Encounter More / Day 2

BIBLE READING

John 2: 1-9

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’

‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’

His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from eighty to a hundred and twenty litres.

Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.

Matthew 14: 22-33

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

This week we are summarising the key messages from our ‘Encounter More’ conference which took place this past weekend.

SUMMARY OF MIKE PILAVACHI’S MESSAGE ON FRIDAY MORNING

In John 2 we have Jesus’ first miracle which is turning water into wine at a wedding party. After bringing the problem to Jesus, Jesus' mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” That is the key if we are to see God move among us and out in the world through us in greater measure. The secret is obedience. Often we translate this as, “Do whatever he tells you" as "….as long as it makes sense" or, "….as long as I agree with it" or "….as long as it’s not too risky.” That’s not obedience. Obedience is doing what Jesus tells you whenever you don’t want to.

Jesus tells the servants to fill stone water jars with water. This didn’t make sense as the issue was a wine shortage, not a water shortage. They filled the jars even though they didn’t understand why.

Then one of the servants is chosen to bring the water to the master of ceremonies. This was risky. Yet the miracle happened at the place of their obedience.

When we obey two things happen: (i) We come into greater intimacy with our Lord; and, (ii) we see the miraculous.

In Matthew 14 it says that Jesus “…made the disciples get into the boat…” It wasn’t a suggestion but a command. Why? Sometimes Jesus deliberately sends us into storms because in the midst of the storm we meet Him in a deeper way.

In the storm the disciples don’t recognise Jesus. Both fear and disappointment can prevent us from seeing Jesus and sensing his presence.

In the midst of the wind and the waves we read this:

“Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” (v. 27)

“Take courage” and “Don’t be afraid” are very similar. They sandwich the phrase “It is I” which in the Greek literally means “It’s me, it’s me.” Another way of saying it is, “I am, I am”.

We can take courage because of who Jesus is.

Peter is invited by Jesus to walk out to him on the water. In obedience he steps out. He begins to sink and Jesus reaches out and saves him.

Often we read this as Peter’s great failure. In reality we see that his first response is, “Lord save me.” Unlike Peter, we often turn to other sources of rescue than Jesus.

He then experiences the most intimate moment as, in the middle of the storm, Peter and Jesus walk back towards the boat, hand in hand.

That’s how faith works. It steps out of the boat, even with our doubts and the feeling that we’re sinking. That’s where we discover true intimacy with Jesus.

God’s love language is obedience. Jesus said: “If you love me you will do what I command.” (John 14: 15)

The most anointed people also seem to be the most obedient, even when their obedience doesn't make sense.