Whine or Wine?

Mary’s Petition

“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus saith unto her, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.”
His mother saith unto the servants, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.
And he saith unto them, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.” And they bare it.”  John 2:1-8

I was reading the first two chapters in the book of John for my devotions this morning and these verses caught my attention.  I reread them and was impressed with the faith Mary demonstrated; I’ll share some of my thoughts with you.

Somebody had a problem.  It wasn’t Mary’s problem, but she knew about it – even though the governor of the wedding feast didn’t seem to be clued in.  I imagine the folks giving the feast were close relatives, maybe a cousin or even a sister or brother of Mary, which is why she and her children and even Jesus’ disciples were all invited.

So Mary was privy to the problem.  She didn’t get in a mad flap (like I might.) She didn’t wash her hands of the situation and leave others to deal with it (like I might.)  No, even though it wasn’t her problem, she brought it to Jesus’ attention.

His response was almost rude. It sounds to me a lot like,  “So? What am I supposed to do about it?  This isn’t ‘miracle time’ for me.”

Mary didn’t get huffy.  She didn’t say, “Listen, Son. These are our relatives and you have to help them out.”

She didn’t nag or scold. “Look, this is a disaster! Don’t just sit there. Get up and do something!”

She didn’t whine, “Something has to change here.  Can’t you please, please, do something?”

She didn’t have a solution to suggest.  “If you’d kindly make six buckets of wine appear right there in the pantry, we’d all be so grateful.”

What these verses tell me is that she was aware of the problem; there was no visible solution; she brought the problem to the only One Who could solve it; she kept her cool, sat on her pride and didn’t argue with Him about it.

Actually, I doubt she had any idea what Jesus could do to solve the problem, or even if He would do anything.  She simply informed Him about the situation and left it in His hands.  But she had faith…

She prepared for a solution.  She told the servants, “Whatever He tells you to do, be sure to follow through with it.”  I’m guessing she then took her place among the guests and waited to see if and how Jesus would provide.  (Where I’d have been pacing and stewing.)

These verses make me look at my own prayers, the petitions and the attitudes I come to God with.  Do I wash my hands of other people’s problems?  Do I bring these needs to the One Who can help, or mull them over for days and weeks first, trying to come up with a great solution to suggest to Him?  Do I believe He actually can and will do something?  Do I whine?  He just has to do something — like NOW!

Suppose Mary had said, “This isn’t my problem.”  Suppose she hadn’t wanted to bother Jesus with it.  What if she’d been doubtful that He could do anything and hadn’t said a word to the servants that would prepare them for their part in the solution?  I doubt there would have been any ‘water-turned-to-wine’ miracle in the Bible.

Lord, teach us “ask in faith, nothing wavering.”  James 1:6


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