The the last day of notes from Beth for this week.
The day before my wedding, we had a true disaster. The company who were supposed to be providing the chair covers for our venue disappeared from the face of the earth, taking our money with them. It was a catastrophe. We had to settle for the bare chairs. Can you imagine? The guests were mortified!
Obviously, I’m joking. The guests didn’t notice and, to be honest, it didn’t really cross my mind on the day. It definitely didn’t cross my husband’s mind! The disaster in the wedding in today’s passage wasn’t as trivial. It was humiliating; it was probably the equivalent to the electricity cutting out in the middle of the reception because you hadn’t paid the bill.
We’re not told whose wedding Jesus and his mother were attending but I get the impression that Mary knew them well. She knew the wine was gone seemingly early on and she had compassion on them and did the only thing she could do; she turned to Jesus.
What strikes me here is that Jesus hadn’t performed a miracle yet and so why did she bother telling him? What did she think he would do? Something in his demeanour and attitude over the last three decades must have created the impression that he could – and would – be able to do something about it.
In the translation, Jesus’ response to his mother seems rather rude! It’s not. I checked. When he calls her woman, it doesn’t show any kind of disrespect as it might today. However, he is quite firm with her. He tells her that his ‘hour has not yet come’. Jesus wouldn’t and didn’t ever lie and so it’s true, his hour hadn’t come and yet we are about to see his first miracle. Why, after Jesus’ response, did Mary tell the servants to follow his instructions? She must have known that, even if it wasn’t his hour, he would still do something. He wouldn’t let this family be humiliated.
Sometimes, when something bad happens, we can question God. We see good followers of the Lord question God in times of trial throughout the bible. However, if we know Christ – and I mean, really know Christ, like Mary – then we will trust him and know that he loves us.
I think some credit has to be given to the servants. They are advised to ‘do whatever he tells you’ (which is very good advice!) and they follow his directions exactly, without questioning him. They must have been terrified when they poured the water for the master of the banquet. Had they poured out water – which must have been what they were expecting to happen – he wouldn’t have reacted well!
Sometimes when we’re following Jesus, we don’t always know why we’re doing something, we just feel that we should. We can always trust God. We can always rely on him. He will never let us down.
Not only did Jesus have the power to turn water into wine but he had the power to turn water into the best wine. Should we expect anything less? God seems to provide more than we asked for. He sees our need and provides bountifully. Whether it is a physical need or a spiritual one, Christ is sufficient. ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!’ (1 John 3:1)
We don’t often focus on Christ’s ability and willingness to provide for our physical needs because we live in a culture where most things are accessible to us anyway. Not many of us wake up in the morning wondering how we will feed our family or where we will sleep at night but in cultures and communities where they do, God seems to perform more miracles. Maybe we should pray in faith for our physical needs more.
You bind the broken hearted and save all my tears
By Your word, You set the captives free
There is nothing in this world That You cannot do
I simply live, I simply live for You. (Russell Fragar)