Whatever he tells you to do, do it | John 2:4-5
And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:4-5 | ESV
Jesus says to his mom in equally hushed tones, “Mom. Stop. It’s none of our business. And it certainly isn’t any of mine. It’s not time – this isn’t how things are supposed to get started –”
But she was already off talking to those catering the food and drink: “Whatever he tells you to do,
do it.” MAV
As I read this interaction, I begin to see where our Catholic friends get their whole take on Mother Mary. I have so much Protestantism in my blood that I’ll probably never get to the place of hailing Mary for mercy, but, you have to admit, it sure works here. Mary comes to her Son with a dilemma holding within it the ingredients for a minor social catastrophe. Okay, it’s not a devastating tsunami, a potential bloodbath, or some literally earth-shaking development. It’s just the wine ran out…in a town and culture that lived for such moments of celebration. The couple would never live this down, period. So Mary speaks in hushed tones. “The wine is gone.” And the Son tries to hush his mother with his own hushed tones. The phrase he utters is literally, “What to me and to you?” It’s a protest frequently found on the lips of characters throughout the Bible Story, and it means, quite simply, “No. Way.” Perhaps a more full rendering would be something like, “This is none of our business.” However we want to express it, the bottom line here is that Jesus tells his mom “No” – and then follows up with the why: “It’s not time yet. Not here. Not today. Not like this.” Evidently they were on the same page that life was about to change in this little Nazareth household, that something had happened to Jesus in that river, that promises spoken three decades previously were about to begin unfolding and in them a sword was being raised to pierce a mother’s soul – but before it did, perhaps, a little wine, Son? And she doesn’t wait for the answer. I hear Jesus’ hushed negatory response trailing off as mom is already off telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you to do, do it.” And, suddenly, I see her glance over the shoulder of that waiter or waitress, her eyes meeting mine, the words for me, here, now, today. “Whatever he tells you to do, do it.” And who could argue with such a Mother?
“Whatever he tells you to do, do it.” How ready are you to hear this – to hear what it is he would have you do, and then to do it?
Lord Jesus, let me learn from the boldness of your Mother; let me drink of her faith, her humility, her persistence. Let me learn from her, and through her, let me taste and offer to others some unexpected mercies.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.