Think back to when you first became aware of who Jesus is. If you were raised in the church, then you probably heard Bible stories about Jesus that are commonly taught to children and you became aware of Jesus through the teacher. You knew Jesus in relation to the stories.
But I’m not talking about that kind of “knowing”. When did you personally come face to face with the Son of God? Did you obey His call at first or did you push away?
When I gave my life to Christ, I was a child. I remember being in a service that was heavy. I don’t recall what was spoken on, only that as a kid, I could sense how thick the presence of the Holy Spirit was in the sanctuary. There were hymns sang, a message given, and an altar call. Are you familiar with that feeling you get when you are 10 miles over the speed limit and you pass by a state patrolman? It’s an instant uh oh! I’ve just been caught! Your insides start to turn, your heart seems to beat faster and your hands get all sweaty.
That’s what it was like for me when I sat in the front pew at that altar call. I remember praying to God, not quite understanding what was going on, but realizing that God was dealing with me. I held it in as long as I could and then like a fire cracker was lit under my bottom, I jumped out of my seat and knelt at the altar, my mom and Dave Greenich Sr. beside me praying with me.
Fast forward many years. I had accepted Jesus, but I had accepted the Jesus that I heard in Bible stories. I had not grown beyond that. Out of lack of growth (a fault of my own), I became obstinate, unwilling to obey, and left Jesus at the church. My senior year of high school, I decided to try things on my own.
It wasn’t until I returned to the church that I came face to face with the Son of God and had to make a choice. When I observed our pastor and how Jesus lived through his life in what he endured, I saw what could only be the result of Jesus in his life. Both what I learned in children’s church and what I was about to learn as I responded in obedience to His voice blended into my coming face to face with the Son of God.
Mary had a face to face with Jesus as the Son of God. Mary, probably being the second human to look upon the face of Jesus (Joseph was probably the first), and being His mother, she is naturally the most familiar with the human side of Jesus. From the Luke 2 account of His Holy conception and birth, we know that Mary recognized Jesus as more than just a man. She heard an angel tell about Jesus, the shepherds recounted what the Heavenly Host told them, Simeon and Anna both shared their prophecy with her and Mary hid these things in her heart and pondered them. She heard John the Baptist call Him the Lamb of God.
Knowing all this, Mary knew her son was not like the others. And in John 2, she comes face to face with who Jesus is, not as her son, but as the Son of God.
Throughout this week, we are going to explore the wedding at Cana and the first great sign that shows the deity of Jesus. Today, we will set the stage for the next three devos that explore three benefits to obedience. Let’s start with the wedding at Cana in the second chapter of John.
John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;
John 2:2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.
John 2:3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Mary comes to Jesus and brings Him this news – why? This was a major crisis. In those days, the groom’s family was financially responsible for the wedding and the supply of wine being insufficient would result in embarrassment for his family, it would have stigmatized the couple, and opened the groom’s family to a potential lawsuit. This was a big deal!
So Mary, knowing what could possibly happen, comes to Jesus for help. We can’t assume why she came to Jesus. She knew He was different. Did she expect Him to perform a miracle – to show His deity? Possibly. It could also be that at this time, Jesus’ earthly father had already died, and Jesus became the one she would turn to in circumstances like this. Mary most likely did not know what Jesus would do, but **trusted** that he would do what was **right**.
In either case, Jesus makes what seems to be a somewhat curt reply.
John 2:4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”
Jesus doesn’t refer to Mary as His mother. He calls her woman.
Today, if I looked at my wife and said, “Woman, this color choice of paint has nothing to do with me”, there would be a good chance I would get that look that all men are familiar with – the one we get when we are in trouble!
But in Jesus referring to her as ‘woman’ it holds the equivalent of us referring to a woman as “Ma’am”. It was a polite, but not an intimate familial response. Jesus is putting distance between them. No longer can she look at Him as just her son, but as the Son of God. And in this moment, she is face to face with the Son of God, not the son of Mary and Joseph.
Jesus also further distances Himself in His statement, “what does that have to do with us?” This appears to be a Hebrew idiom that can be translated to “your concern and my concern are not the same”. Jesus further distances Himself as her son and positions himself to be seen as the Son of God. His concern was not the same as hers. Her concern was with the possible ramifications of running out of wine while His concern was His mission. Mary needed to recognize Him not as her son, but as the Son of God.
Let’s finish the passage.
John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
John 2:6 Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.
John 2:7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim.
John 2:8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him.
John 2:9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom,
John 2:10 and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus changed the water into wine and performed a miracle, not for show, but because it met a genuine need of the family. He met the need after Mary instructed the servants to do whatever He said. And they were obedient.
Jesus is waiting to meet our genuine needs – we only need to respond to Him in obedience. Many times we may not understand the why, but we have a wonderful confidence in the Who!
We can certainly trust that He will do what is right.