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And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) (John 2:1~9)
How Did It Turn into Wine?
As we talked about in the last sermon, the Bible talks about change. As we very well know, Jesus made water into wine. But how did the water change into wine? There were six water pots at the wedding at Cana of Galilee. Jesus told the servants to fill the water pots with water, and they did so. Jesus then said, “Draw out now and serve unto the governor of the feast.” They then served it and the water had already turned into wine. The governor of the feast called the groom and said, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” They had gained the best wine.
Who Is Overseeing?
There is something the works of God in the Bible have in common. First of all, who is in charge is extremely important. When a choir sings, the conductor’s role is extremely important. Although it is the same choir, how it sounds will differ according to who is conducting. An able conductor knows the voice of each choir member one by one very well and mixes and harmonizes voices beautifully. Who supervises is also very important in construction. In all things, “Who is overseeing?” is a very important question. Whenever we try to do something, there is a conflict between “me” and “Jesus.” We have accomplished everything until now through ourselves, and we try to do things in our own ways because we have our experiences and knowledge. Actually these things have often caused us to do poorly and fail, but we are unable to leave our perceptions and methods. Afterwards, there are the methods Jesus wants to use and His perceptions. In some things, Jesus’ perceptions are clearly shown. Therefore, in any situation, whether it was you in charge or Jesus in charge, is clearly shown. If it was done through your overseeing and judgment, it is you who accomplished it. On the other hand, if it was done through Jesus and not you, it means Jesus accomplished it. There, not even the smallest bit of your opinion should be put in. Spiritual life is extremely simple. There is the spiritual life you do and there is the spiritual life God does for you. The problem is that you are in between the two and are confused. If you could clearly evaluate and reflect upon yourself, you can feel, “The judgment I made was not right.” Right then your spiritual life ends and the spiritual life of God begins. Then spiritual life becomes very easy and simple.
After that Day
I received salvation in 1962, and there was one thing that greatly contributed in me receiving salvation. That was coming to know that what I thought to be right, and what I judged were completely wrong. I failed in what I did and although my judgment was wrong, I lived with myself at the center and always thought that my judgment was right. Therefore I did not listen at all to what others said. About the time I received salvation, I came to clearly know that everything I did was a failure. Until then, when I thought something was right and would go well, I ran forward without any doubt. But in the end, all of them failed. I did this, then I would try again in this way and in that way. Even though I went the wrong path countless times, I always thought I was great and smart. But one day, at a certain point when I looked back, I came to know that everything I did was a mess and wrong. Around that time I had to start something but I had the heart that it would go well. Before, I would run forward with no doubt whenever I had that heart, but this time I felt in my heart that I may be wrong. Then the heart that I would do well began to weaken in me little by little. Before, I did not check it and only accepted it when it looked good to me. But the more I checked myself, the more I began to be shaken. Right then I discovered myself for the first time. Before this, I was a pitiful human being but I lived in the illusion that I was smart, good, and living a good spiritual life. Because people believe in themselves, they always have some sort of reason and excuse when they do something wrong. Therefore there are not many who feel that they are evil. After I precisely discovered that I was evil, filthy, dirty, and a pitiful human being, I thought, “Then this path that I am going in now, this thing I am trying to do now is wrong as well.” I had a fearful heart and I could not continue. “What should I do? What am I supposed to do?” Because I could not believe myself, I came to know how foolish and wrong what I had been doing was. This brought about a great change to my life. What I am talking about happened 46 years ago, and from that day on, I have never failed once. It was because I did not believe myself. It was not that thoughts did not arise in me. They did, but because I do not believe in myself, I could not follow my thoughts and plans. Thus the faith to believe in Jesus arose in my heart. Afterwards it was not I that did everything, but Jesus. From then on I saw things amazingly and blessedly being accomplished.
The Bible Tells the Steps the Servants Went Through
John chapter 2 precisely illustrates the heart of the servants. When Jesus told them to fill the six water pots with water, the servants drew the water according to those words and filled the water pots. This is something servants do all the time, and in doing this there was not much burden or hesitation. But towards the second thing Jesus said, “Draw out now and serve unto the governor of the feast,” arises refusal from their hearts. They are supposed to serve to the governor of the feast wine that the guests are going to drink, and now they are being told to serve water they had just poured in . . . . “What is going to happen when we serve this? The governor of the feast may beat us. Nonsense! This is water! How could . . . ?” Spiritual life is not accomplished through doing good, witnessing, and keeping the law. The Bible talks about these steps the servants passed through. People who do not go through this can never have spiritual life their whole lives. There are many people in our mission who are greater, smarter, better educated, and more brilliant than me. Since I am the most pitiful one, regardless of what part of me I look at, I could not believe myself and I rely on Jesus in everything I do. I do not decide according to my judgment but follow the Lord’s judgment, follow the Lord’s decision, follow the Lord’s methods, and follow the Lord’s words. Therefore the peaceful thing is that, even though there are problems, because I follow the words of the Lord, they are not my problems but the Lord’s. Life becomes truly peaceful and joyful. And the parts passed precisely on to Jesus’ hands become accomplished through Jesus. Therefore we can place hope in Jesus.
Throw Jezebel Out
One morning I spoke to college students about the death of Jezebel. Jezebel was King Joram’s mother, and had much power and many servants. Then Jehu heard the prophet’s words and came to destroy Ahab and his family. He kills King Joram and enters Jezreel. Jezebel hears of this. Jezebel was putting makeup on, and decorating her hair to kill. She then looked out the window. Jehu stood before her and Jezebel spoke. “Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?” Zimri was a man who was ruined immediately after becoming king through killing the previous king. Jezebel is comparing Jehu to Zimri. Jehu screamed out. “Who is on my side?” Then the people who were next to Jezebel, the eunuchs who used to serve Jezebel looked out the window. Jehu said to them, “Throw her down!” Now, what are these eunuchs supposed to do? Until now they had been the servants of Jezebel and served King Joram. Now who are they supposed to serve? They have to serve Jehu and receive Jehu. If they do not, they will be killed. Therefore the eunuchs lifted Jezebel and threw the reviling woman out the window. Jezebel fell from the high window, broke her head, and died on the spot. These eunuchs were wise people. If they tarry, they will be in big trouble. The Bible is teaching us the world of spiritual life through these kinds of stories. The eunuchs until now had served Joram and Jezebel, but their hearts had changed to the side of serving Jehu. Their master had changed from Joram into Jehu. Jehu, whom they used to serve, is now a stranger, an enemy. Harlot Rahab, who used to serve the king of Jericho, also turned her heart around to serve Israel.
The Bible tells us that we need this process in our hearts as well. We, until now, had believed in ourselves; lived believing in our own judgment and thoughts. With the heart to believe in myself, I acted as the Lord. Therefore I made all decisions on all problems. Now we need the time to have the Lord in our heart changing. We change when the Lord in our heart changes. Would the eunuchs want to throw Jezebel out? She was a person they had served; they had grown close in heart with her; and she was a person who cared for them. With their own heart they cannot throw Jezebel out the window. It was not their heart, but Jehu’s to throw Jezebel out. Now they had no time to tarry. They will die if they do not throw Jezebel out. If the eunuchs tarry and Jehu says, “Kill them too!” they will immediately be killed. There is no time to tarry whatsoever. They said, “Yes, we will throw her out!” and picked her up and threw her out right away. Their lord had changed. If the lord in our heart changes, if the Lord goes from being you into Jesus, everything becomes now decided by Jesus who is the Lord. Jesus came to this earth to become our Lord. But many people still have themselves, not Jesus, as the Lord and live following after their own thoughts, which are wrongful and crooked.
Only the Heart of the Servant
The servants in John chapter 2 easily followed the words of Jesus to fill the water pots with water. But the words to serve the water to the governor of the feast can never be followed with their own heart. “I am supposed to serve wine to the governor of the feast. What is going to happen if I serve water? This makes no sense!” With their hearts they can never accept it. But because servants are servants, they, long ago, lived with their own opinions but all of that had crumbled down. Servants with strong opinions of their own were fit to be beaten to death. They had been servants for a long time and hence, been rid of their own opinions. They could exactly follow the words Jesus spoke. People who are not servants, people who live exerting their own opinions, have an extremely difficult time following things that do not fit their thoughts. Prophet Elisha of 2 Kings chapter 5 spoke to Captain Naaman. “Go and dip yourself in the Jordan River seven times. Your flesh will come again to you, and you will be clean.” These are very simple words. But since Naaman had lived with all decisions from himself and by his own will, they were difficult words to follow. He could not understand those words at all. “Do you think I have leprosy because I didn’t bathe? Abana and Pharpar of Damascus are better rivers than those of Israel. I will be cleaner if I go there. How can leprosy be healed from washing seven times in the Jordan River?” Man’s thoughts work to go against the thoughts of God. Satan constantly puts thoughts to go against God into man. There are many stories of this in the Bible. When Jesus was in the world, he once went to the house of Jairus, where his daughter had died. Jesus said to the people gathered there, “Do not cry. This child is not dead but sleeping.” If Jesus says that she is sleeping, she is. Is your judgment correct, or the judgment of Jesus? Are you wise, or is Jesus wise? Regardless of how it seems to you, if Jesus says that she is sleeping, she is. But Satan for a long time has held man and put man in a world of the heart different from the world of God. Since man then has thoughts different from Jesus, it seems that the words of Jesus are wrong. The people scorned Jesus with laughter. “Huh, that Jesus, he makes me laugh. Everyone knows she is dead, she has stopped breathing and her body is hardening. Her skin has turned cold, and you say she is sleeping? Absolute nonsense!” They think of themselves to be smart and accurate yet go against the words of Jesus. But the end result; Jesus raised this child. The child woke up. Was this child dead or sleeping? It was right that she was sleeping.
You Must Deny Yourself and Accept the Word of God
Because there are many things we do not know, we should not follow our thoughts but follow the words of God. When you deny yourself and accept the word of God into your heart, spiritual life is very easy. There is a Chinese medicine doctor I know, and I asked him, “Why do you do acupuncture to treat people?” He answered, “In the human body are liver, heart, stomach, lungs, and kidneys. When these organs are damaged, they have the function to repair themselves. But if the brain is worrying, the worry is delivered to the organs to hurt the organs’ function to repair themselves. Therefore, the acupuncture needles block out the worries and allow the organs to recover on their own.” When we suffer and are in pain, the NK (Natural Killer) cells in our bodies are weakened. Thousands of cancer cells are formed in our bodies each day, but that is not a problem because the NK cells are much stronger than the cancer cells and consume them. But when we are suffering, in pain, and saddened, the NK cells are weakened and we end up getting cancer. Our bodies have the natural strength to recover itself, but if we try to take care of it and suffer in pain, it ends up ruining our bodies. Spiritual life is not following your decisions, but just believing Jesus. No matter how right it seems in your eyes, no matter how accurate you may think you are, denying yourself because you have failed and following Jesus is spiritual life. The Bible has recorded all this. People who exerted their own opinions when meeting Jesus were all ruined. Those who denied themselves and accepted the words of Jesus prospered. At the time of Noah’s flood, God said that there will be a flood but those who said, “It will not rain,” and followed their own thoughts were all destroyed. Those who denied their thoughts, regardless of how they were, and prepared for the flood lived.
Change Occurs When Following Jesus’ Words
The change in John chapter 2, the change of water into wine happened through the people who threw their own thoughts away and accepted the words of Jesus exactly as they were. Jesus works wherever such people go, but people who have their own thoughts alive and well cannot follow the words of Jesus, and Jesus cannot work in such people. Like the servants, although you do not understand, works of God arise when you follow not your own opinions but the words of Jesus, when you stand before those words to serve the water that filled the water pot. This is true also with your life. Because you have failed and your spiritual life is wrong, throwing your thoughts away and accepting the heart of Jesus is spiritual life. If that happens, Jesus can appear in your life to lead you to be blessed and beautiful.