It’s a curious way to begin a public ministry. It appears Mary was invited to a wedding in Cana. Jesus and His Disciples went with her. They weren’t special guests, just friends of the family. In that culture a wedding celebration could last a week! Being good hosts was important to the family. The happy couple would exchange vows, the ceremony would end and the feast would begin.
They weren’t likely a wealthy family but for this wedding they spared no expense. Imagine the potential for embarrassment when the punch bowl ran dry. Mary was close to this family. Close enough to notice and be concerned when the wine ran out. She told her son. His response was respectful, but less than enthusiastic. “Woman, what does your concern have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
The story implies Mary was asking Jesus to do something about it, but it’s not clearly stated. Neither was Jesus being dismissive. He was simply saying this wasn’t His wedding. The celebration wasn’t about Him. His time would come to reach, teach, preach and work wonders, but in His estimation, this was not that time.
Mary, too, was respectful, understanding, yet undeterred. She goes to the servants and subtly motions toward Jesus, “Whatever He says to you, do it.“
That’s good advice.
My mom gave me similar advice. I grew up attending church. I often questioned the things I heard or saw. My mom would sometimes answer, “Even if a person doesn’t believe in the spiritual truth or the supernatural reality of Jesus you can’t deny the practical benefits that come from making wise choices based on His teaching. If you do what He says, your life will be better.”
The servants took Mary’s advice literally. They filled those water pots all the way to the brim with water, just like Jesus said. The containers held somewhere between 20 and 30 gallons.
You may know the rest of the story. The servants take the ‘water’ to the Master of the Feast – think ‘Wedding Coordinator’ – who takes one drink and declares his amazement that the couple had held back the best wine for the end of the celebration rather than the beginning. The water had turned to wine!
Jesus didn’t seek or receive credit from the couple or the crowd, yet He provided for them ‘exceedingly abundantly’ more than anyone could ask or think. I see this happen today. Someone will try to live by the ‘Golden Rule’. A charity will feed hungry people in an impoverished country. A family will adjust their lifestyle so they can get out of debt. The principles they apply have their source in the teaching of Jesus. The benefit they experience come from living according to His principles, yet He neither seeks nor receives credit. And that’s okay. Who gets the credit isn’t really the point. It’s as simple as a mother’s advice.
“Whatever He says to you, do it.”
You may have doubts about the spiritual truth found in Jesus but it’s hard to deny the practical benefit of living by His teaching. Put it to the test and see if it’s not true. Don’t take my word for it. Read the Bible, specifically the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), to discover what He taught and how He lived and then apply those principles to your life.
As you follow His lead I believe your quality of life will change and eventually you’ll come to the same conclusion the Disciples did. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Whatever He says to you, do it.