Since the grand-narrative of Scripture begins with a wedding (Genesis 2:22-24) and ends with a wedding (Revelation 19:6-9) it would make sense that Jesus would begin His public earthly ministry at a wedding. It is no secret that the purpose behind Jesus turning water into wine is the same purpose behind every one of His miracles: to manifest His glory. His glory is the single most important reality of our faith. Any interpretation of Jesus’s earthly ministry or His miracles which does not prioritize His glory loses sight of the purpose of His coming.
But what does this miracle reveal about Jesus’s glory? We immediately see His power – there are YouTube videos on how to turn water into wine – by making something exist that previously did not. We also immediately see that Jesus was relationally engaged – He wasn’t locked away in an ivory tower pontificating on deep theological issues. But there is something more to be understood about the revelation of His glory through this miracle.
Turning our attention to the exchange between Jesus and his mother, Mary, we can learn a very valuable lesson about Jesus’s authority in our lives. In verse 3, we see Mary make the wedding’s problem, Jesus’s problem. The response given seems a little sharp from a son to his mother, but Jesus is not giving His mother a cold-hearted rebuke as it may first appear. John Calvin writes, “She was not sinning knowingly and willingly, but Christ meets the danger of His mother’s words being misconstrued, as if it were at her behest that He afterwards performed the miracle.” Perhaps another way of understanding the response is as if Jesus were saying: Your relationship with Me as my mother has no special power or privilege here; you are a woman like every other woman. My Father in heaven, no human being, determines what miracles I perform and when I perform them.
The reality of this truth is both incredibly good news for some and incredibly eye-opening news for others. Jesus’s response to Mary teaches us that our family tree doesn’t matter. Whether we come from a healthy, God-honoring family or a troubled, broken family – it is only our faith alone, through grace alone that saves us from our sins and allows us the privilege of a relationship with Jesus.
Do you find yourself spiritually lazy because of a healthy and comfortable family life? Or do you wrestle daily with the guilt and shame of a checkered past? Either way, may we learn what Mary was reminded by her son Jesus, that is not who or what we were that earns favor with Jesus – it is our faith and trust in Him alone that makes us adopted children of His.