Glorious and Gracious: Devotional Commentary for March 7-13
This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us wisdom and insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.
1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;
2and both Jesus and His Disciples were invited to the wedding.
3When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."
4And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come."
5His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."
Three days after Nathanael's life-changing encounter with the Messiah, Jesus and His first five Disciples found themselves in Galilee at a small town called Cana. Cana was Nathanael's hometown. It was a small town several miles North of Nazareth, Jesus' hometown.
A wedding feast was taking place in Cana to which Mary the mother of Jesus, Jesus' Disciples, and Jesus Himself were invited. The text does not offer any explanation how either Mary, Jesus, or His Disciples were related to the wedding family. They were from a different town except Nathanael. Nevertheless, they were invited and were in attendance.
At some point during the festivities, the master of the wedding feast ran out of wine. There was nothing more to serve the wedding guests. In light of the region and the culture of the times, Near-Eastern weddings are major costly events with elaborate, extravagant revelry spanning days or weeks. Such a free flowing celebration is bound to deplete provisions. That was what caught Mary's attention. There was no wine.
Mary turned to her son and sought his help to address her concerns. Mary knew something about her son Jesus. After all, she raised him and pondered everything He said and did through His growing years. So she quietly came to Jesus and told him that the wedding family is out of wine. They have nothing to serve. But Jesus answered that His hour had not yet come and that the matter has nothing to do with Him or her.
Using a term of reverence according to the language of the times, Jesus reminded Mary that His hour and His mission are under the direct command of His Father in heaven. He is about His Father's business. He came to do His Father's Will. Although He was her son, He did not view the problem from the same perspective or in the same way as Mary.
Jesus did not turn down His mother's request or refuse to help. But He reminded His mother that His steps are ordered by His Father in heaven. He was on a unique timeline. Jesus wanted His mother to remember it was God's timetable that would determine the course of His earthly life.
Mary accepted Jesus' uncommon answer graciously. Somehow, she was aware that her son would in the end answer her request for help. Without hesitation, she turned to the servants and told them to follow His instructions and to listen to Him. She admonished everyone to obey His Words as she quietly surrendered her wishes to His Prerogatives.
6Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.
7Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." So they filled them up to the brim.
8And He said to them, "Draw some out now and take it to the Headwaiter." So they took it to him.
9When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom,
10and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now."
11This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
Jesus spoke and the servants obliged. Heeding Mary's words, the servants at the wedding feast listened to Jesus' orders and filled the six idle waterpots with water: obedience without question. Then they drew some water from the waterpots and gave it to the master of the wedding feast, as Jesus commanded: obedience continued.
The servants then stood in awe as they quietly watched the surprised master of the wedding pondering where this wonder came from. He did not know, but the servants did. After savoring the superb taste of the fine wine, the master of the feast had the bridegroom called and commended him on the exceptional quality of the latter wine. But he rebuked him for serving the finer wine after the wedding guests became less discriminating by the influences of an inferior wine.
Here in Cana of Galilee, Jesus manifested His Glory and revealed His Deity at a wedding which could not supply enough wine for its festivities. Not the mark of a well-organized event. Nevertheless, the imperfections of the wedding feast gave room for the manifestation of God's Glory in Jesus Christ. The newly called Disciples observed Jesus' miracle and believed on Him. Mary waited by faith in patience. The Disciples and the servants stood in awe. They all learned that, Jesus not only has the answer, but that He is the answer.
Wedding is a significant milestone in the lives of men and women. It is an event which consumes the attentions and assets of its participants. However, when viewed in God's timeless and universal scheme, it is only one of several important routines of man's earthly experiences.
But the matter of the wedding at Cana was quite different in Mary's mind. Mary was not discouraged by the cut-and-dry mundaneness of earthly events. So when she observed a need, she took it to Jesus. They ran out of wine at the wedding and Mary told her son that they have no wine.
Jesus' answer to Mary might seem evasive on face value. Not quite. His answer actually had multiple facets to it. First, He set the record straight. He made Mary aware that His steps are ordered by His Father in heaven. No one's concerns could thwart the greater Purpose for which He came to earth. He came to do His Father's Will.
Second, the hour of the revelation of His Glory had not yet arrived. He came to the wedding as an invited guest and as Mary's son. That was how He was known to the people. But once Mary accepted His answer and recognized His Authority as the Son of God, Jesus proceeded to meet the need His mother brought to His attention. He granted His mother's request as the Son of God, not as her son.
Mary acknowledged Jesus Authority and told the servants to follow His orders and do what He said. Then Jesus revealed His Glory by a miracle of unprecedented wonder in which He change water into wine. Mary spoke to Jesus as her son and He answered her as her Lord. That was the crux of the matter.
It was necessary that Jesus was no longer known to the people just as the earthly son of Joseph and Mary. He is the Son of God, the eternal Word Who took on flesh and dwelt among men to seek and save the lost. The wedding at Cana was the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. It was the event which opened the eyes of the people to the Glory of God in Jesus Christ.
His miracle reflected His Care and His undivided attention even to the least significant need we bring before Him. Mary heard it, the Disciples witnessed it, and the people saw it. Jesus' Power on the water, also transforms our souls into the newness of His redeeming Grace.