I’ve been slowly working my way through the gospel of John this summer. A few weeks ago I read chapter 2 where Jesus changes water to wine. It was fun to read over again, especially now with imagery in my head from watching “The Chosen,” which by the way, if you have not watched it yet, finish reading this blog and then go watch it! It’s free, you can download the app on your phone and then stream it to your TV. It is amazing.
Anyway, you probably know the story. If you don’t know it, take a minute to read it – John 2:1-11. In the short 11 verses, Jesus goes to a wedding, the hosts of the wedding run out of wine, and then Jesus performs his first miracle, turning the jars of water into choice wine.
While what Jesus did was incredible and set the stage for all of the miracles that would take place during his three years of ministry, what got me when I read through it this time was Mary, Jesus’ mother.
Mary, the one who physically birthed our Savior, raised him into adulthood and no doubt trained him in the ways of the Lord is only mentioned 8 times within the gospels. A pretty small number for someone as important as Mary, but just because she doesn’t have more time in the spotlight doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from her.
This small passage about a wedding ceremony in Galilee teaches me three things in particular and they are straight from Mary.
First, Mary went directly to Jesus with her problem. At least from what we can tell from scripture Mary did not go and discuss the problem with friends, she did not gossip behind the backs of the hosts about their lack of ability to provide enough wine, she did not go to others to solve the problem, she went directly to Jesus.
Far too often something happens and I immediately turn to my friends or to Phillip for support and advice. I’m not saying that that is wrong, but what I am saying is that Jesus is often my second, third or fourth go-to person to talk through things with. What about you? Where does he fall in line? I long to be the one who goes directly to Jesus before anyone else; to take the pause before I speak or act to connect with my Father; to be the one who is so joined with the Spirit that my next move is His move.
Second, Mary didn’t offer advice to Jesus. She simply came to Jesus, stated the problem and then let Him make the next move.
I don’t like that I do it, but I do – when I finally take my problem to Jesus, I have come up with several good pieces of advice for Him or outcomes that I would like for Him to accomplish for me. Seriously, who am I?! I forget that He has the best plan, that He is Sovereign and that He will work whatever it is out for my ultimate good and for His glory. Often, my advice and outcomes that I offer to Him are the ones with the least amount of trial and suffering for me, but what if that trial and suffering is exactly what will take me to the next level with Him? I long to be the one who doesn’t offer advice, but just rests in the knowledge that He’s got it in His exceedingly capable hands.
Third, Mary had complete faith in Jesus. Mary took her problem directly to Jesus, she offered no advice and then she told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” She had full trust that He would take care of it in whatever way He saw fit. They just needed to obey what He told them to do. She knew that He would work it out.
The only glimpse we have into Jesus’ life before he started ministry was Him as a baby, a toddler and a 12 year old so we don’t know what happened each day in the home where Jesus grew up. We don’t know the conversations their family had over dinner or the quiet whispers before bed at night, but what we can see from this passage is that Mary knew full well that Jesus was the son of God and that he was capable of miraculous things because He was God incarnate.
Mary didn’t waver when she told the servants to do whatever he told them to do. She knew that the only solution to the problem was Jesus. I long to be the one who has complete faith in Jesus; the one who is fully confident that if I obey what He says, He will take care of it; to be the one who does not waver when the pressure is on.
How about you? Do you have the same longings as I do? I’m praying for you, friend, and for myself. I’m praying that we would take our problems directly to Jesus, that we wouldn’t come to him with our best options for solutions, and that we would have complete faith in Him.
May we be willing to learn from Mary.
“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” John 2:5
God, cause me to do whatever you tell me.