Miracles are by definition something extraordinary. So when Jesus performs a miracle in the Bible, what's his purpose for invoking his supernatural powers instead of taking the normal human route?
In John 2, Jesus famously turns water into wine at a local wedding, preached Pastor Joby Martin of The Church of Eleven22 in Florida, one of the fastest growing evangelical churhes in the country, in a sermon this past weekend as part of his Miracle series. Looking at the miracle outlined in John 2, says Martin, sheds light on our relationship with God, salvation, and the promise of eternal life.
"A miracle is when the unexplainable runs up against the undeniable," Martin says.
The evangelical pastor says that the miracles and signs by Jesus are "not fables or parables, these are actual events. If the tomb is empty, then everything is possible."
All of the miracles performed by Jesus point to the promise of redemption, Martin says, because "[the] only eternal miracle is the miracle of salvation."
Martin suggests that Jesus miracle of turning water into wine is a "first of the signs" to reveal his glory and serves as a sign of Jesus' future crucifixion, death and resurrection on the cross, and how that act guaranteed salvation for all people.
Jesus' comment to Mary of "my hour has not yet come" foreshadows his future crucifixion experience and what it will do for mankind.
Through all of his miracles, Jesus wasn't trying to show off his "raw power," Martin explains, but rather he was "pointing to his redemptive purpose."
Readers of this story need to look beyond the "sign" of the water and the wine. "A sign is not the thing, a sign points to something greater than itself," Martin explains.
The Florida pastor tied John 2 to Revelation 19, which discusses the "marriage supper of the lamb."
He questions if through this first miracle, Jesus was trying to "show a picture of what it looks like to be invited to the great wedding supper in heaven."
If people allow Jesus to save them, thus transforming them from dirty water to wine, then they will be able to celebrate with him at a supper of the lamb in heaven, Martin says.
The pastor adds that all people are invited to this event and the ticket has already been paid: "There's only one way into this party – through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus."
Martin concludes that through his miracle, Jesus is communicating the bigger picture of his future death and resurrection, inviting all people to find salvation and join him in eternity.
"Lord I pray that there is not a man, woman or student in this place today who turns their back on that invitation [to salvation]," Martin prays.