We join Jesus and His newly assembled small band of disciples in Canna. They were invited to a wedding feast. I wonder if the disciples were a “Sure bring them along. The more the merrier” or they were invited individually beforehand. However it went there, they came as a group.
We all know the story here of Jesus turning the water into wine, FINE wine even, but why did He get tapped to deal with this problem in the first place? Jesus even asked that same question of His mother when she came to Him for help; “Woman, what does this have to do with me?” (verse 4). What was it in Jesus’ growing up years, or current behavior, that prompted Mary to come to Him with this issue? What was her responsibility in the whole scene?
I’m certain that Jesus didn’t routinely morph the dinner meals at home while He was growing up. He may have been tasked with praying the blessing as the eldest Son, especially after Joseph’s death. So why did Mary think He would act in this instance? And she DID believe He would act. Her comments to the servants proved that. She told them to “Do whatever He tells you” (verse 5). Then she goes off to attend to whatever else she had on her agenda. We are not even told that she hung around and encouraged the servants to do Jesus’ bidding. She simply made her request and left it in His capable hands.
What was she expecting Jesus to do? Was she expecting Him to go and purchase the supplies they needed? As His mother she was expecting obedience or at least honor. This was demanded of any Israelite child, no matter what age. To me though it sounds like she was expecting Him to do exactly what He did; move in a miraculous way!
I wonder what the servants were thinking as they filled the water jugs. Did they think this was step one in some process He was planning? Were they doing this under protest or with expectancy? What would have happened if they had refused? Would the miracle still have taken place?
I want to know what the servant who was tasked to bring the freshly dipped water/wine from the jug was thinking at the time. “Is He nuts?! Does He really think this is going to fool anyone?” Or maybe he was thinking something with a little more faith in it. “I wonder what it taste like. Would He mind if I had a sip too?” Did he present it with shaking hands or a triumphant smile? Did he tell the master later?
When we bring our requests to Jesus, do we come with Mary’s confidence? Confidence born out of a relationship where we KNOW He hears us and loves us enough to act on our behalf? Do we come with an attitude of service? Coming because we were told to do so by someone in authority over us? Or do we come trembling like Dorothy before the Wizard of Oz? Afraid of what He might do to us for bothering Him? I know He welcomes us no matter which way we come but our attitude in coming can have an impact on the outcome.
And when He tells us to act, how we act also has an impact on the outcome. If the servants had refused to draw the water or refused to bring it to the master there would have been a very different result. Jesus used their willingness, begrudging or not, to accomplish an extraordinary feat. He uses us too, begrudging or not, to minister to the lives of others around us. He doesn’t require that we always act with total confidence, but that we simply act when called upon. Yes, He could find another person to work through or even do whatever it is He has in mind through supernatural means, but then WE would miss being the one standing there watching the fulfillment of the miracle. I bet the servant who watched the master’s face when he tasted the wine was blown away at being part of that miracle! What a gift that was for him!
Jesus’ actions that day were done to honor His mother’s request. It wasn’t for the master of the house or the marriage couple that Jesus performed this miracle. It was because His mother asked Him to. Her heart’s desire was to help these people so it became Jesus’ desire too. He cares just as much about our heart’s desires as He did about hers.
We may not see the manifestation of our heart’s desires as quickly as Mary received hers, but He still brings them about. Sometimes we have to wait a long time and sometimes He even changes our desires to meet what He knows is best for us. Imagine if you child’s heart’s desire was for something dangerous or detrimental to them. You wouldn’t tell them they were stupid or foolish. You would listen to them and find what is beneath the desire that they are trying to meet, and then help them channel their desire into a safer workable alternative.
Thank You God that I can come to You with my needs, wants, and desires. Thank You for Your faithfulness over the years for me. I know I have not always gotten what I wanted but I always get what I need. Thank You too for the times You channeled my desires. Thank You for using me is some amazing ways over my life too. They don’t rank up there on the “Billy Graham” scale, but they are still precious to me. Thank You that You didn’t send me away when I came to You as “Dorothy.” Instead You showed me that I didn’t need to be afraid. You showed me Your love and calmed my fears. Sometimes I still get a little of the “shakes” when I pray for patience or for You to reach my family by “whatever means necessary”, but we have enough of a relationship that I’m learning to trust You even with those prayers. Thank You for that trust; for our relationship.