Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We continue in this season of Epiphany with the series of events that revealed the divinity of our Lord. We began with the story of the Magi, when a star guided the wise men to Bethlehem. After the events of the Nativity, 30 years passed as Jesus grew up as the son of Joseph and Mary. The second epiphany occurred with the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, the beginning of the public ministry when Jesus fulfilled the words of our reading of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61: 1-6): "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because Jehovah has anointed me; He has sent me to preach good news to the dejected, to bandage the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to the prisoners to open the prison; to proclaim the year of the good will of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God. "
Our text for today deals with the first miracle of Jesus in His public ministry: The changing of water to wine at the wedding of Cana. Until now, no one had seen Jesus show His divine power by His own will. For this reason, Saint John calls this episode the first sign of Jesus, because John does not use the word translated "miracle", but the word for "sign". Cana was a village near Nazareth, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was invited to this wedding, along with Jesus and his first disciples.
This dialogue indicates that Jesus did not travel to Cana to do signs and wonders. "And lacking wine, the mother of Jesus said to him: They have no wine. Jesus said to him: What do I have to do with you, woman? My time has not yet come. His mother said to the servants: Do all that He will tell you. "
And for his mother's sake, Jesus changed the water into wine. What’s more, with this action, Jesus approved the wedding, Jesus blessed the wedding. Many students of the Scriptures think that the gospel according to St. John was written specifically against the false teachers who were called Gnostics. They said that the spiritual man should be above common pleasures, such as wine, beer, food and marriage. This is not biblical teaching. On the contrary, God created the pleasures of this life as blessings to the human race.
Especially marriage. The first chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, says: "And God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and be subdued, and rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air and over all the beasts that move on the earth." Also, in the second chapter: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they shall be one flesh."
With these words, God instituted marriage as the union of a man and a woman for all their lives. Before the fall of Adam and Eve, God instituted marriage for two purposes. First, procreation. "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth." Second, for fellowship and mutual support. "And the Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him. "
These are positive goals. Since the fall of Adam and Eve there has been a negative goal. "But to avoid sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband." (1 Corinthians 7: 2) God's will is to live as an exclusive couple or as celibate, without fornication. To be a couple is not required to be saved, or to be celibate, but either way we must avoid sexual immorality. As singles, we must be careful to avoid fornication, with the partners of others. We also can not try out being a couple for a while, marriage is for life. We should not think of a partner just for their sexy pictures on the phone.
However, to have a partner is a blessing from God, like the other blessings we do not deserve for our works, but we receive by the grace of God. When we look for a couple, or think about marriage, we should think about this: How can this person help me on my walk with God? A godly wife or husband will help us stay in the faith, and will also help us to instruct our children in the faith.
Well, then, in Matthew 19: 8, our Lord says: "Because of the hardness of your heart, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but at first it was not like that, and I tell you: Anyone who repudiates his wife, unless for the sake of fornication, and he marries another, commits adultery, and whoever marries the disowned one commits adultery. " In addition, St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7: 12-15, "And to the rest I say, not the Lord: If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to dwelling with him, do not dismiss her. And the woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he agrees to live with her, do not leave him. Because the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife in the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean; but now they are saints. But if the unbeliever separates, separate. In such cases the brother or sister is not subject to servitude; before peace God called us.”
That is to say, your marriage to a non-believer is still valid in the eyes of God, even if there will be a lot of difficulties. Divorce is only for adultery or abandonment, not because you do not like the food your wife prepares. And between two believers, there is no reason for divorce. The love of Christ should be enough to solve any problems.
Christian marriage must be a public commitment: Between the couple, in front of men, because human society has an interest in children, and before God. This is the will of God. We live in a dark world, in a culture that does not value marriage and does not reinforce marriage vows. But, we have a God of love and grace, who does give us the blessing of marriage. And among the failures of marriage, because of adultery or divorce, we can seek forgiveness from God and another opportunity to live as children of God. The preaching of the Word, including the Law, is not for condemnation, but for the restoration of a good relationship with God.
There are consequences when culture does not value marriage. We can see these consequences in unstable relationships, the mistreatment of children, crime and drug abuse. But, as Christians, we have the best motive to live in stable couples and instruct our children in the faith, because we have the presence of the Holy Spirit, the promise of eternal life and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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