Saturday, August 21, 2010
Filled to the brim
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."
In reading this passage over again today and reading some commentary along with it, I felt more and more like I was watching a very intimate moment between mother and Son. Certain versions of these verses almost make it sound like Jesus was being harsh or abrupt with Mary, but I don't think this is the case at all. Jesus and his mother undoubtedly had a very close relationship, He being her oldest son, and she knowing who He was from the beginning. She was probably used to taking problems to Jesus and He was always adept at fixing them. When the wine ran out, she knew where to go. Another possibility, maybe this was Mary's way of gently nudging Jesus into the limelight, like a stage mother urging her charge to "get out there on stage, and show them who you are already."
Mary was a strong woman with just the right characteristics to handle everything that went along with being the mother of God's Son. She wasn't a lightweight. From the first dire warning from Simeon in the temple, this was a woman who was told that her heart would be pierced by a sword of great sorrow. But she also had great faith in her Son. That is why she brushed over His comment and went to the servants anyway......His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
I liked this commentary I found by John Reed:
It is important to understand the response Jesus made to his mother's indirect request. The Authorised Version conveys the sense better than any other version I know. Jesus replied: Woman what have I to do with thee." v4. This can be read with the emphasis on the 'do' which sounds as if Jesus is saying, "Woman I haven't got anything to do with you." In other words Jesus told Mary the shortage of wine was nothing to do with him - it was her problem.
I am pretty sure that Jesus would not speak to his mother like that. Jesus probably used an idiomatic expression in Aramaic. It would be difficult to translate this into the Greek. We use many idiomatic expressions in English like, 'put that in your pipe and smoke it.' It is not easy to convey the belligerence of that phrase in Japanese. Mary would hardly have asked him to assist if that was the sort of son he was.
Jesus spoke to his mother, as he had done many times in the past, in an amused, jocular fashion. He had a twinkle in his eye. He addressed her with a tolerant smile and Mary knew that he would do something to rescue the situation. Jesus had a sweet, easy and affectionate relationship with Mary. It is no bad thing to treat our parents with good humour and consideration and to do our best to please them.
"Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim." John 2:7 And the rest is history.....
God, please remove obstructions in my life that prevent You from filling me completely and then spilling that love onto others. Amen