“Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Water into wine. The wedding miracle at Cana. It’s probably one of the most famous miracles Jesus performed on earth. Rescuing a newlywed couple and their families from the shame of running out of wine before their wedding feast had run its course.
There is a lot for us to celebrate in the details of this miracle. The fact that it was Jesus’ first public sign of His power and deity ~ how special that it was at a wedding, underscoring God’s love of marriage and its symbolism. It’s also noteworthy, I think, that this sign was a service to others. Now, of course, most of His miracles were about others ~ healing people is certainly doing them a service. But God has also performed miracles that were just to show His power. Walking on the water, for instance.
Not that anything He did was ever just showmanship. He has a reason for everything He does. But this miracle was a gift. A wedding gift. How thoughtful a sign for His young disciples to see!
Another thing to love about this miracle is the fact that it included His mother. She was the one who brought the problem to His attention and asked Him to do something about it. We don’t really know why. Some say that Mary must have been helping to serve at the feast, and perhaps she was overseeing the wine stewards. I’ve also heard it said that Mary was desperate for Him to do something miraculous so that the town would accept her “cockamamie” story about a virgin birth. But I don’t really go for that.
Jesus’ response to Mary is puzzling. At first, it’s the equivalent of, “So?” And then not only does He deny any interest in the problem, He seems to inform her that the timing is not right for Him to do anything about it.
Mary doesn’t even respond to Him though. She ignored His protests, turned to the wine servants and said, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
That, my friends, is faith. Quiet, confident faith. She brought Him the problem, and then could not be convinced ~ even by Him ~ that He would ignore it.
What made her so sure? This is believed to be Jesus’ first public sign of His deity, but had she seen others, in the privacy of their home? (Not including, of course, the miracle of His very conception.) Had He ever healed one of His little brothers or sisters? Had He ever made their food last a little longer in difficult times?
Or did she just know, from watching the Boy she had raised, that He could and would do something in this time of need? Had she seen the heights of His compassion, and His thoughtfulness? Was she thinking, at that moment, about how He had never, ever disobeyed her?
I don’t know if she was expecting Him to do exactly what He did, or if she thought maybe He would take a few of these strong friends of His, and go to the marketplace and buy more. But I like to think that she had nothing specific in mind. She just had faith. And that gave her peace enough to walk away without worrying about how He was going to handle it.
I’d like to face more of my prayers that way. I mean, I tend to pray a lot of “Thy will be done,” but only on the heels of my telling Him what I’d like to have done.
I think I’ll try more to take a page from Mary’s script: just tell Him the thing I’m concerned about, and then leave it in His hands. After all, every day is a good day for a miracle!