This passage of the Bible has always intrigued me for a number of reasons.
Here is the passage in John Verse 2 (ESV version):
2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.[a] 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
Jesus had just called Phillip and Nathaniel to be two of his disciples while in Galilee. We then learn he is to attend a wedding and his disciples as
well as his mother will be attending.
What happens at the wedding to me is utterly fascinating. Here we have Jesus (who is the living breathing incarnate God!) being asked told by his mother Mary that the wine has run out. Clearly there must be an implied “please help” and judging at Jesus’ response he feels that it does not involve him.
There seems to be some interaction thats not recorded because Mary tells the servants to do what Jesus says and Jesus promptly gives instructions and performs a miracle to produce what is evidently very good wine. So even though Jesus indicates it does not involve him he seems to relent.
NOTE – and this is important – this is his first miracle. It was done at the behest of his mother and involved producing more wine. Not something like casting out demons or healing the sick.
This is one of the few times in the Bible we see direct interaction between Mary and Jesus. And it seems very mother / son in a way right?
Mom – “The wine has run out – do something about it!”
Son – “Woman, what does this have to do with me?”
One can imagine that exchange happening today between any mom and son. But the next statement by Jesus is fascinating – “My hour has not yet come.” yet he does it anyway. His hour of openly proclaiming him self as the savior has not yet come but he does the miracle for the wedding.
Bible scholars aren’t fully sure what the passage means – if there is significance in the specifics of the communication. Certainly there are many key aspects of it that are important to understanding Jesus:
- He can perform miracles
- He was a faithful son and helped his mother
- By Jesus’ statement about his time not yet having come – it seems clear Mary is very aware of Jesus future (obviously she was told by the Angel who Jesus would be)
- You get a sense that even though she knew Jesus was the savior the simple back and forth communication shows a somewhat “normal” mother-son relationship.
The last point is the one to me that most stands out. One of the great comforts we can have as Christians is knowing that Jesus was both fully man and fully God at the same time. He suffered. He knew pain. He knew what it was like to have parents. On those days when you feel down and out and that no one understands – Jesus truly does!
Here are some useful links to find commentary on this passage of the Bible: