Monday, 19 December 2011

Journeying with Mary Day Twenty Three

Day Twenty Three - Monday 19th December 2011

John 2:1-11
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.  Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”  What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

The next time we meet Mary in the Gospels is at the wedding in Canaan as written about by John in the verses above.  Mary was the one who prompted the first miracle; the turning of water into wine.  She didn't ask Jesus if he was ready; she didn't suggest that he might do something special; she just told Jesus the facts of the situation and he knew it was his time.  Yet he denied that it was his time; instead of just asking his mother what he could do about it, he told her off.

This raises so many questions for me:
- how did Mary know Jesus could perform miracles?
- had Jesus actually done something miraculous before?
- had Mary and Jesus had conversations about his ministry and calling?
- what had changed their relationship that he would tell his mother off so publicly?

I wish the Bible had some more to offer to answer these questions, but it does not.  These questions were clearly not seen as important in the grand scheme of the gospel writers; we will never know what might have happened before this first recorded miracle.

And the day continues; in front of the gathered company, Mary just told the disciples to do whatever Jesus told them.  She completely ignored Jesus' chastising of her; she basically over ruled him, pushed him into performing a public miracle.  And he did; he allowed Mary to lead him despite not wishing to.

This event is so important in Jesus' ministry; his first recorded public miracle; and Mary was not only there, but she was instrumental.  Mary was important, possibly essential.

Prayer of the Day
Father we might find it hard to know what we are capable of and wonder when we should do your work; we do not have Mary by our sides but we do have you.  We ask today that you help us to hear your promptings more in our lives.  Amen.

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