The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”but his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:1-5
Jesus gently rebuked His mother. We’ve never encountered anything like this before. What had she done? Mary’s suggestion didn’t feel self-serving. The rebuke couldn’t have felt very good if you put yourself in Mary’s place. It’s taken some years for me to begin to understand why it happened. The clues come from other places in the Gospel where Jesus addressed members of His family in ways that probably wounded their pride.
In this particular public setting, Mary presumed upon Jesus’ divinity at the wedding feast but Jesus exalted his sonship to His Father in heaven above his sonship to his mother. He had a radical allegiance to God’s will above his mother’s will. Jesus worked against Mary’s assumption that perhaps she had an inside track. He made it clear that no physical relationship on earth would control him. His mother would have no special advantage to guide his ministry or to even receive His salvation. Water being turned to wine would not be at a mother’s bidding. As the story unfolds, we’ll see that Jesus turns to His Father for direction and permission.
I recall the time in Luke 11 that a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus. ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!’ But He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’
Jesus said later on in Luke, ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.’ Luke 14:26 ‘Hate’ in this context doesn’t mean emotional hatred. It means preference; deferring to the One who takes priority. As adults, we are to leave the ways of our parents if what they expect of us conflicts with the voice of our Father. This is not an easy way to live but necessary for all disciples. When we struggle with the tension it often brings in relationships, we are comforted that Jesus knows what it’s like and He’s walked this journey before we did.
There was a time when Jesus addressed me, in my spirit, about the ways I caved to a certain family member’s whims and suggestions. I felt it was easier to give in than face the tension. I felt I heard Him say, “Christine, don’t do that anymore. Tell them you need to talk to me about it.” It did rattle the relationship but I look back and I’m amazed at the courage and grace that was supernaturally made available to me.
For every one who has to say no to family today for righteous reasons, let them feel the warmth of Your favor. Amen