The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” [John 2:3 (NLT)]
We know from His encounter with the rabbis when he was twelve that Jesus was wise beyond His years but He’s not associated with any miracles until that day in Cana. The lack of wine at that wedding created a crisis and a solution was urgently needed but I wonder why Mary went to Jesus rather than the master of the banquet or host with the problem. Did she expect her son to perform a miracle? Whenever she ran short of wine at home in Nazareth, rather than going to market did she simply ask Jesus to make it? Like the widow of Zarephath, did Mary have an endless supply of oil and flour? I think not. Although Jesus was fully God, He also was fully man and, for the most part, lived within the restrictions of humanity. Moreover, not one of the miracles He performed was done for convenience.
If Jesus hadn’t acted as Mary’s personal 7-Eleven in Nazareth, why did she bring the predicament to Him? That she didn’t fully understand Jesus’ identity or mission was demonstrated later in His ministry when Mary and His brothers expressed fear that He’d lost His mind. Nevertheless, Mary knew Jesus was different and a man of wisdom, assurance and authority. Intuitively, she knew to turn to Him when things went wrong. Mary, however, never asked for a miracle; she simply stated the problem. While her words were a polite Middle Eastern way of implying that He should do something, what she expected is not clear. Perhaps she thought that He and His disciples knew where more wine could be obtained. Leaving the decision to Jesus as to whether He’d do anything and not knowing how it would be done, she told the servants to do as Jesus said.
Are we as upfront with Jesus concerning our problems as was Mary? Are our prayers as straightforward? Do we simply bring our concerns to Jesus and leave it at that or do we tell Him what we want Him to do and how He’s to do it? Are our prayers confident ones? Are we as sure as was Mary that Jesus can and will resolve the situation, answer the question, or provide what’s needed? She gave Him the problem and then walked away. Are we as willing to hand Him our concerns? Is Jesus the first one to whom we come with our problems or is He more like the 911 operator we call only when all else fails and the situation is dire?
When we come to Jesus do we come with a willingness to obey Him? “Whatever he says, do it,” said Mary. Remember, Jesus wasn’t the host; He was just another wedding guest. His instructions to fill ceremonial jugs with water and take some to the master of the banquet for tasting didn’t make much sense. Yet, we don’t read of the servants questioning Him. We don’t know at what point that water turned into wine but had I been one of those servants, I would have been shaking in my sandals. What if it still was water or, worse, sour wine? Nevertheless, they immediately did as they were told.
Let us learn from Mary’s faith in Jesus to solve our problems and the servants’ willingness to obey His instructions!
The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are at opposite sides of the same coin. [A. W. Tozer]