There’s an old saying, “God couldn’t be everywhere at once, so he made moms.”
That statement has horrible theology in it. But it attempts to convey the importance motherhood plays in our lives. Mothers hold a special place and role that no one else can fill.
This post is the fourth in a series on the Christian family. Our focus turns to the importance of motherhood. The foundation text is the famous account of the Wedding at Cana.
On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. John 2:1-2
Weddings in Palestine were a cause for great celebration. These events would last for several days. A crucial part of the celebration was the lavishness of the wine. Wine aplenty wasn’t because everyone attending the wedding wanted to get drunk. To clarify drunkenness was a social disgrace. The Jewish social custom required that there be plenty of wine for everyone. Hospitality was sacred in Jewish culture. And running out of wine would have been a humiliating experience for the wedding host. In a culture of honor and shame that would be devastating.
Mary understanding the situation came to Jesus and said, “They have run out of wine.” Jesus’ answer may seem abrupt—almost rude—if we don’t read it in context.
And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” John 2:4
Being from the South, I would never address my mom that way. The term “Woman” is not disrespectful. Jesus didn’t speak to his mom in English; he was talking to her in Aramaic. The term Jesus used was one of honor. It should be translated,“Dear Woman” or “Gracious Lady.” The phrase “What have I to do with thee” is a Hebrew idiom. Accurately, translated that means “Leave things to me, and I will settle them my way.” Mary said to the servants…
(v. 6) Do whatever he tells you.
There were six 20-30 gallon stone water jars nearby that were used for ceremonial washing. Jesus told the servants to fill the jars with water. They did, and then he told them to draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. The master of the banquet was not the bridegroom; he was more like a head-waiter. His job was to make sure the feast ran smoothly. The servants drew water from the stone jars and took some to the banquet master, and he said…
(v. 10) Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink, but you have saved the best till now.
As we look at how Jesus and his mother related to one another, there are three faith lessons that both parents and children can learn from this story. The lessons that this miracle is teaching are about a mother’s faith and how that faith can impact our lives. The first lesson we can learn is:
Parents often make jokes about how much they’re looking forward to getting the kids out of the house. And that day the kids are out of their hair forever. Kids often make jokes about getting out from under their parent’s control as soon as possible.
The fact is, however, the closer we remain to our parents or our children, even in adult years, the better off we’ll all be.
Mothers, the second lesson in this story is:
This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. John 2:11
I ran across this story to illustrate. The need to be aware of your child’s potential.
Wendell Burton is an actor and musician. In the early 70’s he was in “The Sterile Cuckoo,” and he played in some television dramas. Sometime in the mid-seventies, he became a Christian, and he recorded a couple of albums of contemporary Christian music. We met when he performed at my church.
Wendell’s mother is a Christian, too. She was in a Home Bible Study at her church in Los Angeles, and a member of her Bible Study group was Bob Dylan. When she met him, she said, “Oh, Mr. Dylan, you should meet my son. He’s a songwriter, too. I’ll bring you one of his albums.” When she told Wendell about it, he was embarrassed. He said, “Mom, please don’t bother Bob Dylan. He’s not interested in my music.” Wendell’s mom said, “Sure he is! [How could anyone not like your music?]” So, at the next Bible study, she gave Bob one of her son’s records.
A couple of weeks later, Wendell got a call from Bob Dylan. He said, “I listened to your album, and I think it’s good. In fact, I’m working on a song right now, and I would like your input. Can you stop by my house and listen to it?”
Wendell said, “Only a mother would assume that Bob Dylan and I are on the same level as songwriters.”
When Mary was at the wedding in Cana, and the wine suddenly ran out, immediately she went to Jesus because she knew he could do something about it.
Mary was the one who recognized his potential.
That’s the kind of mother every son and daughter needs—one that realizes her child’s potential, even before everyone else has a chance to. Look for the strengths in your children; remind them of the good they can do.
The third lesson in this story is:
Mary told Jesus about the situation regarding the wine; she told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do; then she stepped out of the picture. Then Jesus solved the problem his way, using his method.
Mary said to the servants:
(v. 5) Do whatever he tells you.
Mary didn’t try to tell Jesus how to perform miracles or how to be the Messiah. She let him make those decisions on his own. Every parent must learn when to step back and allow their child to make his or her decisions. Sometimes they’ll make decisions you don’t agree with–decisions that you don’t understand–but you have to be willing to allow them to handle the details of their lives themselves.
When your child was little, you were the only one who could offer the kind of love, nurture, encouragement, and support that he or she needed. Now that they’re full grown, you still can do it. They may no longer live in your house, but they still need you. They need you to be involved in their lives. They need you to recognize possibilities that they may not be able to recognize in themselves. And they need you to stand by them in support as they make their way in life.
Other Articles in this series on the Christian Family:
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