We are each designed for a unique and divine purpose. Live yours!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

From and For God and His Glory

The other night at bible study we explored the wedding feast at Cana. Funny, I thought I knew everything there was to know about that story! That night, though, two things really caught my attention.

First, I was intrigued (and always have been) by the relationship between Jesus and his mother. Mary knew of Jesus' abilities and power. She also knew a relative was about to be embarrased by running out of wine at their daughter's wedding. She "nudged" him to "just this once" use his power to help out the family.  Even though he tells her/reminds her that that is not how he was to use his power, she knows that like many sons, he was just too fond of her to say no. (Of course, he did say no, but relented in the end.)  " “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come”" (John 2:4 NIV).

The second thing that struck me is the utter humility of Jesus. When He did turn the water into wine, he "hid" the deed - only his mother, his disciples/friends and the servants knew of his miracle.  He wanted it to remain a secret.  Why? I think it was about more that "not being his time."  In our study we found many verses where Jesus clearly states who He is--revealing His true identity as the Son of God.

Water turned to wine Pictures, Images and Photos Jesus wasn't timid about using his power - not at all! He wasn't frightened or deterred either. He just wanted any miraculous act he performed to glorify God--and only God. Really!  When he tells some whom he heals not to tell anyone, I think it's because he healed out of mercy and compassion - because he could.  But he didn't want anyone to think HE was powerful for the sake of power or that HE could heal the sick, raise the dead, etc., just to demonstrate HIS power. It was vital that everyone knew the source of His power -- and the reason for his miracles.. 

Those times when he didn't want others to know, I think were times that he wouldn't have the opportunity to turn it into a "teachable moment" about God. Only when he was able to turn others toward God, did he openly perform a miracle.  Only God. He wanted to be sure we realized that his power was from and  for God and his glory.
"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:1-3 NIV).
That's a lot to think about. Perhaps we need to question our own motives sometimes when we perform an act of kindess, do a good deed, give a gift, help someone out.  Challenging . . . because though Jesus was truly fully human, he was also God and, unlike many (most?) of us, He knew what He was born to do. We, however, may be tempted to try to outdo one another with our actions to be more highly thought of.  Perhaps we need to examine, too, who we serve--only those who can "return the favor" vs. those who never could. Serve where we will be seen, or where no one may ever know . . . so challenging!

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).

"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves" (Romans 12:10 NIV).

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Romans 15:7 NIV).

Blessings on your journey, Mary

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