Today’s message by Cathy Zhang was entitled “When You Believe.” As we dive into the book of John, we learn what it means to believe both by seeing and by faith alone. The verses Cathy used were John 2:1-11:
“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." Dear woman, why do you involve me? "Jesus replied. "My time 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 twenty to thirty gallons. 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. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.
Then Jesus called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” (John 2:1-11)
What does it mean to believe? How can one come to faith in Jesus Christ? Everyone has a different method of beginning a relationship with God. Some people are able to believe just by hearing the testimony of others. Jesus said that those who have faith like a child will receive the full blessings of the Father. In Luke 18 and Mark 10 it says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Children are eager to learn about the Truth and do not easily doubt what Jesus did for us on the cross. When John exclaimed to his followers “Look! The Lamb of God,” Andrew and Peter believed John and followed Jesus right away. Believers with this kind of faith is very precious to God.
On the other hand, there are those who take the approach that “seeing is believing.” How are we to physically show God’s existence, you may ask? I can’t pray to ask God to turn water into wine, or ask God to help me walk on water. To the disciple named Nathanael, Jesus had to show his true self. John 1:48 shows how he came to follow Jesus: “How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." Seeing that Jesus knew everything about him, Nathanael believed and became a follower of Jesus. Can people “believe by seeing” in today’s world?
The answer is a resounding “YES!!!” For those of us who have been touched by Jesus in a powerful way, it is our job to share those experiences with others. For each one of us, when we become Christians, a miracle happens in us. When we accept Christ as our Savior, God brings us from death to life and makes us a new Creation! Isn’t that miraculous! He takes those who are so undeserving of His grace, and brings them into His family to be His children. To share this transformation with others demonstrates that miracles happen and continue to occur every day.
In the story of Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding banquet, we see that a number of things needed to happen for God’s glory to be revealed. First, Jesus needed to be in tune to the needs of the people. His mother told Him that the wedding party was all out of wine. Although He told His mother that this was not His concern and that His time had not yet come, He still provided the opportunity for His glory to be known. Next, the servants needed to be obedient and trust that Jesus would work through their actions. Even if they did not know exactly what Jesus was going to do, believing that He had the power to change the outcome of the wedding banquet was the important thing. Sometimes we need to be like servants, we need to be willing to set aside any doubts we have and just trust God. What do we have to lose?
Last, but not least, the jars that the wine was held in needed to be empty. Miracles cannot occur unless we empty ourselves and allow our lives to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If we fill our lives with other things, we are not allowing God to use us fully. We may try to produce choice wine in our own lives, but without faith in God, it will be nothing but ordinary, tasteless water.
Worship Song: So Great
Many nights we pray 多少个夜晚我们在祈祷
With no proof anyone could hear 并非每个人都能听见
In our hearts a hopeful song 我们心中的希望之歌
We barely understood 自己也不能理解
Now we are not afraid 现在我们并不害怕
Although we know there's much to fear 虽然我们知道未来有许多艰难险阻
We were moving mountains long 我们负重已久
Before we know we could 只是原来并不清楚我们的能力
There can be miracles 奇迹将会出现
When you believe 只要你肯相信
Though hope is frail 希望虽然渺茫
It's hard to kill 却不可磨灭
Who knows what miracles you can achieve 谁知道你会创造怎样的奇迹
When you believe 只要你肯相信
Somehow you will 你就会
You will when you believe 只要你肯相信，你就会创造奇迹
In this time of fear 在害怕的时候
When prayer so often proves in vain 当祈祷变得苍白无力
Hope seems like the summer birds 希望就像夏日里的鸟儿
Too swiftly flown away 悄然飞逝
And now I'm standing here 现在我伫立于此
My heart's so full I can't explain 心中充满无限莫名的希望
Seeking faith and speaking words 寻求信念
I never thought I'd say 说出从未想到会说过的话……
There can be miracles…… 奇迹一定会出现
They don't always happen when you asked 虽然当你需要时 它并不总会出现
And it is easy to give in to your fear 你向内心的恐惧屈服了
But when you're blinded by your pain 但是当你被痛苦蒙住了双眼
Can't see your way safe through the rain 在风雨中看不见未来的出路时
Thought of a still resilient voice 听到有一个声音回荡在你耳边
Says love is very near 说，爱就在你身边
There can be miracles…… 奇迹将会出现……