Sunday, July 8, 2018

Transforming Transformation

When Jesus turned water into wine, He did so with no fanfare—quietly demonstrating the secret to the health and viability of the Church. Jesus commanded a handful of unnamed servants to fill six stone pots with water, then draw that water out and serve it as wine. That’s not how wine is usually made and served. Now while Jesus might have begun with grapes and sped up the wine-making process, or multiplied a half-filled cup of leftover wine, he chose instead to have water drawn out that it might be transformed into wine.

There is obvious symbolism here—the water of the Word transformed into the wine of the Spirit, and of course, allusions to the marriage supper of the Lamb. But there is more here than what lies on the surface.

Jesus commanded that water should fill these six stone water pots—containers used for ceremonial washing of hands and utensils. But Jesus repurposed these pots that he might reveal his glory and demonstrate Kingdom transformation. While it’s true that believers have been transformed from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of the Son by being born anew, our transformation was not meant to end there.

These six stone water pots represent the transformed heart of man, stone hearts repurposed for Kingdom use. Filled to overflowing with the cool, cleansing water of the Word, the servants dipped deep below the surface of these pots so that they might draw out the treasure within. That's when the transformation took place. What lies within the hearts of believers is real and substantial, but it often sits idle in the midst of a depleted supply of yesterday’s wine. But through this miracle, the servants demonstrated a better way. The moment they drew out the water, it turned into wine. Through this act, one form of transformation birthed another.

While it is the role of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip believers for ministry, each one of us has the ability to draw out the wine of the Spirit. This is what we refer to as encouragement. While we might already be familiar with and perform healthy acts of encouragement, complete encouragement involves the act of drawing out the gifts deposited within each other. This is what builds up the Church.

Our gifts must be manifested both within the church and to the world around us. While all believers might strive to be continually filled, we must also be constantly encouraged that we might realize our full potential and reach that goal. Deep calls to deep, transformation to transformation, and glory to glory. John tells us that Jesus revealed his glory to his disciples through this miracle. As his disciples today, we too must believe and therefore strive to draw from each other what He put there.

The wine produced that day was more than enough to satisfy all in both quantity and quality. Each and every gift of the Spirit together represent the tangible expression of the ministry of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and therefore must be drawn out until all are satisfied.