i believe in miracles

do you? why not add your miracles too?


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Jesus Changes Water into Wine: John 2 (how I would say it)

sheep (baa-aa-aarely related image)

Day three: Jesus and the men who were learning from him attended a wedding in a town called Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was also there. Well before the celebration was ready to end, the hosts ran out of wine, and Jesus’ mother came up to him and said, “They ran out of wine.”

“What’s that got to do with me, Woman?” Jesus asked. “You know I’m not ready for prime time.”

His mother turned and told the wait staff, “Just do what he tells you to do.”

There were six big water jugs, the kind the Jews used for their religious washing rituals – each of them held about 20 to 30 gallons. So Jesus told the wait staff, “Fill those jugs with water.”

And they did, to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw a glass of it out and take it to the father of the bride.”

So they did, and the father of the bride tasted the water which had miraculously turned into wine. He had no idea where it came from, only the wait staff knew. Then the father of the bride called the groom aside and said, “Hosts usually serve the best wine first and then bring out the cheap stuff when people are too drunk to notice; but you’ve saved the fine wine for the end.”

This was Jesus’ first public demonstration of his divine powers, and it caused the men who were following him to believe that he was the real deal.

After the wedding, he left for Capernaum with his family and his followers came with too. They stayed there for a few days.

Jesus Clears the Temple Courts

It was almost time for the Passover, the most important annual Jewish holiday, so Jesus made his way to Jerusalem for the celebration. When he got there, he visited the temple and in the courtyards of the temple, there were people selling cattle, sheep and doves, as well as people selling the only currency that the priests would accept as offering. Biding his time, he wove a whip out of some rope and all of a sudden let loose, cracking the whip and scaring out the cattle and sheep from the temple. Then he flipped the money changers’ tables over and coins flew everywhere. He rushed the dove salesmen and said, “Get out of here! My Father’s house isn’t some livestock market!”

Trying to make some sense of this outburst, the men following Jesus remembered the Scripture that says, “I will be overwhelmed with passion for your house.”

A few people stood up to him and said, “What gives you the right to do this?”

Jesus replied, “Flatten this place and I’ll have it up again in three days.”

They popped back, “It’s taken 46 years to build this temple and you think you could do it in three days?”

But Jesus wasn’t talking about the building; he was referring to his body. This made sense to his followers only after he had come back to life, after three days of being dead. They really only understood what Jesus had said that day in the temple in retrospect.

During the Passover celebration in Jerusalem, Jesus did a lot more amazing, miraculous things and quite a few people started to believe he was for real and spread the word about him. But knowing people like Jesus did, he kept a safe emotional distance. He didn’t need anyone to tell him how fickle people can be.

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It Ain’t Me, Babe: John 1:19-34 (how I would say it)

DSC02635 lo (another completely unrelated image that I just like)

When Jewish leaders from Jerusalem sent some religious big wigs out to ask John if he might be the Son of God come to earth, he told them straight out: You’ve got the wrong guy.

So they asked, “Then who are you? The prophet Elijah come back from the dead?”

“Nope.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

“Nope.”

Finally they said, “Who are you? We need to know what to tell the people who sent us out here. Give us a clue as to who you are.”

Quoting Isaiah the prophet, John said, “I am a lone voice in the wilderness that says, ‘Get ready for God, cuz here he comes!’”

Then the religious big wigs said, “Why are you dunking people in the water as some sort of symbol of spiritual cleansing if you’re not God’s Son or Elijah or some other prophet?”

“It’s true, I dunk people,” John replied, “but your goose chase is misguided. The guy you should be looking for – he’s out there somewhere – is way out of my league and much more fascinating.”

All of this was happening at Bethany, on the other side of the Jordan river, which is where John was dunking people, AKA baptizing.

The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here he is! The sacrifice to end all sacrifices who will completely clear our account with God. This is the guy I was talking about when I said, ‘Even though he comes after me, he’s way ahead of me because he existed long before me!’ I really didn’t know who he was, I just knew that I needed to get out here and start dunking people in water as a symbol of spiritual cleansing and somehow that would flush him out.”

Recalling how he understood Jesus to be God’s Son, John said, “God’s Spirit came down from the sky as if it were a dove and it landed on Jesus and stayed with him. I didn’t even realize who he was until that moment. The same inner voice that compelled me to start dunking people out here told me, ‘When you see God’s Spirit come down and land on someone, you’ll know he is the one who is going to be doing the real spiritual cleansing – not just the symbolic act.’ I’ve seen it with my own eyes and I assure you, this is the one we’ve been waiting for. God chose him!”