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Well, good morning. Hey, welcome. Those of you who are joining us online, that was exciting. I was like, okay, greedy, I'm glad you're here and glad to be with you. Those of you who are in the room. So glad that you're here with this the week after Easter, where we get to celebrate the resurrection. And that's why we gather on weekends on Sundays is this is really every weekend represents resurrection Sunday, which is why, again, we gather as a faith community here in this space, online and San Francisco, and those of you who are actually continuing to join us around the country, we are starting a new series today. And some people would be like, what's a series. And a series is really a conversation that we use for little short stents that just add onto each other. So it's difficult to just have a 25 minute to a 20 minute conversation about a topic or a small piece of scripture.
And so what we do is we kind of tease that out into an overlying topic where we get to dig in and understand something that's a little bit more depth. And so we can unpack it over a multiples of weeks. And so I wanted to give you actually just a little like vision casting for the future of what we're going to be talking about. So this is a series that we're going to do for about seven weeks called embracing the new I'll come back to that in just a second. Then we're going to spend 11 weeks in Jeremiah. Jeremiah is somebody that I think that is valuable for us to learn from it's an old Testament figure. And I think there's a lot for us to unpack. So we're going to spend 11 weeks unpacking the life of Jeremiah, how it teaches us, how to live, what we learned from God when it does that.
And then it's looking like I have this deep desire in this new season that we're in to try to dive deeper into our biblical understanding and the way that we're feeding each other. And really, truly seeing this idea of our vision statement of transformation, transforming our homes transforming the community because of that and everything around the world, by pursuing God, building community and unleashing compassion. And I think this pursuing is something that we're going to be deeply focused on. And then the community that's built from that is going to be really beautiful. So we might end up spending like multiple years walking through a book in the Bible, in the new Testament, maybe Matthew or John, where we're going to unpack verse by verse, really understanding who God is and what that means in our life. So to kind of kick that off, as we're looking into the future of these conversations and the growth that we want to experience, and the way that we want to live this series is called embracing the new and over the next couple of weeks, I want you to be able to see some new things that are going on.
Obviously we're coming out of, or trying to figure out how to come out of this COVID season. And things are just different. I know that this last week I went to one of my favorite restaurants. It was open for the first time in like a year. And I went there and they didn't have like the favorite thing. I go there to get, you know, how you go to a place. And you're like, that's the thing. I drove all the way here for, it was like an hour. Wait I go in, and then I'm like looking at menu and I'm like, where is this? And they're like, no, buddy. And I'm like, don't buddy me right now. Tell me where this is at. This is not a buddy conversation. I had to embrace the new, which forced me. I had to try something different and it was actually really good, but I had to like shift, right?
We're all having to like shift into these new things. And so as you are coming back to in-person services or kind of reopening things and adventuring out, there's new things that we're going to be discovering, and God did new things all throughout scripture and profits did these things to Mark or to show, or as this kind of prophetic art of things that were different, although it was the same and what it was used for to shift. And so next week, we're going to have a conversation about rivers, of living water. Some of you have noticed on our campus, we have a fountain out in the lobby that represents something that we're going to be walking into and how water was used all throughout scripture in the story that it tells the next week. We're going to talk about a stump in the ground. Those of you who've been on our campus and the Finnish campus.
We have a stump out in the lobby and how, what that represents and prophetically the story that it tells even in the Davidic time where they thought the line was dead, but a new thing, a new shoot came out from the stump, which eventually led to the line of Jesus. We're going to talk about prayer wall in what that tells us the story that's telling us. We have a prayer wall out in our lobby where the rest of this year, you're gonna be able to go by there and pray for people and see what's going on and connect to their life. And what's, what's happening and be a part of that as a community. And it's a testimony to what God's doing, who he's with and the way that he's moving. I get this on mother's day, we're going to have baby dedications, which is May 5th, but we're also going to have a conversation about comfy chairs.
Those of you who have been before and know that sitting in some more comfortable chairs right now, rather than these like hard black chairs that kind of jolt around on you a little bit, but, and this idea of what that says and what it means. And then we're going to have a conversation about tastes and smells and the senses. And so we're going to have all of these different kinds of conversations that I want you to have kind of like your eyes wide open to what are the new things that you're seeing or noticing or can connect with because these things, and we'll see through this throughout the scripture, typically can point back to God and his creation and what he's doing and how he's moving to capstone all of this on May 23rd with a Sunday that is just worship and baptisms. So for people who are making a decision that want to walk into that, as we want to Mark something significant in our church, in this season, as we're embracing the new and the new life and how baptism represents a resurrection in a new thing.
So that's kind of what the series is about. I'll refer it throughout the conversation over the coming weeks. But today it's really just a kind of kick off and to grasp like, what does this embracing new thing look like? Or what's something that was transformed into something new. And so I grabbed the scripture that we're going to dig into today is in John it's in the new Testament. John was one of the disciples. It's the fourth book in the new Testament, and I'm going to be in chapter two, two, one through 12. And we're going to hang mostly around six through 11, but I'm going to read the whole thing for you right now. If you have your Bibles or your phone, you can follow me along throughout the service, or you guys can watch it up here. On the third day, a wedding took place in canine galley, and Jesus's mother was there.
And Jesus said to us, this Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to this wedding. When Jesus, he had been invited to this wedding when the wine was gone at this wedding, Jesus's mother said to him, we have no more wine. And so Jesus says, woman, why do you involve me now? Real quick woman in this language is that saying, wasn't like a bad term. It wasn't like a put down Jesus replied. My hour has not come. His mother said to the servants, do whatever he tells you and nearby stood six stone water jars is going to be important later. The kind used by the law, by the Jews for ceremonial washing or for purification washing each holding 20 to 30 gallons. Jesus said to the servants, fill the jars with water. And so they filled them too brim. Then he told them, draw some water out and take it to the masters of the banquet.
And so in the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He didn't realize it had come from though the servants who had drawn the water knew, then he called the bridegroom aside and said, everyone brings out the choice wine first, and then the cheaper wine or the box wine after the guests have had too to drink. But you okay? I have saved the best until now. And it says, and what Jesus did here in Keno Galloway was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him. So Joan hones in on this, this miracle, this sign, this first one that he did. And I want to just talk about this concept of signs just for a second. We know scholars tell us that actually, there's this idea that the first 11 chapters of the book of John John, one chapter one through 11, is, would be called the book of signs.
This is where John tells us that, Hey, there's this first sign that we see in John chapter four, where something's taking place. And then he stops and says, there's a second sign. John has a meaning behind everything that he's saying. And he's kind of telling this story that we're watching. And it's kind of this movie situation, you know, in a movie, no, one's actually staring at the camera, but you're just watching and you're invited into the action. And so that's really how John's written. And then John suddenly pauses in a couple of specific spots and it's like, he turns to the camera and says, this was the first sign, right? Making sure that we're brought into this to understand what was taking place after he talks about the second sign, he kind of just leaves us to our own count. And so you have water to wine here.
And this one is the first sign, which of course echoes the Exodus story where God turned water of the Nile into blood and this kind of new Moses image, which is painted all throughout the new Testament, as Jesus, as this new Moses, the new law, right? Or the law's gone away. There's this new covenant that's taking place. And so specifically the signs that there are taking place that we can see if you were to look through on your own, I'll point them out. You have the changing of water into the wine and Canaan. That's John to the first. Then you have the healing of the Royals official, which is in John four. You have the healing of the invalid or the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda in John five. Then that leads into the feeding of 5,000 in John six, which right, following that story is considered the fifth, which is walking on water and then healing the blind man from birth that's in John nine.
And then you have the seventh sign right here, which is the raising of Lazarus found in John 11. And then you don't have anything for a minute. You have these seven signs that a lot of scholars and theologians see this evidence is what's something called the new creation theology, which is this set up in the gospel of John to the resurrection of Jesus, implying that that's the eighth sign that the resurrection is this eighth sign into Cain. This week of creation that God created for six days, the seventh day was the Sabbath he rested, which was the day of completion or a number of completion. And then a new creation beginning with the resurrection. So all the signs stop these seven, which is great again, because for the Jews, this is a really symbolic number of completely complete myth MIS, which is interesting that we'll talk about in a minute, why there was six water jars.
It was really important that John was again, putting in there, re represents this, doesn't represent this completeness, which is really important, but then it seven signs, ultimate sign of resurrection and miss dawning of this new world. So there's all this imagery that we're looking for. And that we're going to get to look through over the couple of weeks. And this image in these signs all are pointers to something that either God is up to. There's something that about ourselves that we get to learn. And there's something about the world that we get to learn and all of these different signs. And as we read through scripture, that's a really great way to like tease it out is what do I learn about God, from what I'm reading? What do I learn about humanity, from what I'm reading or how it impacts the world? And then what can I learn from myself? Or what does this mean for myself? So anytime that you're reading through scripture or doing a study, ask yourself those three questions all the time. If you're like, I don't know how to do a devotional or how to break this down, ask yourself those three questions. What from myth am I reading? Can I learn about God, humanity and myself?
So I love that this is this idea of a miracle that this is an interruption on this micro level. And then it gets this macro application. And here's the beautiful thing that I love about miracles is that they don't just kind of hover in these random spaces, but they become the part of the fabric of creation and the story that we're all part of. It's restoring it's, it's like a weed that's cracking up through the concrete of this decaying, demonic filled evil world. And that there's this birth of a real new creation, like it's wine time, right? Like this, this water that was stale or stagnate gets turned into this new, robust, beautiful thing. This stale water, even the second meaning of what it means for the world is it's like taking the stale water of history. What are you going to do? Let's take the stale water of life and the way people that have tried to connect to God and let's bring it to this new phase.
It says nearby stood six stone water jars. These are the kinds that were used for the Jewish ceremonial, washing holding each from 20 to 30 gallons. Now this is really important for us Gentile readers. We didn't understand all of the things about the significance of numbers and also that they had these purification or these ceremonial washing rituals. This is crucial because this is what he actually came to do. He didn't come here to make wine in this moment. There's a hint here with these six stone jars and they're at a wedding and this is what this is used for. And so if we were going to a wedding and we were there for several days, that's how long these weddings would last. We'd be there hanging out all day and we'd go to sleep. We wake up, we eat some food. And what we would do is we would get dirty, right?
And so for this ceremonial, washing or cleansing, these jars were literally used to go in, wash your hands, right? Or wash the dishes to clean things. As you had been touching things that you would use this to purify your hands or from a ritual standpoint, because the old Testament said, if you touch this thing, you're going to need to watch her. If you're near this thing, you need to wash, right? You got to wash all these things. This was the rights of purification that's represented in these six Waterstone jars. And John tells us remember everything that John says has some sort of meaning behind it. And this is what he's trying to say. He tells us that there's these six into a Jew.
Six has always this really important number because it's one less than perfection, just as it talked about a minute ago of the six days of creation and then a Sabbath. And what he's trying to say here. I love how William Barclays at theologian that says this, that the water pots stand for the imperfections of the Jewish law. They came up just short six. Jesus came to do away with the imperfections of the law to put in their place, the new wine of the gospel of his grace. Jesus turns the imperfection of religion into the perfection of grace. This is the meaning behind what he's doing. This isn't just a throwaway line for John. This is maybe the quintessential theological point of the whole passage that Jesus has come to say that there is a new era dawning in the world. There's a new thing that's happening. And here's what it means that everything that's represented by religion has now reached its point of climax. And I'm here to shut it down. Everything that's been represented by these rules and regulations, the way that you did these things has been good. It's reached the top and now religion and ritual is going to be giving away to something new religion and ritual is going to be giving away.
It's a relationship that guy has entered. The world is turning this old way of connecting to himself. That's represented in these ritual, extended out here with religion in itself. And he's saying now, I'm it. I'm bringing that to its intended point, which was the law or this religion. This is the summary of what John has told us in John one 17, just this chapter before said for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
LA had its moment. This is the old covenant, but now it's giving away to something else, something new that Jesus is going to be this new wine and that all of these other things are coming too. And Paul says in Philippians three, he talks about this idea where he used to try to do all of these things. And it felt really good to be involved in religion because it just does, right? Like to be in that ritualistic and that you're connected to these things and you have this regular rhythm, but Jesus is saying like, Hey, the temple sacrifices or whatever religion you belong to, if you belong to a religion that is sacrificed, you know, there's a sacred place that you've set aside for the gods to dwell over in, or there's rituals where you have to sacrifice animals or grain. It's all over. If there's Holy land that you're fighting for, you're thinking that this land is more Holy than that land. We needed to make sure that it's all over. It's gone. Jesus shows up and says, Hey, we can't climb up a mountain to God anymore. So I have come down the mountain to do for you bringing the suite of vibrant, true relationship of life with God, in a sense has given birth now to a new way of connecting with the God of the universe.
And so friends, are you willing to walk from the old stone water pots of religion and give your life to the one who gives you new wine or not? Or are you going to be showing up here or in your life and your relationship with Jesus saying, where'd that thing I like to eat? Go, where'd that thing go. Where'd that comfortable thing go. This is how I do this.
The next story right after this, he really does kind of the same thing. It's in the temple, right? And he goes in there and kind of shuts it down and storms everything up. And it's basically, I'm doing the same thing saying, and he goes, this thing's over because actually now the temple of my body is what's going to matter now. So Jesus has brought to a climax and religion has given away to relationship that he's come to shut down religion as the way that people knew this. And he's doing all because he's saying, Hey, I'm going to be the Messiah. It's the law. That's now going to give away to grace. And now we can, can't go back. So why can't you go back when it's time to embrace new things? Why is it not to go back? Let me give you a couple analogies and why you wouldn't want to go back for those of you who have had children or grandchildren. I know when we were expecting our baby, we went and we got like an ultrasound and they give you like a little ultrasound video. And at that time was on a little DVD, right? And you'd like, show everybody and like watch this thing. And it's like, but still you're like, Whoa, okay. That's that's Madeline whatever your child's name was, that's my kid. And you, and maybe your grandparents, you have like an actual paper picture of like a mammogram, right. Or not a mammogram. So that really wrong.
That's going to go down in the history books and ultrasound. Why did I even say that? Well, we're embracing the new, I can't go that. All right. You're carrying around a photo of a picture of a baby. Oh, wow. I'm going to recover. All right. So you're carrying around a picture of the baby and your child comes, your grand baby comes. And what do you not do? You don't go around showing some for sound video or an ultrasound picture, right? When the real thing layer like the now grown up new thing is right there. Right? You follow that. I shouldn't have used that at all. I'll use something else. A rocket rocket takes off, and it's got these boosters on the side of the rocket.
And as the rockets taking off the boosters are doing the work to get the rocket out, into space. And in a point, the rocket has reached it. The boosters have reached their climax. Like they've finished doing what they need to do, and they actually break off. Right. And then the rocket continues to go on. Now, if you wanted to go back, you can't go back and then put the boosters back on the rocket, because it will ruin the entire mission. It will destruct the entire mission that's going on at all. It'll blow up the whole rocket.
So there's this new thing that's going on. When you recognize the old and where it's gotten you, you have to be ready to take on the new and the next. And that's what Jesus is doing. Paul Paul's entire argument in Galatians three and four is that the law was set up as a, a teacher, a tutor to prepare you for this new thing, right? Like if you have a tutor, you only use a tutor for so long. When you're in grade school, you don't use the same tutor all the way through college. You've taken off into this new thing. And that's what this was, setting it up. Now, if we think about how this flows
Goes down into our own life, I wanted to make some comparisons so we can understand what this looks like. This religion versus the gospel. Religion says, I obey. Therefore I'm accepted. I obey. Therefore I'm accepted. But gospel says I'm accepted. Therefore I obey religion. Motivation is based on fear and insecurity. God's to get me or bad things are going to happen to me. So I better do something. But gospel motivation is based on a grateful joy of what Jesus has done for me. And then we get to live from that place. Religion. I obey God in order to get things from God, right? You've heard this preached before, talked about, if you do these things, God will bless you and give you wealth and health and prosperity in life. Make us so into your future of these things, right? You've heard these things. It's religion. I obey God in order to get things from him. The gospel says, I obey God to get God to delight. And then to resemble him religion in the old stone, their versions of ourselves is when circumstances of my life go wrong. I'm angry at God or myself. Since I believe like job's friends that anyone who is good, deserves a comfortable life.
This is the construct of religious thinking. Even if you're not formerly religious from the past, or even if you find yourself, you're watching with this right now, you're atheist. You still think you deserve a comfortable life. That the universe owes you because you're a good person. I've asked many, many, many people. Why do you think you're going to heaven? Like, why do you think you're going to live in this relationship in community with God in this new heaven, in this new earth when you die? And their response is typically well, because I'm a good person. And then they go to extreme and they use it as a comparison. Well, because I'm not Hitler. Right? And it's like, because you're not Hitler. You deserve to be comfortable in life in this space, right? In the recesses of our brains. People think like that. We think like that that's religion. Gospel though says when circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle. But I know that while God may allow this for my training, he will exercise his fatherly love within my trial.
Legend says that when I'm criticized, I'm actually furious or devastated because it's essential for me to think of myself as a good person and threats to that self image must be destroyed at all costs. Right? I, I'm not gonna have anyone thinking that I'm not a good person. Like that's the way that I've been taught to structure myself. And this is how I have it together. Right? And I need to get rid of anything. That's going to threaten that. But the gospel says that when I'm stressed, when I'm criticized, I struggle, but it's not essential for me to think of myself as a good person. My identity is not built on my performance, but on God's love for me in Christ. Religion is my prayer life consists of petition. It only heats up when I'm in need. My main purpose in prayer is to control circumstances. Do you feel yourself doing that? These are religious impulses in the gospel. My prayer life consists of stretches of praise and adoration for who God is. My main purpose in praying is fellowship with him.
See there, that's the difference. That's that's Jesus that he's come to give us this new way of being human. This new thing that we get to embrace and how beautiful is this? That this is what the story means for the world, but real quickly, I just want to pivot the last bit of our time to, what does this mean for you personally? It says verse six, right here. If you jumped to that nearby stood six stone water jars.
That's the kind used by the ceremony, washes each holding about 20 to 30 gallons. Remember that 20 to 30 gallons. Next one Jesus said to the servants, fill the jars with water. So they filled them to the brim.
We thought about that 20 to 30 gallons. Now this, this, this like party only needed like 40 bottles of wine left, but he took six jars that were about this wide and about this tall, if you go and see them and he takes them and he fills them all the way up to the brim. And I loved that. He said, fill them up to the brim because essentially he was saying, I don't want to leave any room left in there. We're going to, we're going to fill this whole thing up. It's going to be overflowing. There's no room for anything else left in there. And so if you add that up 20 to 30 gallons at six doors, he literally was making 900 bottles of wine. Do you think this party needed that it did not need it? Now I'm thinking is the wine was different then, right?
It was probably better with that stuff. But the alcohol rate wasn't as high as the stuff y'all are drinking today, but 900 bottles of wine and then filled to the brim. And I think it's because you can't go back, you can't go back for any water. It's now there's no longer water. It's this new thing that you can't go back for something else. There's not space for you to go back in, to find and to see something else, you get more power than you need to get more forgiveness than you may think that you need. And there's this way that we think when we're looking at this, we're like, man, I don't know. Jesus can forgive me for these things. You know, it's just been so long that I've been doing this thing or this habit, or there's no way he's going to forgive me for this mistake. Or I tumbled it again. There's no possible way. There's not enough grace for this. And I think that this painting a picture that Jesus is saying, this new thing is coming. The law has done its job. And now grace is coming and it's grace upon grace upon grace upon grace, 900 bottles of grace filled to the brim
Overflowing. And Moses was good, but like the law was good and Moses gave us something beautiful connect to you, but you've kept the good wine until now. And this is better. If you look in the sea as the story guide, Kenneth Tenney's right there, we're gonna throw up on the screen. So then he told him to draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. You know, the next
It did. So, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. And he did not realize where it come from though. The servants who had drawn it, they knew then he called the bridegroom aside and said, everyone brings out the choice wine first. And then the cheaper wine after the guests have gone when they've had too much to drink, but you
I've saved the best till now. This is what I think it means for us. I think for us, it means this verse 10, first, 10 only just says this. Everyone brings out the choice line first. And then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink, but you, you have saved the best until now. You saved the best until now the Lau was good. He didn't bring out the box. If you now are doing something on top of that, can you believe that the best is yet to come for you? That Jesus wants to give you new wine in your life. That transformation can happen as transformation.
This purification that used to happen in ceremonies of this washing now is this transformation that's happening because of grace and because of the ultimate sacrifice that that's going to represent. This transformation offers you a life where your, your relationships are better. Your marriage is better. The way you deal with money is better. The way you interact with people is better.
Your homes, your communities, and the world. Friends can look and feel better because of transformation in the vision that Jesus has for everything.
One of you that's watching and that's here today is the more that you deny it and run from the new thing where you just want to go back to Egypt. You just want to go back to like the way it was, and you just want to go grab this thing that was comfortable to you. The more you just stave off purification and transformation in your life. And over time as you've let Jesus work on you, that's the practical micro stuff that's going to change and be purified in you as God changes you as he wants to make it better. I know sometimes that can be difficult for us to grasp new things. When you think about how is wine made? Well, grapes are crushed to make wine, right? I don't know how many of you have ever had to have a surgery. There's something a part of you that needs to be cut in fixed to be made new, right?
It's painful. But there's a transformation that takes place in your life today. Friends, I want to ask you, are you ready to embrace the new? Are you ready to leave the old, to walk away for that to experience the new wine that Jesus may have for you and your life? And for some of you, maybe for the first time experiencing grace and truth looked like and love, but the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. So I'm going to ask you right now that you, would you stand, if you're with us online or here in the room, I actually just want us to respond and worship and song as we allow Jesus to make new wine in us.