sent” (Romans 10:13-15)? Those who are called to preach or minister full time cannot fulfill their call without the support of those God calls to send (support) them. Paul and Silas were able to go on their first missionary journey because of the moral, prayer and financial support of the Antioch church (Acts 13:1-3). Praise God they were sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit. Paul latter sought the support of the church at Rome to continue his labor for God in the region of Spain (Romans 15:23-24). He also was supported by the Philippian church while incarcerated in Rome (Philippians 4:10-19). Great things have been and can be accomplished because of the faithful obedience of God’s people. Will you help the work of God to flourish through your support?
Disobedience is often covered up with a superficial spiritual life (1 Sam. 15:19-23). When going to battle with the Amalekites Saul was told to utterly destroy everything and everyone. Instead, he kept alive the king and the best of the flocks. When Samuel arrived he rebuked him saying, “Why did you not obey the voice of the Lord” (1 Sam. 15:19)? Saul began to cover up his disobedience with something that appeared spiritual. He said he obeyed but simply kept the best of the flock to sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel responded, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness (insubordination) as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Sam. 15:22-23). How often do we cover up our disobedience with supposed spirituality?
Obedience is often learned through suffering (Heb. 5:8). Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. What makes us think we’re better then Him? We learn and grow through suffering and difficulties. We not only learn to obey through suffering but more accurately, we learn how to obey in the midst of suffering. We learn how to obey no matter how hard it is or what the cost. There is much in the word pertaining to suffering and they do not all apply to persecution alone. Here are a few examples (Acts 8:1-4, Rom. 8:17;1 Peter 1:6-7; 2:20-21; 3:14; 4:14; 5:10).
Obedience will be tested (Heb. 5:8). God will often test us to see if we will obey Him. How far will we go in obeying Him? He will put His finger on the very thing in our life that stands between us and Him to see if we will put Him first. He tested Abraham with his son (Genesis 22) and the rich man with his riches (Mathew 19:16-22). Abraham passed the test but the rich man did not. Jesus proved His obedience through the test of suffering in Gethsemane and the cross (Philippians 2:6-11). What is God putting His finger on in our life? Will we pass the test of obedience?
Obedience identifies those who truly know and love God (John 14:21-24; 1 John 2:3-5; Matt. 7:21-3). The Word makes it clear that obedience is the real identifying factor of those who love and know God. It reveals those who are really His. That does not mean we will never fall short and fail in areas but is the normal course of our life one of obedience?
Obedience is the mark of the true Disciple (Josh 11:15). “As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that he commanded Moses” (Josh 11:15). This does not refer to blind obedience but if the direction our teacher (leader) is giving is reasonable and aligned with scripture then do it. The church is not a democracy but a theocracy. There is headship in the body of Christ. Jesus is the head (Ephesians 4:15) and the pastor is like the central nervous system which takes direction from the head and sends it out to the rest of the body (Heb. 13:17 and 1 Pet. 5:3). The church should be more like the military where the chain of command is expected to be followed. Anything other than obedience is insubordination (1 Sam. 15:19-23).
Obedience adds blessings and success to life (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2-3; James 1:22-25). The Word works. If we will but obey the God in His Word it will bring success to our life in every area. That does not mean there won’t be times of testing but if we will persevere in obeying the voice of the Lord His blessing will follow.
The call to salvation must be obeyed (Acts 17:30; Hebrews 5:9). Paul told the Athenians that God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). To the Romans Paul referred to salvation as the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5 and 16:25-26). He referred to those “that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall (not may) be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
The Holy Spirit is even now calling you to salvation through faith in Jesus. Will you obey His call to you even now by putting you faith in Jesus as your only hope of salvation and accepting Him as your personal Lord and savior? He is at this moment knocking at the door of your heart, asking you to open up and let Him in to take His rightful place as Lord of your life (Revelation 3:20). Pray with me to ask Jesus into your life.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I have sinned against you and I ask you to forgive me of all my sins. I believe you died for my sins, rose from the dead and are seated at the Father’s right hand making intercession for me. Come into my heart and help me to live for you the rest of my life. In Jesus name, amen.