Saturday, January 20, 2018


Whatever he tells you to do, do it. (John 2:5)

Mary's conversation with Christ in this passage reveals a lot about the relationship between the sinner and the savior.  Jesus is her son, and so in obedience to the law, he needs to obey her.  She has not commanded him to do anything, however.  She is merely making a declaration, but he sees into her heart and understands the motives there.  She tells him that the wedding has run out of wine.  She is telling Jesus this, because she is prompting his divine nature.  She only has authority over his human nature, however.  Jesus responds with his divine nature by calling her "woman" instead of "mother."  He asks her, "what does this have to do with me?" Because she has no authority to command his divine nature.  She is a sinner, just like us.

And yet, we are told within the boundaries of the alternate version of Christianity that permeates our country that this is the relationship we are to have with Christ.  Jesus is our magic genie who will give us what we want when we want it.  Indeed, Psalm 23 does read, "The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want."  Jesus is happy to give us what we need in life, but he is the driving force.  We receive good things on his own terms.  We do not will the Lord to do anything.  He does out of his mercy and his providence.  When we abide in him, our wills follow his will.  Our wills should never lead his.

Mary repents of this transgression.  She says to the servants, "Whatever he tells you, do it."  This isn't her announcing that her son is going to obey her instructions anyway. She is responding humbly to the Lord's chastisement and informing the servants that they should respond with perfect obedience, not like she had done by presuming authority.

And finally, the miracle. Christ does provide for the want, but he does so on his own terms.  His way is better than anything we could have fathomed.  Christ's wine is the best possible, and it manifests his glory, the purpose of all his miracles.  Jesus is not a genie.  He is the genuine article.

Likewise, all our efforts on earth are like mere water in cisterns.  When we allow Jesus to control our lives, and when we surrender to his total truth, he turns our water into wine.  He glorifies our sinful deeds and turns them into good works.  Faith in Christ produces fruit that lasts forever, fruit that has been carried out in God.