ALCOHOL: god or gift

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BIG IDEA

In John 2, we see that Jesus’ first miracle was turning dirty water into wine at a wedding. Jesus kept the celebration going by providing another 120-160 gallons of wine! In Luke 7:33-34, we see that Jesus enjoyed alcohol without getting drunk or sinning. Alcohol is a terrible god, but can be enjoyed as a great gift from Jesus. Many people receive alcohol as a god—worshiping it instead of Jesus. Others redeem alcohol as a gift—enjoying it according to the Bible’s truth and the governments laws. Still others reject alcohol as a god and a gift—either because of conscience, preference, or extra-biblical reasons. How do you approach alcohol? The main point of John 2 is not alcohol; the main point is the glory of Jesus. At the wedding in Cana, Jesus is showing us what it is like for him to save his people from their sins. By turning dirty water into pure wine, Jesus shows that he is the true purifier. He is the one who takes our sin away by placing it on himself and dying for it. By succeeding where the bridegroom had failed, Jesus is showing us that he is the true all-satisfying bridegroom who has succeeded for us in his righteousness where we have all failed in our sinfulness. Jesus will one day come back for those who trust in his performance on their behalf. He will bring festival joy, making everything sad come untrue when we enter his presence. Jesus is the greater gift!

SCRIPTURE

John 2:1-11 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

DISCUSSION 

1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? Was there anything new? Was there anything confusing? 

2. What stands out to you in John 2:1-11 and why? 

3. How do you approach alcohol and why? What about in the past?
a) receiving it as a god,
b) rejecting it (rightly or wrongly) as a god and gift, or
c) redeeming it as a gift?
Try and be specific.

4. Spend some time praying for the lost to be saved by Jesus, praying for your city, and praying for God to provide for the future church plant in Checotah (launches May 4th).

 

GOOD WORD

By taking this dirty water and turning it into pure wine, Jesus is saying, “I’m not going to teach you how to wash the dirt off; I’m going to take the dirt and turn it into something beautiful!”

 

Jesus didn’t take our sin away by just saying words. He did this by taking our dirt on himself and dying in our place. This is good news for you and me: Jesus turns dead and filthy sinners into living and pure saints. Jesus turns failures into followers. Jesus takes ordinary men and women, saves them from their sin, and does extraordinary things through them.

 

Joy to us; glory to Jesus!

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