July 21, 2013
The story of Jesus turning the water into wine has always been a little bit strangeto me. The dialogue between Jesus and Mary is difficult, it seems odd that Jesuswould turn water into wine, and this just isn’t that impressive as far as Hismiracles go. Why would this be His first one recorded in John, why does John evenbother to tell us about it at all, and why are there so many details?I’ve had some time to look it over this week, and while I don’t have every answer, Ido think it makes more sense. It’s important to remember that John writes to provethat Jesus is the anointed One of God. He is God’s Son and the Word at the sametime. It’s also important to remember that “
He came unto His own, and His own received Him not
” (1:11) and even when He was standing with them they didn’t know Him (1:26). He did, however, convince a few chosen followers to come afterHim, and it’s at this point that our story begins:
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him,They have no wine.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do withthee? mine hour is not yet come.
This is part of that confusing dialogue. Why is she worried about the wine? Whydoes she think Jesus can solve the problem? Why does He give her such a strangeanswer? The answer, I think, lies in keeping this within view of the main context.Mary knew who He was (Lk. 1:31-32; 2:14-19); she was like the other Jews whowaited for the Messiah to come and take over David’s throne. And now she’s donewith the waiting and she wants Him to act.But look at His response to her: “
Woman, what have I to do with thee?
” It doescome across a little condescending in English, but let’s not forget John’s main goal:who is this man? He’s not the Son of Mary; He’s the Son of God. When the womantries to impose her will upon God, God reminds her that she is only a woman. Shemay be blessed among other women, but she is still just a woman.“
What have I to do with thee?
” Literally He says,
Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί
(Ti emoi kai soi)or “What to me and to you?” There’s a similar statement used in Matthew 8:29when Jesus confronts the demons. They ask Him “
What have we to do with thee
Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί
or (Ti emin kai soi) “What to us and to you?” They may as well besaying, “What business do we have?” Or, as I think Jesus means with Mary, “What do we have in common?”