The Great Reversal

The Great Reversal

Bryan Jones |

The first recorded miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine. This reveals the mission of Jesus, which was to take the empty religion of man and turn it into a relationship filled to the brim with life because of the blood of Jesus.

Jesus at the Center of Transformation
The Great Reversal • Message 1
Bryan Jones
February 18, 2024

A. Introduction
(John 20:30-31)

That’s why we are kicking off 7 weeks of Jesus at the Center of Transformation, and we are looking at the 7 miracles or signs of Jesus in the book of John…

These miracles and signs…

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

John 20:30-31 (NIV)


In most of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the term for miracle is Dunamis, where you get the term dynamite. In John, the term for miracle is most often the Greek word semeion – which means sign.

The purpose of a sign is to point the way. Think about it like this: a street sign points where you should go; a biblical sign shows us who to go to.

The reason I’ve been doing a series on Jesus at the Center is because we believe that Jesus is the only one who we should go. That Jesus is the one who we build our life and our church on…

So, we are in this new series… Jesus at the Center of Transformation, where we are looking at the 7 signs of Jesus. Or the 7 miracles He performs in John that reveal who He is.

So, as we look at Jesus’ first miracle, let me draw out this truth…


B. The Great Reversal

(Matthew 16: 24-25)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it.

Matthew 16:24-25 (NLT)


The World’s Way = Life to Death

Jesus’ way = Death to Life  


1. The WORLD’S way for joy.
(John 2:1-3, 7)


Life to death


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.”

John 2:1-3 (NIV)


Wine is associated with joy and festivals in the Bible…

It is associated with joy, celebration, and covenant blessings.

Wine was consumed by almost everyone in biblical times.

It is depicted as a common drink enjoyed during meals. It was the water of that day… not drunkenness. But it was associated with the harvest… it was associated with joy.

Side note: you can tell who is Presbyterian, non-denominational, or Baptist… Like the Presbyterians and non-denominational people wonder why we don’t do communion here with real wine… and the Baptists, when you talk about wine, get a little squirmy…

Notice this…

Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

John 2:7 (NIV)


When the jars had been filled, 

The jars have to be filled with water… so what were they… EMPTY... and these jars have a significant meaning, which I will share later…

Empty, no longer full, gone…

So, notice what happens to the wine. It runs out… and what does Jesus do? He’s filling up what is empty…

The point is simple: with the world, joys are fleeting. Have you ever noticed that you need more and more to be filled up? It’s a slow death on the inside.

I was talking to one of our amazing trustees the other day, Jason Bergron, and he was saying he didn’t grow up a Christian. One day, when he was in high school, his life was good, but he just kept thinking, is this it?

What he was asking was, is there anything with more substance? Is there anything that lasts?

You know that saying… pain comes at night, but joy comes in the morning…

According to the world’s way, the saying should be pain comes at night, but joy comes in the morning, and it’s gone by lunchtime…

Do you think that would sell many T-shirts?

I’ll never forget hearing Tony Dungy talk about winning the Super Bowl. He said that for some people, the morning after the Super Bowl is the hardest day… they’ve spent their whole lives on an event, and once they get it, they don’t know what's next. He went on to say, For me, the day after winning the Super Bowl, nothing changed because I’m not living for an event; I’m living for a person, and His name is Jesus CHRIST!


2. JESUS’ way for joy.
(John 2:1-10; 10:10)

Death to life


“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10 (NIV)


On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there…

John 2:1 (NIV)


The third day is an important note. Most weddings in Israel, even today, take place on the third day of the week, which is considered a Tuesday because they start their week on Sunday. Why this day? In the creation story, on the third day, Jesus says it’s good twice. So, they believe it’s a day of double blessing…  (which is why we call it Taco Tuesday). But they believe it’s a great day to start a new life.

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus performed His first miracle on a day that was considered a day of double blessing to the people…

And Jesus will take that imagery of new life and do something quite amazing…

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

John 2:6-7 (NIV)


The stone jars held water normally used only for ceremonial washing, a symbolic act of cleansing from sin, not for cleaning off the dust of the road or other dirt. They were placed at the door so a person would not enter a friend’s house in a ceremonially unclean state and contaminate the house. By dipping their fingers into the water and wiping them dry, a person would symbolically wash away their sins and be ceremonially clean. When we say, I’m washing my hands of this matter, we really mean we’re trying to absolve ourselves of any responsibility for it. The phrase comes from this practice, which was soon to be immortalized by Pontius Pilate in the matter of Jesus’ trial and conviction.

Think about the connection, the symbolism going on…

Stone Jars = Old Covenant (empty religion of man) (water used for ceremonial cleansing, an important part of Old Covenant life.)

Wine = New Covenant (filled with the Spirit) (associated with the New Covenant due to the Lord’s Supper. It represents the blood of Jesus.)

Think about what these pots were used for again... the water was used to temporarily cleanse you from sin, but the wine represents the blood of Jesus that cleanses us forever! 

Think about it…

The mission of Jesus was to take the empty religion of man and turn it into a relationship that is filled to the brim with life because of the blood of Jesus.


This is a picture of being empty and being filled.

What it shows us is that Jesus is better…

… “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

John 2:10 (NIV)


Notice you have saved the best until last… signifying that the New Covenant that permanently cleanses us (represented by the wine), is far superior to the Old Covenant that only temporarily set aside our sins (represented by the water).

Think about the magnitude of this miracle. Each stone jar would be the equivalent of about 150 bottles of wine… 900 bottles… which is way more than needed…

This miracle shows the abundance of Jesus. It shows the power of who He is…  it shows Jesus is better. Jesus is the center, but we could also say Jesus is better.

3. Jesus is in extraordinary and the ordinary moments.
(John 2:11-12. C/R: Acts 1:3-5; 2:14)

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which He revealed His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

John 2:11 (NIV)


Notice that His disciples believed in Him… for them to suddenly believe in Him means they had to have some unbelief or doubt. Some questions in their mind…

So far, all they had were ordinary moments. By the world’s standards, there had been no miracles yet. Following Jesus for them was being with Jesus, loving people, being at a wedding, filling up jars…

Listen, one of the enemy's lies is to get you to doubt you’re doing the whole Jesus thing right… Like, did I spend time with Him the right way… why aren’t I seeing more miracles; when I pray, why isn’t more happening; why isn’t there movement?

Let me free you… just focus on being with Jesus in the ordinary moments, and they will become extraordinary.

Have you ever put so much pressure on a date or with friends that it is like you try to create a moment? Most of the best times with your friends or spouse are those organic moments, those ordinary moments.

Honestly, up to this point, everything has been pretty mundane. There have been no miracles and no supernatural moments. Just ordinary moments with Jesus, fairly mundane moments with Jesus…

But here is the principal… it’s often the mundane things that lead us to the miraculous. They are attending a wedding and watching pots be filled up, then suddenly, in a moment, they encounter the miraculous.

When you are faithful in the ordinary moments, you never know when God will show up in an extraordinary way!

Your daily pursuit paves the way for the miracles of God.


Take Pentecost… Jesus showed up to 500 people after He was resurrected… 500 people and told them to wait for Him… He told them to keep being faithful in the mundane. To keep showing up even when you don’t feel it. (Acts 1:3-5)

Then one morning, when they met for prayer, when they met for a church service like this… tongues of fire came… The Spirit showed up in a mighty way… (Acts 2:1-4) guess how many were there 120… that means 380 missed it…

Devotionals… time I spent with God that I’m not looking for it… I have never heard God speak over a loudspeaker Paging Bryan Jones… paging Bryan Jones… You just show up, and God speaks in mighty ways, and sometimes it feels more like filling jars…

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