|Mary and John: Chapter 2|
|Wednesday, 23 February 2011 13:00|
Have you ever seen a pendulum at work? It is mesmerizing to watch as it slowly swings back and forth, from one extreme to the other. A pendulum is what came to mind as I began to approach this week's Blotter subject. We are returning to John chapter 2 (The Wedding Feast at Cana) and the particular focus of this week's article is Jesus' mother, Mary.
Some believers, most notably some members of the Roman Catholic faith, assign Mary a position of great importance in the Church. Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (here comes the pendulum reference) often take the other extreme by hardly talking about her at all!
The proper, Biblical view of Mary lies somewhere in the middle, and John chapter 2 is a great aid in helping us regard her as we should.
Chapter 2 verse 1 is the first mention of Jesus' mother in John's Gospel. (There is no account of the birth of Christ in John: those accounts are found in Matthew and Luke). The wedding feast is in full swing when the wine runs out. This would have been a very awkward situation for the host. Mary tells Jesus: "They have no more wine."
It is clear by what Jesus says in verse 4 that Mary expected Him to do something extraordinary. This is remarkable since Jesus has not performed any miracle up to this point (vs. 11) Some thirty years have passed since Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to God's Son. How many of Mary's contemporaries believed the explanation of a virgin birth? Probably not many, if any! After all those years of being regarded with suspicion, who could blame Mary for wanting some vindication? A miracle at such a public event as a wedding would certainly do the trick.
But note Jesus' response. He is respectful, but firm: "Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come." Jesus had a definite plan for His ministry and this was not the time for a large scale revealing of His divinity.
Mary accepted Jesus' remark: there would be no grand display. Nevertheless, she was certain that Jesus would handle the situation: "Do whatever he tells you" she said to the servants.
The rest of the account tells the story of the miracle, but only the servants and Jesus' disciples were aware of what had happened.
So, what can we learn from this brief account that helps us properly understand how Mary should be viewed?
#1 She was undoubtedly a person of tremendous faith (and patience).
Even though Jesus had never performed a miracle in His first 30 years of life, Mary never doubted that He was God's Son.
#2 Mary did not tell Jesus what to do.
Jesus' response of vs. 4 was gentle and respectful, but it carried a hint of rebuke: He had a mission and a time schedule and He was not going to be deterred from it.
#3 Mary responded to Jesus with humility and faith.
She did not receive the vindication she wanted on this day, but she still believed that Jesus would handle the situation.
There is much more that could be said on the subject of how we should properly understand Mary, but this article is getting a little long. We'll stop for now, but let's get together again next week, shall we?
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:50|