(my take on the events surrounding the first miracle of Jesus)
Mary’s comment to her son at the wedding feast in Cana that, “They have no wine” you would have thought might have heard Jesus respond with, ‘That’s unfortunate mother.”
It was what Mary said with her eyes that evoked the response it did. “My time has not yet come,” said Jesus. This rebuff did not deter Mary at all. She told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them. The result of course, was the first miracle reportedly performed by Jesus.
Let’s go back a few nights prior to their attendance at the wedding when Jesus and Mary were eating an evening meal together. I can envisage the following conversation occurring:
Mary says, ‘Jesus, since Joseph died you have worked hard to provide for us and have put aside funds to ensure I will be comfortable even after you leave home to go about your Father’s work. When do you think this might happen’?
‘Mother,’ replies Jesus, ‘I am not ready yet. Why do you ask’?
‘I am very aware of the preparation you have already made by the earnest way in which you pray and your study that has made you conversant with the scriptures and the Jewish Law,’ replied Mary. ‘Besides, as your mother, I expect to be able to assist you in some way and I also need to prepare for this role and all the changes that it will bring to both our lives’.
‘The Father will tell me when the time is right,’ said Jesus. ‘And he will instruct me as to how I should proceed.’
Mary then said, ‘have you ever considered that maybe He might want you to feel confident enough to make the first move yourself’?
‘Mother, I feel sure the time is fast approaching when the reason for my existence will materialise and I must be guided by The Father.’
It was at that moment that Mary determined within herself to find a way to help her son with this extremely difficult decision concerning his future, however daunting it might appear for him and for her. (She had not forgotten the prophesy given to her when Jesus was presented at the Temple that ‘a sword would pierce her heart’). That night she asked God for guidance and she recognised the answer to her prayer at the following day’s wedding.
Meanwhile, back to the wedding feast. What was going through the mind of Jesus? He knew his mother well enough to realise what she was suggesting, particularly after their discussion the previous evening.
Jesus immediately asked The Father for guidance but there was no response forthcoming. Since returning back home after being lost as a youngster, Jesus had always been obedient to both Mary and Joseph’s wishes. But in his mind this request from his mother was by far the most important request he had faced during his life to date.
Still there was no direction from The Father. But instead, he felt the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit filling him with the same power the apostles were to feel at Pentecost. The Father had sent him The Paraclete.
Jesus then immediately went to the servants and told them to fill the empty wine jars with water.
The witnesses to this miracle were the master’s servants, just as the witnesses at the birth of Jesus were the lowly shepherds. The Father was already making it clear that the humble would be exalted.
The dictionary defines humility as having a low estimate of one’s own importance. Maybe The father is telling us that to share in the miracle that is Jesus, we first need to become humble like He was.
I’m Peter Mack and that’s how I feel.