A man’s child was dying. He was desperate, and he knew that only one person could possibly save his son. The father traveled 16 miles by foot, and found Jesus in the little town of Cana in Galillee. He begged Jesus to heal his son, and Jesus did. Jesus spoke, “Your son lives,” and at exactly that hour the boy was healed. This is the second sign Jesus performed.
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Following Jesus isn't about Law. It's about love. It's about living dedicated to a love that carries us forward. Living grateful for the love that redeems us. It's about living inspired, and compelled to extend the love and grace extended to us by Jesus.
I was talking with a friend this week who is preparing for a cruise. On Saturday they’ll head to Texas, board a cruise ship and head out on a new adventure. But as she was telling me about her cruise, I couldn’t help but think about stories that always make the headlines, you know the ones, hundreds of people sick on a cruise ship. How would you be feeling if you had a ticket for the next voyage on that ship? Or what if you booked tickets to fly somewhere and then you saw on the news that the airline had a tragic plane crash. Would it make you a little unsettled about flying with them? When something like this happens, it makes you second guess where you’re going, right? You start to wonder if you should just stay home.
In our story today, Jesus is on a trip. He’s traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate a major holiday. It’s almost time for the Passover celebration, which is a huge Jewish festival where Jews from all over the world gather in Jerusalem.
Peter wants to stay right there, in that moment as long as he can. He wants to linger on the mountain with the figures God has sent to redeem Israel. He’s ready to pitch tents and settle in. Why not stay there, in that moment, on that mountain top forever? But, there’s more that has to take place before it can be all mountain tops. Peter had a taste of what’s to come, and he wants to stay, not realizing that there is so much more to come.
Jesus does not come to give us a list of new rules, instead he tells stories, he speaks in parables, setting up his teaching in such a way that there aren’t hard and fast, black and white, rigid lines. Instead, he tells us stories about how to have values, values that are rooted in love for God and love for people. And here we see, here we hear from the mouth of Jesus that more important than the law of Sabbath is the core value to save life. That’s at the heart of his mission, to love God and love others.
There’s a question that I guarantee all of us have asked at one point or another. It’s a question that either elicits great excitement or tremendous pain. It’s a question that philosophers and theologians have been asking for all of time. What is the meaning of life? What is the point of all of this?
In just 5 days, we will hear an inaugural address from the 45th president of the United States of America. Jesus also gave an inaugural address, but just before he did, he encountered Satan in the wilderness. Satan attempted to get Jesus to accomplish his mission with security, popularity, and power. Instead, we see a very different mission outlined in Jesus' address.