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A display of glory at a marriage (1)

The third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also called to the marriage with his followers. Lacking wine, the mother of Jesus speaks to him, “They have no wine” and Jesus speaks to her, “Something for me and you, woman? My hour is not yet arrived.” His mother speaks to the servants, “Whatever he may speak to you, you do it.” Now there were six stone water-jars lying down there from the cleansing of the Jews, each having space for two or three measures. Jesus speaks to the servants, “Fill the water-jars with water” and they fill them up until above full and he speaks to them, “Now draw up and carry to the architriklinos.” So, they carry. But, as the architriklinos tasted the water having become wine and did not know its origin (but the servants who had drawn up the water knew), the architriklinos calls the bridegroom and speaks to him, “Every man puts down first the good wine, and when they may have well drunk, the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and displayed his own glory, and his followers trusted in him. John 2: 1-11 
At a marriage in Galilee, an invited man (not the bridegroom, not the bride’s father, not the best man) does something which displays his own glory. This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and displayed his own glory, and his followers trusted in him….’

Not a good idea? Agreed – at first blush quite inappropriate. But….

The marriage feast is going well until the wine runs out. Jesus’ mother (as mothers do) gives him a hint. “They have no wine.” Clearly, she knows that her son has very exceptional authority. Instead of an unhappy end with joyful celebration no longer available, his authority could restore the marriage feast.

‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.)
Jesus’ response to his mother is very strange.  “Something for me and for you, woman? My hour is not yet arrived.” (The first six original Greek words are ‘ti emoi kai soi mou gyne’ in that order, literally ‘it for-me and for-you woman’.) What do you make of that?

The obvious meaning is that Jesus was gently questioning the purpose behind his mother’s request. He was asking her to think. Was her request self-seeking? Was she also perhaps seeking good for him, for her son? 

If so, why then address her as “woman”? Why not say, 'mother'? Regrettably for you the reader I don’t know the reason. But I do have an idea for you to consider…

The first book in the Jewish Bible is Genesis. It’s also now the first book in the Christian Bible. Right at the start of that book is a word-picture of how hurt, harm and evil entered God’s creation - how grave unhappiness came to be part and parcel of all our lives. It came through self-seeking.

The word-picture describes Adam being given a wonderful helper. When Adam met her, he is recorded as saying, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

The word-picture goes on to say that Eve (the first 'woman') was tempted to disobey the one simple instruction given to her and her husband by the LORD God. The woman gave in to temptation. Here are her recorded reasons.

“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

All three reasons for breaking the great joy which both Adam and Eve had in fellowship with the LORD God were self-seeking. The woman wanted what was “good for food”, “a delight to the eyes” and wanted to be made “wise”. 

What do you think? When Jesus replied to Mary his mother, was he, very gently, reminding her that seeking God’s gifts of happiness and freedom from hurt, harm and evil is to seek things for one’s self when true joy is only to be found in returning to fellowship with the LORD God above? And when self-seeking even in our present age is still the reason for all our hurt….

‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)
Jesus added “My hour is not yet arrived.” When his hour did arrive, he became able to restore first joyful fellowship with the LORD God and then everything lost by the Adam and Eve. More next week.
Sinner Syvret

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