Friday Focus: Do Whatever He Tells You
On the third day there was a
wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his
disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have
no wine." And Jesus said to her,
"Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet
come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells
you." Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of
purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with
water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now
draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it. When
the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it
came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward
called the bridegroom and said to him,
"Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the
guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in
Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in
him. John 2: 1-11
This week Mary gently nudges Jesus into his public ministry.
And she blesses us with the best advice any mother has ever given: Do whatever he tells you. It’s a
surefire shortcut to all the caveats of Christianity. Just do what Jesus tells
you to do, and all the rest will follow. There is not the slightest deviation
from what Jesus tells us and what God expects. That’s because as John’s gospel
goes on to reveal in great detail: Jesus Christ is, was and always will be God.
Mary, his first disciple, has all the proof she needs. From the Annunciation
onward, she has kept it all in her heart. She has been the vessel of
Incarnation. She has nurtured and protected him. She has intimate experience
with God’s vast power. She has seen it grow in her and emerge in her Son. There
is no record that she ever looked for any favor or special consideration. But
now in her compassion for a couple of newlyweds in a bind, she asks for just a
pinch of divine intervention. And Jesus overcomes his reluctance and delivers.
In miraculously transforming water into wine, Jesus
does not call upon the Father to summon up miraculous power. He is not a
prophet or a holy man who aspires to channel the power of God. Jesus Christ is
God, the Second Person of the Trinity. As the soaring first chapter of John
tells us, from the beginning, Jesus is:
the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. In response to his
mother’s request, this wedding at Cana suddenly becomes the impromptu, out-of-town
opening for his mission of redemption.
At Cana, the Son duplicates in microcosm, the same divine
power over creation that the Father exercises on a grand scale every day. God
created the vine and teaches it to draw water by its roots and with the aid of
the sun turns that water into juice that ferments into wine. Jesus mirrors the
process at Cana. He demonstrates his divinity by willing the water into wine…
no sleight of hand, no magic tricks, no invocation of a higher power. Jesus Christ is Lord of all. Creation is his
to command. And if he wills that water is wine, it is.
This gospel shows us Jesus in transition. It is a
domestic slice of life. While Jesus is obviously still under his mother’s
influence and probably still part of her household, he has begun to attract
disciples. But after Cana, all will be different. His divine nature and his
mission emerge. As John tells us, Cana is: the
first of his signs…and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
So what do we take away from this gospel? Three very
important lessons … Jesus is God … take a tip from Mary and: Do whatever he tells you…and if you’re
having a party, don’t forget to invite Jesus.