January 14, 2001: All You Need To Do Is Ask…

Let us pray: Dear Savior, we know that You care for each of us more than words can express, for You proved that on the cross. We know that You have infinite power to assist us in all aspects of our lives—from the small and mundane to the large and complex. We also know that all too often we don’t ask for Your help until we’ve fretted and worried ourselves into hopelessness. Lord, today remind us to be proactive in our prayer life. And also comfort us with the knowledge that You’re always active in answering. Amen


TEXT: John 2: 1-11

Fellow Redeemed Sinners:

No one likes a busybody. No one likes a person who inserts themselves into your life and constantly pushes their opinion and views upon you. I suppose the reason for our dislike of such people is that they offend our pride. They may be right, but by being so pushy they just end up appearing as arrogant know-it-alls—even if they don’t mean to be.

All of the miracle lessons found in the Bible teach us one over-arching truth. That is, Jesus truly is the Son of God. He truly did and does have divine power over everything—even death. But, if you look at those miracle texts, you’ll soon discover that Jesus usually (if not always) waited to be asked for help before He exercised His power. Why? Because He didn’t want to appear a busybody and didn’t want people to get their back up at His intervention into their lives and their problems.

Today we examine the very first miracle Jesus ever did. And I believe a singular truth leaps out at us. It is a truth from which we can all derive immense comfort as we sit here, 2000 years after the fact. And the truth I’m speaking of is this:



“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’ ‘Dear woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My time is not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”

Apparently one of Jesus’ relatives (perhaps a cousin) was getting married. Mary, the aunt, and Jesus the interesting cousin with His unique group of followers, are invited. I surmise Mary is the aunt because of her firsthand knowledge of the preparations and the running out of wine.—Most aunts I know tend to lend their expertise in such areas when it comes to the wedding of a loved one.—I know my aunts did! In any case, such wedding celebrations would usually take about a week to run their course. Yes, they really knew how to celebrate! But, when you consider that people traveled on foot, often for a day or two to get there, obviously you wanted to make the celebration worth their while.

Why did they run out of wine? Poor planning? Gate-crashing guests? We don’t really know for sure. But what we do know is that this was a huge faux pas. This was an embarrassment that the bride and groom would never live down.—“Did you hear? They ran out of wine? Such cheapskates! Such ingratitude toward their guests!”—such would be the talk among the town gossips. Mary wants to spare her relatives such tongue-wagging. For 30 years she has harbored in her heart the truth of her Son’s real parentage. For 30 years she has waited until He came to that age of Jewish adulthood when He would be taken seriously. She knows He possesses Godly power because God was His Father. She knows He has a tender and kind heart because she’s seen it for 30 years. So, she politely reminds Him of the young couple’s predicament. Yes, I know she doesn’t directly ask Him to do a miracle. I know she doesn’t say: “Pretty please help them!” Nonetheless, such asking is implicit in her statement to Him, isn’t it?

And how does Jesus respond? He gives His mother a polite put-down. He doesn’t address her as “mother”, but as “dear woman.” Why the formality? Because God’s work is formal. It rises above mere human emotions and human attachments and always has cosmic significance. He also reminds Mary that as God’s Son, He, not she, must call the shots when it comes to His work of saving souls and redeeming lost sinners. Is Mary put off by this? No! She knows her Son and she knows His kind heart. As only a mother can do, she confidently tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”


All You Need To Do Is Ask. Mary did, and now Christ responds. He spies 6 stone jars holding about 30 gallons each. That makes 180 gallons total. He tells the servants to fill them with water and then skim off some liquid and take it to the master of the banquet. Sometime during that time frame a miracle occurs! The water becomes the best wine anyone has ever tasted! You know, I collect wine. I have what I consider the “average” wines at the top of my rack and a few bottles of what I consider “exceptional” wines at the bottom. I’m aging those special bottles. It takes a very special occasion for me to open one. And when I do, I savor it with my wife or with friends. I can only imagine what this wine must have tasted like.—Perhaps Christ will make some more in heaven? I hope so….

In any case, the banquet master is floored by this. “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then brings out the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” In short, Christ was asked for His help, gave it, and in the process made this wedding day eternally memorable for all involved—including you and me today! What a wedding gift!

All You Need To Do Is Ask. That’s the truth I want you to take home today. Christ wanted Mary to ask and then He even made her wait briefly because it was His way of testing her faith in Him. Likewise, Christ wants us to ask for help, too, and usually makes us wait a bit for an immediate answer in order to strengthen our faith in His graciousness, as well.

Note well that Jesus helps those who ask no matter whether it be with a small or a big problem. The blind He restored sight to, the lame He made to walk, the people He cast demons out of—those were “big” things, weren’t they? Here, He involves Himself in a seemingly “little” thing. It just goes to show that our Lord cares intimately for every aspect of our lives and that He’s never too busy to assist us.

You and I have the comfort of knowing that Jesus has helped us with the biggest problem the world has or will ever know. That is the problem of sin. He saved us from our inner evil nature by taking it upon Himself and killing it on the cross in His very body. He saved us from the eternal death that it brings. But, here is a wonderful reminder that you can ask Him for help in anything and He’ll give it to you. No problem is too small or great for Him to handle. And that’s because His love for you is infinite!

All you need to do is ask! Ask for His help with you job, your kids, your sad heart, your pain, your worries, your future. Ask and trust in His goodness. And then be prepared to receive an answer beyond your wildest dreams! It may not be the answer you think it should be. It may not be exactly what you want. But, in retrospect, His answer will always prompt you to exclaim: “but you have saved the best till now.” That’s your Savior! Worship Him with joy! Amen