For a while, I’ve been thinking about the story of Jesus’ first public miracle. It’s been on my mind again as I’ve read about the meals he attended, as well as those he longs to have with us now. The wedding at Cana was one of them. At these times he took the opportunity to teach important truths, and I’ve wondered what he wanted to teach me in this one. His disciples were present; his mother, Mary, was there too. John recorded the ‘water into wine’ story in his gospel – John 2:1- 12.
It might seem that Mary was a bit pushy in this situation. Although Jesus’ first response to her small hint looked rather discouraging, he then went on to create a miracle!
As I’ve thought of it, perhaps Mary may have experienced similar events before, in which her special son had come to her aid in times of need (obviously unbeknown to the other children in the family who found it difficult to believe in him during his time of ministry). I’ve no way of knowing whether Jesus performed miracles in his home, but we do know that he’d learnt to work at what he’d seen his heavenly Father doing, so here is an example from his public life.
Around this time I’d also been thinking about ‘fathers in the faith’ – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, plus others – and I’d noticed another thing in this story: Mary was a mother of faith. Her experience in this area began early. When the Archangel, Gabriel, came to tell her that she would become the mother of the Messiah, she was already in a place where she could accept God’s will for her life. The Lord’s word on a matter meant everything to Mary. He would have made sure that she knew about the promises he’d made to Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel. Even though some of these women had doubts in their faith walk, Mary could still learn from those mothers of faith. And Jesus always responds positively to faith – You can never please God without faith…he rewards those who sincerely look for him ~ Hebrews 11:6.
So what have I learnt from this story? First, Jesus is still in the business of providing simple things for me in my life. There have been situations in the past when I’ve needed help during financial stress. For example, before our son’s wedding, we lacked suitable clothes to wear, and I had to remember that my faith should be in the Lord (not in the Australian Government’s provision, as I’d originally thought!) Yes! It’s God who is my provider. And more recently, he’s provided words that gave me courage to trust him with my medication, by showing the doctor not to recommend an unnecessary medication for me which other doctors were eager to prescribe.
Another thing I learnt from the wedding at Cana was that Jesus revealed his glory in this event. I knew that Peter, James and John had seen Jesus in all his glory when he was transfigured on the mount. But it isn’t only in the majestic events that he shows his glory; it’s also in the common, down-to-earth, everyday moments. How personal is his touch on our lives at these times when we feel his presence surrounding us. I wonder what the bridegroom thought, or even the person in charge of that marriage feast in Cana, once they learnt of the miracle they’d been given, when they hadn’t even asked for it!
Mary, along with Jesus’ disciples and maybe his brothers, would have learnt something from this miraculous event. Perhaps you have too.