Bystander Part 1 – Oh Mum!

While believing in Jesus gives us hope, Christianity is not based on hope or blind faith. It’s based on evidence. As an eyewitness to many of Jesus’ miracles, the apostle John reminds us that the supernatural feats of Jesus are not just random acts of kindness meant to help and inspire people. They are signs that give evidence for who Jesus is.

Over the next 7 weeks we are going to look together at 7 different signs based on the eyewitness accounts of John and as we look at them we shall discover who Jesus really is.

Beginning with first-century followers of Jesus, trusting in Jesus has been a response to evidence – not simply in hoping something is true. The gospel writer John referred to the miracles of Jesus as signs that give evidence of who Jesus was. The fir

st sign John documents is when Jesus – with a nudge from his mother – attended a wedding and turned water into wine. You can read about that here.

Jesus Mum comes to him and tells him that they have run out of wine. This would have been devastating and hugely embarrassing for the family. Jesus turns the water in the six stone jars into wine. These stone jars would have been used for purification washings that were part of the Jewish faith. They were empty which was a pointer to the emptiness of the rituals. Jesus turns it into the best wine.

What has gone before is inferior to what has come and what Jesus has done. These signs are not just acts of power and might but signs that point to the identity of Jesus. His disciples believed in him not out of blind faith or unfounded hope but because they had seen.

Some Next Steps you might take:

  • Come to Alpha to explore more of the evidence for Jesus, or invite someone to come.
  • Check out some great resources on the ReasonableFaith.org website or on the Soul Survivor YouTube channel.

To find out more about Next Steps check out the NextSteps web page.

Questions to reflect on in your small group or on your own:

  1. What is something you once believed without any evidence? Why did you believe it?
  2. How would you describe the difference between faith and belief?
  3. The apostle John describes coming to faith as a process that starts with seeing actual events that served as signs of who Jesus was. Today, we can only hear or read about those events. Should the fact that we are not eyewitnesses to Jesus’ miracles affect the process of someone coming to faith? Why or why not?
  4. Read John 2:2–11, where the apostle John recounts the story of Jesus turning water into wine. How familiar is this story to you? Is there anything you just read that stands out as new information?
  5. What are some details about this story that would lead a reader to believe that this actually happened?
  6. In verse 9, how would you have reacted if you were “one of the servants” at the wedding and just witnessed what Jesus did?
  7. In verse 10, consider the master of the banquet’s statement. How might that be a foreshadowing of the coming shift from the sacrificial system to Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice?
  8. What are some characteristics about Jesus that come to mind as a result of this story?
  9. Does looking at this story as a “sign” instead of just a “miracle” change anything about your view of God? How might it shape how you approach the miracles of Jesus?

Listen to the full talk on our podcast below…

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