The humble shall be exalted

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, something like, ‘That’s unfortunate mother”.

I think it was what Mary said with her eyes that evoked the response it did. “My time has not yet come,” said Jesus.  These words came from a 30-year-old, unmarried man, still living at home with his mother and most probably other members of the family, who had ‘been about his Father’s business’ in the temple at the age of 7.

At this point in time, I wonder if Jesus was actually aware of what the outcome for him was going to be once he commenced teaching the Father’s message of love and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through him in his ministry? I even wonder, if the Father had already told him he would suffer and die because of his principles? As a man, was he just frightened and even a little scared of what the future was to hold for him? Perhaps this was what was delaying him accepting that the ‘time’ was right.

When Mary heard her son’s response that he felt his time had not come yet, she must have wondered when he would commence the work she knew he had been created to perform. So, was it her motherly instinct or a divine message that gave her the courage to make the decision for him, by setting up what we read as the first miracle Jesus was to perform.

If her intuition was wrong, it could have been very embarrassing for her and could even have jeopardised the credibility of Jesus before he went public. His rebuff did not deter Mary at all. She told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them. The ball was in Jesus’ court. His mother had brought the issue to a head.

I wonder what was going through the mind of Jesus at that time? He knew his mother well enough to realise what she was suggesting, He knew she had brought the issue out into the open by telling the servants that by them doing as he suggested, would resolve the wine problem for their master. He knew if he followed his mother’s directions, there would be no turning back now. He knew his life was about to change radically. He went and spoke to the servants.

I expect Mary also had in mind that she would want to be able to assist her son in his work. She would need to prepare for this role and all the changes that it would bring to both their lives, irrespective of how daunting it might be for him and for her. (She had not forgotten the prophesy given her when Jesus was presented at the Temple that ‘a sword would pierce her heart’).

We read how Jesus would spend lengthy periods of time in prayer. His close relationship with The Father (‘The Father and I are one’) would almost definitely have given him an insight into the future. The transfiguration was certainly a pre-arranged plan. I doubt Jesus would normally have taken a couple of friends on a bush walk up a mountain just to improve their fitness.

Perhaps, Jesus’ broad understanding of the task ahead, came from the period immediately after His Baptism, when he went on retreat prior to going out on the road, and He was ‘administered to by Angels.’

He knew of his death and resurrection in advance (‘In a little while you will see me no more, than in a little while you will see me’). He knew in advance that Judas was about to betray him and what the consequences of that would mean. I doubt he had a spy in the camp that kept him informed of the happenings behind his back. I believe He relied on the information he gained from The Father during His regular prayer sessions.

And yet The Father would not put a halt to proceedings when His Son cried out to him in agony the night before he died. As a father, this pains me to understand why an alternative solution couldn’t have been found. That Jesus should have had to undergo such pain, agony, suffering and even death for his principles, so we might have eternal life, is a hard pill for me to swallow.

In setting up His team, Jesus firstly chose to call hard working fishermen to be His followers and support Him on His mission. The witnesses to the first miracle at the marriage feast were the master’s servants, just as the witnesses at the birth of Jesus were the lowly shepherds. The Father was making it clear that the humble would be exalted.

Maybe there is a message here for us. Maybe The Father is telling us, that to share in the miracle that is Jesus, we need first to become humble.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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