His mother said unto the servants, “Whatever He says unto you, do it.” John 2:5
A wedding. An invitation. Six waterpots. No more wine. Servants. A problem. The Answer. Lord, how do You want me to put this all together? Right now, I’m thinking that You gave Mary these profound words to say. I’m thinking that You gave her these specific words not just for that moment and situation in time, but for all people and all time. “Whatever He says unto you, do it.”
Who were the people involved here? Well, You Jesus, Your mom, and Your disciples had been invited to a wedding in Cana. At the wedding, the wine ran out. I wonder if it was a struggling family and if this would have been very embarrassing for them? Mary knows and comes to You. Your answer to her makes us stop and think, “Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour is not yet come.” And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has tried to figure out that response. I compared some references across Bibles and I’m not so sure everyone agrees on that. But I know that addressing Your mom as “Mother” at that time was respectful and not rude. And I’m wondering if “What have I do do with you?” wouldn’t happen to be reminding Mary whose will You work according to. I’m wondering if You aren’t reminding Mary that it’s not just about what she wants or what we want, but that You are all about Your Father’s will. You have everything to do with Him.
And what does “My hour has not yet come” mean? Well, obviously it can’t mean, “I can’t do anything now.” And it can’t mean “This isn’t the time for me to do anything today.” Because You do act on her request and You do perform the first of Your public miracles. So what does it mean? Well, I’m not sure if this is referring to this moment in time or to the future completion of all things or both. But I do know that the word “hora” used here can mean an hour or an instant. And the word “heto” for come means arrive or to be present. So, what if You were saying, “Mom, at this moment I can’t do this because You want me to. I can only do this if it is the Father’s will. And this second, He has not told me to. But, should He tell me, then I will do it.”
I mean some people look at Your response to Mary as rude. But she didn’t seem to receive it that way. She seemed to proceed with hope. Because she went directly to the servants and told them, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” That doesn’t sound like a chagrined mother. That sounds like a mother who believes that the Father is going to direct the Son. That looks like a woman who believes more wine is on the way.
And from my experiences, I believe that You, Heavenly Father, love to answer our prayers for the needs of others. I’ve seen You do it time and time again in my life when others have been praying for specific needs or desires and I join in with them. And You answer their needs in such wonderful ways. So, maybe You were delighted that Mary was noticing someone else’s need and that she was desiring to save them from shame. And obviously, from what happens next, we see that You shared that with Jesus. And now it was Your will. And Your will will be done.
So, You, Jesus, tell the servants to fill the water pots. I guess that’s not such an unusual request. So they do it. I guess that wouldn’t be hard to obey. But, I wonder if the next request would have filled the servant with fear. “Draw some out now, and take it to the governor of the feast.” “What? We’re supposed to be serving wine, not water! You want me to serve him a glass of water! You want me to be the one to bear the bad tidings?” Well, I don’t know what they thought, but it is pretty normal for us to respond in doubt and fear. But maybe because they were used to being servants, they obeyed. It’s what servants did. Obey. It wasn’t part of their job description to question authority. So, maybe fear or not, they obeyed Jesus and bore the glass of liquid to the governor.
And Lord, I’m so grateful that they obeyed. Because of their obedience, a miracle was witnessed and the greatness of that miracle was announced. The governor, not knowing, declared the last of the wine even better than the first. But of course it was better, it wasn’t made by man. And that day the servants and the disciples saw Your glory, and Your disciples believed on You. They entrusted themselves to You.
So, my question is, “What do I do with the words You tell me?” Do I do whatever you tell me? Do I only obey what I agree with or what makes sense? Do I only obey what everyone else around me is saying is “for today”? Mary said, “Whatever He tells you, do it.” And I think that still speaks to me today. Whatever You tell me, I must do it. And it’s not that I must do it because I have to obey or else. But I must do it because the delight and the blessing is in the doing. And it’s not just in the doing. The delight and the blessing is in the trusting and the acting upon that trust. It’s a simple chain of events. No trust, no obey, no receiving the blessing. Let’s just apply it to the servants. No trust, no obey, no wine. The same thing goes for me. But when I trust, and obey, You wow me with Your provisions and Your presence!
Whatever You say. What does that look like? Most of the time we just look at Your direct commands, like Your do’s and Your don’ts. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think it takes observing You closely, seeing how You respond, seeing how You share, seeing how You give of Yourself, seeing how You reach out, seeing who You reach out to. Because this is all in Your Word and You’ve told it to us. So here You’ve said this all in a way. And because You’ve said it in Your Word, whether through Your own voice or the voice and pens of those You’ve inspired, now I am to do it, all of it. And this is You calling me into You, to be You in the world. This is You giving me the opportunity to not just see greater things than these, but to be a part of Your greater things. This is moment by moment responding to the will of God just as You did and this is doing so in Your power, in the midst of You, in the midst of You in me.
Lord, I am so grateful for these obedient servants that teach me about what living for You looks like. And they didn’t even have a personal realationship with You. So I am accountable for so much more. Make me a faithful servant all the days of my life. Only I want to be like the dear servant that was a friend also that Cornelius sought You for his well-being. I want to be a servant that You sing over and I want to sing over You. I want to obey and respond to everything You say. I don’t want to miss out on any part of You. I don’t want to obey because I want to be good. I want to obey because I love You and I want to ever draw closer to You. I want to delight in every word You speak, in every one of Your commands because I delight in You. And I want to feel and experience Your delight in and over me.
And Lord, always give me an eye to see the needs of others. Give me compassion, true compassion for them. May I always come to You on their behalf and may I come expecting Your love and Your answers to be poured out in love on their behalf. And may I always walk away with an appropriate response on my behalf in faith and expectation just like Mary did. May I always be sensitive to Your will and Your timing. And may I give You opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to show Yourself God before others and to be glorified. May You have everything to do with me because I want everything to do with Your will. Make this true in me and in my life.