Spend the week studying John 2:1-11. Consult the commentary provided and any additional study tools to enhance your preparation.
DETERMINE | which discussion points and study questions will work best for your group.
PRAY | for our pastors and this week’s message, the upcoming group time, your group members and their openness to God’s Word.
LANDING POINT | Living the supernatural life is about seeing God’s work and obeying Him when He calls.
Remember the 4 Rules for Small Group Discussion
- Confidentiality. What’s said in the group stays in the group.
- No cross-talk. Be considerate of others as they share. Refrain from side conversations and texting during group time.
- No fixing. We are not in the group to fix each other. Jesus does that part.
- Sharing. Be sensitive to the amount of time you share. Don’t talk too much or too little. Every person brings something valuable to the group.
As your group time begins, use this section to introduce the topic of discussion.
We live in a world obsessed with the supernatural. Just look at our entertainment and how many T.V. shows, movies and books out there deal with the subject. Of course, this fascination is nothing new. Humanity has always been curious about another reality beyond what we can see and touch. But what if the supernatural isn’t just the topic of the latest New York Times best seller? What if we’re actually living in two worlds, the physical and supernatural?
The Bible says we do live in two worlds, and John’s Gospel gives us a glimpse into them. John presents Jesus as more than just a man. He was supernatural. He arranged the first eleven chapters of his Gospel around seven supernatural signs (or miracles) of Jesus, because he wanted his readers to believe that Jesus was the Son of God. In Jesus there is power and life. And the life Jesus offered people long ago is the life He still offers today – a life that’s supernatural.
Over the next few weeks we’ll look at each of these signs and what they reveal about Jesus’ identity and power. You’ll also discuss what it looks like to experience God’s supernatural power and how it can make a real difference in your life.
Name some T.V. shows, movies and/or books that deal with the supernatural. How do they typically view the supernatural?
Have you had an experience with the supernatural world? If so, what happened? What did the experience teach you?
Select 2-3 questions to discuss as a group.
A wedding in Cana
The first sign in John’s Gospel is Jesus’ first recorded miracle in the Bible. Jesus had just called the first disciples and was in the region of Galilee. He wasn’t there long before an invitation came for Him and His disciples to attend a wedding. In that day, weddings often lasted for days and many from the community would come. So, for something to go wrong at this large event was truly shameful. But that’s what happened at this wedding. The wine ran out, and no one knew what to do.
Mary, Jesus’ mother, told Him there was no wine, but Jesus responded that His time had not yet come. Nevertheless, Mary instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus told them. Jesus spotted six, large water jars and told the servants to fill them and present them to the host. Miraculously, the water turned into wine! When the host tasted it, he was perplexed. So he went to the groom and said, “This is very unorthodox. Usually people serve the best wine first, but you’ve saved the best for now.”
Read John 2:1-11. What stands out to you in the story? Why?
Split the group into pairs and practice retelling the story in your own words.
When Jesus’ disciples saw this sign, they believed in Him. John wrote that the miracle showed Jesus’ glory, which means it demonstrated how He is the Creator and ruler of the universe He helped bring into existence. Moreover, as God He showed that He could provide for people’s needs.
What is it about miracles that help people believe in Jesus? Why do you think some don’t believe, despite witnessing a miracle?
How might Jesus’ display of power and authority in the story be an encouragement to you?
Select 2-3 question from this section to answer.
What does this miracle tell us about Jesus? Let’s look at three truths the miracle reveals.
God cares about the small things, too
First, Jesus didn’t save someone’s life that night. He saved their reputation. Jesus understood what was at stake and acted to help rescue the groom and his family from certain embarrassment and disgrace. God cares for us, even down to the smallest details. He knows us and wants to be our Provider. The size of your need doesn’t matter. It’s a need, and God sees it and is concerned about it.
How is your view of God different if you believe He cares about all areas of your life, big and small?
The universe obeys Jesus
Second, Jesus displayed power over the natural order to make this miracle happen. Even the simplest element (water) was obedient to His command. Isn’t it comforting to know that there’s nothing in this universe—natural or supernatural—that can stop Jesus from brining change into your life? He is the great change agent. He changed water to wine, but He also makes heard hearts soft towards Him. Nothing can keep Him from carrying out His purposes in your life and in this world.
What area in your life would you like Jesus to change most? Why?
Jesus offers something new and better
Third, Jesus produced something new and better at the wedding. The jars He used were actually for ritual purification. They represented the old way of the Law (i.e., the Jewish customs God required for payment and forgiveness of sins). But Jesus used these jars to introduce something new and better – grace. Jesus came to wash us clean from our sin and give us new life and joy in Him (something we don’t deserve but receive by grace).
In the Bible, wine was symbolic of gladness and joy and what life in God’s Kingdom is like. For Jesus to turn water into wine was a way of saying, “I have come to give you what God has promised. You can have true joy in Me and live the life God intended for you.” This is supernatural, because it’s God—in human flesh—intervening in history to offer something new and better for us.
Why do you think many Christians fail to experience the gladness and joy of a life with God?
Who in your life most needs to hear that Jesus offers a new and better life for them?
Select 1 question from this section to answer.
What would it look like for you to experience Jesus’ supernatural power in your life? How the characters in the story reacted to Jesus gives us three important actions.
Isn’t it interesting that Mary didn’t tell her son what to do? She simply brought her problem to Him and trusted Him to do the right thing. It’s the same for us. Often we run into situations where we don’t know what to do. The best thing we can do in those situations is come to Jesus with our problems and say, “You know what’s best. Show me how You’re working or what I need to do.”
How do you typically react when you encounter problems? Do you go to God or try and solve the problem yourself?
Do you find it peculiar how Jesus responded to His mother’s request? At first blush, it seems rude. However, Jesus wasn’t being rude. He was working according to His Father’s timetable, not Mary’s. There are areas in our lives where we’d like to see God move. But God doesn’t exist to simply do our bidding. That’s backwards thinking. Like Jesus, you need to be watchful and obedient in order to expe- rience His supernatural power in your life.
Where might God be calling you to wait on Him in your life? Explain.
Miracles happen when you obey. Obedience makes it easier for God to work, and we can expect God to work in our lives when we walk in step with Him. The supernatural life isn’t about possessing some otherworldly power or secret knowledge. It’s about seeing God at work in your life and obeying His calling. When you do this, supernatural things happen.
How does our obedience make it easier for God to work?
Praise God for the new and better way He offers through His Son, Jesus. Meditate on the sweet wine of joy and gladness God has given you in your life. Confess areas you’d like God to change or correct. Finish by asking God for eyes to see His work and a heart that obeys when He calls.
Midway through this week, send a follow-up email to your group with some or all of the following:
Read John 1:14-18 and Hebrews 1:1-3 and reflect on what these passages say about Jesus’ glory.
Ask the group to share any stories or lessons learned where they see God at work in their life.
More about John’s Gospel
John’s Gospel is certainly different from the other three (or Synoptic) Gospels. It was written later than the other Gospels. John’s literary style is highly symbolic; John presents Jesus as the word, light, bread, water and a shepherd to show the reader who Jesus is and what He is like.1 John also employs a vocabulary that differs from the Synoptic Gospels (e.g., signs instead of miracles, metaphors and allegories instead of parables). Despite the differences, John’s Gospel has the same purpose of the others – to show what Jesus said and did and how people responded to Him. In 20:30-31, John writes that the Gospel was written so the reader might come to faith in Jesus and have life in Him.
That God is sovereign means “God possesses all power and is the ruler of all things (Ps. 135:6; Dan. 4:34–35). God rules and works according to His eternal purpose, even through events that seem to contradict or oppose His rule.”2 The Bible speaks of God’s sovereignty in these main areas: creation, human history and redemption.3 Because Jesus is God, He has the same sovereign power and authority over the universe. Frequently the Gospels refer to episodes where Jesus performed miracles or showed supernatural knowledge that only God could possess.
Miracles have a purpose – to show God’s power and activity in nature, history and the lives of people. More than a magic trick, miracles reveal something true about God’s character and purposes.
1. Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2016.
2. T. Preston Pearce, “Sovereignty of God,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 1523.