The more we draw near to Jesus, the more His light illumines the yet dark parts of our soul. His light illuminates, not to condemn, but to turn what’s dark into light, as He washes us with His word.
Last week was a season of just pressing into Jesus, and everyday has just been wonderful, as I felt His presence upon me. This morning, however, I woke up sensing what was dark – anxieties, pride and some laziness. I found it difficult to pray, but pressed on. In the afternoon, I was privileged anew to be washed by the Word of God, through that beautiful message given by Pastor Jane Mansbridge of Bayside Church in Australia. My take-aways (interspersed with a few reflections) are:
1. How God doesn’t just lay down a banquet for us, He also wants us to be continually refreshed, through a cup that overflows. (PS. 23:1-6)
What is this cup filled of?
2. The deeper meaning behind Jesus’ first miracle, the start of His ministry, at Cana – I did not notice these elements of John 2:1-10 before:
a. The miracle took place on the third day – what happened on the 3rd day? The resurrection!
b. The miracle was held at a wedding – The greatest wedding feast at the end of the age speaks of the wedding between the Bridegroom, Jesus, and His Bride, the Church (of which I am part of!)
c. 6 waterpots were in the account. 6 is the day (6th day) of creation on which man was made. The waterways are actually jars of clay, representing man, who was created on the 6th day.
d. The miracle involved water. The water represents the Word of God (Eph 5:26) which quenches thirst and refreshes. Because the jars of clay were filled with water, Jesus was able to change the water’s substance. Similarly, we need to be filled with the water of God
e. The miracle involved wine. Wine changes the flavor of food, takes away inhibitions, and heightens emotions. It represents the Holy Spirit.
3. In John 4:1-14, we see a picture of Living Water from the Lord, gushing out, coming out as Holy Spirit, akin to God turning the water into wine. (I’ll never listen the same way again to the song with lyrics, “water you turned into wine, open the eyes of the blind”. As we are washed daily with the Word and God makes that Word come alive in and through our lives, and His Spirit overflows out of us, the eyes of the blind whom God allows us to cross paths with will be opened.)
4. To be filled, God just beckons us to come. He doesn’t require us to come clean, as sanctification is His job. He just calls those who are thirsty to come, and draw near to Him so that He might sanctify us, having cleansed us by the washing of water with the Word.
5. Unlike the Pharisees in Matthew 23:25-26, we are to be cleansed from the inside out with the Word, not religion.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion (prey, spoil, plunder) and grasping self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may be clean also.
6. On the cross, sin was cancelled, new creation was birthed, as blood and water gushed out of Jesus (remember, blood and water is what comes out when a baby is born). The blood of Christ allows us to be clean, and a new birth comes forth. (This is what ought to fill our cups!)
7. Like the water pots in Jesus’ first miracle, we are vessels. We hold the Holy Spirit within us, not just to bless our lives, but to overflow to others.
8. In the miracle at Cana, God used Mary to reveal Jesus, an example for us. Because we, too, are called to reveal Jesus.
In response to Jesus’ invitation for us to come, we approach the cross of Christ with vulnerability.
Jesus, I love You, this is who I am. With all that I am and have, I come to You. Change me from the inside out.
Let justice and praise become my embrace, consume me from the inside out.