These are people he knows well. Relatives, most likely. I say this for two reasons. First, Jesus is allowed to bring his disciples. I can’t imagine them letting 12 extra people tag along if he was just a casual acquaintance! Second, Mary is involved in organizing the event. If she wasn’t, why would she care – or even know – that the wine had run out sooner than expected?
I can’t imagine Mary as some demure little pushover either. God chose her to bear the Christ child! This is a woman full of grace and conviction who takes her responsibilities seriously… and now the wine is all gone!
It’s hard for me to remember, sometimes, that Jesus was completely human. It’s important to remember he lived a sinless life without cheating. He wasn’t like an Einstein taking a 3rd-grade math test. Scripture tells us that God emptied himself of all power and privilege when he took on human flesh. Still 100% God, but he lived as Adam and Eve would have, if not for the Fall.
Now I’ve heard lots of teaching on these verses, about the symbolism and what it “means”. There are a hundred ways to go into it, but I’m just taking the text at face value. This is… simply… a wedding. Not of “important” people. It doesn’t even say who was getting married. Jesus isn’t in charge of anything; he’s just another guest having a good time with friends and family. Then mom interrupts him with, Jesus, we have a problem! He’s focused on other things.
Even after Mary informs him, he’s still focused on other things. (Okay, I see what you’re after, here. But, Mom, my ministry hasn’t even started yet!) Based on the text, I’m convinced that Jesus would not have done anything if Mary hadn’t pushed. That’s why I love this story!
Hang with me here; this is why I think this particular story is SO important… and I can’t think of another like it anywhere else in the Gospels. Most of us Christians, if we’re honest, don’t like being human. We’re so focused on striving for Christ-like-ness and with shaking off sin’s shackles… When we screw up and seek forgiveness, what do we say to ourselves? “Well, I’m only human.”
Being human is not a sin! Being limited – not being omniscient – is not a sin. Not recognizing ministry opportunities because we’re focused on other good things, even if they’re not “ministry” things, is not a sin. I’m not talking about sins like selfishness and self-absorption. I’m saying that not every mistake we make is sin. If I think the Biblical definition of being “made perfect” means never forgetting someone’s birthday, always using my turn signal, and knowing just the right words for any situation, well, I’m in for a lot of futility.
QUESTIONS: God used Mary to point something out to Jesus, and she had to be a little abrupt before he got it. If you’re a Jesus-follower, you’ve probably experienced it. But we don’t think of Jesus like that. Why?
Look at the scripture. When Jesus accepted prompting from someone that he knew was wise and Godly, what blessings resulted. (Some may not be written out!)
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for the people you’ve put in my life who help me recognize where you’re working. Give me the insight of your Holy Spirit, so can recognize if I need to repent of sins or offer myself grace for merely being human.