Several years ago, I studied the biblical record of Mary from beginning to end. I looked at every passage where she is mentioned and traced her path as a woman, mother, and then disciple of her own son. Despite her extraordinary role in God’s redemptive plan, she was also utterly human.
Mary was likely serving at the Cana wedding, which Jesus and His disciples were attending. Cana was not far from Nazareth, so it might have been the marriage of a family member or close friend. Weddings were important events in Jewish community life and often lasted for several days. The standard for hospitality was high, so when the host ran out of wine, it would have been humiliating.
Mary stepped up with some creative problem solving. She went to Jesus and told Him, “They have no more wine” (v. 3). The subtext was that He should do something about it. She knew He could perform a miracle. She was ready for the public display of His power; Jesus was not. Jesus’ response of “woman” may sound disrespectful in English, but it was simply a formal address. Mary’s request had presumed upon Jesus as her son, so He respectfully redefined their relationship yet again. He would not act under her direction, but only in submission to God.
Some sort of silent communication must have passed between them though. Maybe a look or a nod, because, despite Jesus’ response, Mary instructed the servants to do everything Jesus said. Then Jesus told the servants to fill six stone jars with water and turned it into 120 gallons of the best wedding wine.
John called this event a “sign through which he revealed his glory” (v. 11). Through it, Jesus was doing more than merely displaying His power. He also revealed His identity, and His disciples responded with faith.
>> As we continue our study, we will see many of the women respond to Jesus in faith. Pray that your own faith would be strengthened as you witness their transforming encounters with our Savior.
Lord, as we make our requests to You, we remember that You are the God of the universe. We therefore make our requests humbly, with deference to Your will, secure in knowing that You listen with wisdom and love.