marriage

Sermon Discussion - John 2:1-12

Hey discussion leaders! Here’s some follow up questions from Aaron’s sermon from this last weekend. Hope it’s helpful. It’s probably a little long, so feel free to pick and choose what you want to highlight.
Teaching Goal:

That the way Jesus reveals his glory in John 2:1-12 points us to the fact that Jesus himself is our ultimate joy and gives us analogies to understand what that means.

Application Goal:

That people would seek to cultivate a greater enjoyment of Christ in their personal and communal (church) lives.

Thought provoking question:

What is something you enjoy a lot? This is pretty broad, so it could be a hobby, a food, a season, etc. Essentially, what is something that brings you a lot of joy? And what is it about that thing that gives you so much joy?

Intro questions:

Read John 2:1-2

This wedding took place right after Jesus called his disciples. What can you learn about the way Jesus pursues discipleship based on this passage? How does this inform the way that we pursue discipleship? How are we doing as a community at utilizing normal, day-to-day life occurrences for the discipleship mission? How can we improve?

Looking at the text:  (these should all be obvious answers from the text)

Read John 2:3-12

What is the problem they encounter?

How does Mary try to resolve it?

What is Jesus’ response?

How does the problem get resolved?

Interpretive questions:

What are some reasons Jesus responded the way that he did to his mother’s request? What is the significance of his “hour”?

Corresponding texts to “the hour”

  • John 7:30: “So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.”
  • John 8:20: “No one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.”
  • John 12:27: “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
  • John 12:23–24:“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

(The teaching point here is that Mary’s request at a wedding caused Jesus to look ahead to his own wedding, but he knew that his wedding would come at great expense to himself. Hence, “My hour has not yet come.” If you like sharing the gospel, this is a great place to insert it.)

What kind of vessels does Jesus have the servants fill up in 2:6-8? What do you think the significance of purification jars could be, rather than just having them fill normal drinking jars?

When the wine was served, it was incredibly abundant and it was delicious. What do you think Jesus is trying to communicate to us through that?

Near the end of the passage, it states “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed him.” Looking at the passage as a whole and what it symbolizes, how would you describe to a non-believing friend how this story “manifests” or “reveals” the glory of Christ?

Personal Questions:

We asked at the beginning about what you really enjoy in life and why you really enjoy it. Aaron’s sermon on this text was entitled “Jesus Is Joy.” Do you make time to enjoy Christ in your life? What are some ways that you cultivate enjoying Christ in your own life?

In the sermon, Aaron talked about how we can know a lot of facts about honey, that it’s sweet, sticky, good on peanut butter, etc. without actually ever experiencing the sweetness of honey for ourselves. Read Psalm 34:8. Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good? In what ways have you experienced it?

Jesus intentionally revealed his glory through abundance of wine at a wedding. What are some things about wine that make it enjoyable? How does the analogy of enjoying wine help us understand what it means to enjoy Jesus? (It may not be obvious, but the answer I’m looking for here would be to be intoxicated with him, see Ephesians 5:18, Isaiah 25:6-8).

How does the analogy of a wedding help us understand how we enjoy Christ?

Are there other scriptural analogies that have helped you enjoy Christ?

How can we encourage each other to taste, see (2:11, 1:14), know, understand, and practice enjoying God more?

Spare time questions:

We have a story here about a husband who had failed big in his first act as a husband by not providing enough wine for the wedding. How can this story help husbands who feel like they’re failing at their role in the home?

Why do you think Jesus would choose this as his first miracle? (from the sermon, Aaron compared it to a politician announcing that he’s running for office. It doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty details of his policies, but is designed to show where things are going).

Have you ever had a circumstance where you felt like you screwed something up big time (like the husband)? If you want to share, what was it? How does seeing Jesus help this guy out encourage you?

Gospel Centered Marriage

We have talked a lot about what it means to live a Gospel centered life, but sometimes it’s difficult to understand what that looks like in day to day life. That’s why I treasure resources that help us work through the practical outworkings of the Gospel in our daily lives. The following is taken from a book that works out this “Gospel-centeredness” in the context of marriage. The book is gold.

Gary and Betsy Ricucci, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace (Crossway, 2006), pp. 22-23:

  • Because of the gospel, Christians have become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, in our marriage, our past does not define us, confine us, or determine our future.
  • Because of the gospel, we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). Therefore we can live free of all guilt and condemnation for every sin, and we can trust that God, in his mercy, will be gracious to us.
  • Because of the gospel, we can forgive, just as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). Nothing done against us compares to our sin against God. Therefore all offenses, hostility, and bitterness between Christians can be completely forgiven and removed.
  • Because of the gospel, we are accepted by God (Romans 15:7). Therefore we are not dependent on a spouse for who we are or what we need.
  • Because of the gospel, sin’s ruling power over us is broken (Romans 6:6, 14). Therefore we can truly obey all that God calls us to do in our marriage, regardless of any circumstance or situation.
  • Because of the gospel, we have access to God through Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). Therefore we can at any time take any need in our marriage to the One who can do all things.
  • Because of the gospel, we have hope (Romans 5:1-4). Therefore we can endure any marital difficulty, hardship, or suffering, with the assurance that God is working all to our greatest good (Romans 8:28).
  • Because of the gospel, Christ dwells in us by his Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14). Therefore we are confident that God is always with us and is always at work in our marriage, even when progress is imperceptible (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
  • Because of the gospel, we have power to fight and overcome remaining sin, which continues to dwell and war within us (Romans 7:19-21, 24-25; Galatians 5:16-17). This indwelling enemy represents the essence of what is called the doctrine of sin.

HT: JT