Life can be difficult in any country in the world. Life itself challenges us daily, and we look for ways to cope with these challenges.
Some people turn to escape methods, be it alcohol, chocolate cake, endless golf, hard drugs, mindless TV viewing. The man-made ways to cope with daily life are innumerable. However, the New Testament gives us a big idea about this topic of coping, and it turns out this idea is the ultimate answer to the challenge!
In the Gospel of John, chapter 2, Jesus performs the first miracle of his ministry. Jesus, Mary, and several disciples are attending a wedding in Cana. Weddings are wonderful times of human celebration that help many people forget the humdrum of life. At this huge Jewish wedding, the wine runs out! Food and drink are major components in times of joyful celebration!
Mary comes to Jesus and announces, “They have no more wine!” I have always thought the sentence would be a good opening statement at an outreach gathering. “There is no more wine!”
Said differently, “Your bottle of wine, your coping method, is now empty.” Whatever way we cope or escape from the harsh reality of life and death, it ends. The bottle only holds a small amount of manufactured happiness. We need real hope, a solid anchor, a bright future worth living for, even dying for!
It was not time for Jesus to launch his ministry and introduce the New Covenant, so he turned water into wine for the wedding guests and impressed the guests! They had a little more man-made joy to carry them over until Jesus introduced the ultimate answer, himself.
Jesus is the Savior of mankind. Forgiveness and a future after death aren’t found in a bottle, or on a tennis court, or in a stock market. When death is defeated, then the trials of daily life take on a new purpose, and we see ourselves being prepared for that next life, eternal life. Thanks to Jesus we can now face the challenges of life rather than escape them through destructive means.
The first miracle Jesus performs is an introduction to his ministry, and hints of the biggest idea of all, the answer to life is a person, not a feel-good escape method. Jesus the person provides a way to find all you ever dreamed possible and more! God the Father’s dreams are so much greater than our small-time human dreams. Forgiveness of sin, birth into the Spirit dimension, and eternal life in the Kingdom of God - that’s the ultimate escape from death itself! That’s one big idea!
Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about the big ideas found in the New Testament. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-919-1490. He pastors Faith Church of Grove on East Highway 10.