Here in the first twelve verses of John chapter 2, we find the first miracle of Jesus. Jesus and His disciple were invited to a wedding feast where the host ran out of wine. This would have been an embarrassment for the bride and groom for the rest of their lives and many would have seen it as an omen about their future life together. It would have been a problem that the family and close friends would try to find a remedy for. This is where Mary steps in and asks Jesus to do something about it.
“When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told Him, “They don’t have any wine.”
John 2:3 HCSB https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.2.3.hcsb
This makes me wonder did Jesus do miracles before this that Mary had seen, or is this just a tribute to her great faith in Jesus. How much of who Jesus is and what He was going to be doing did she already understand?
Some want to use these passages as an indication of how we are to pray. Pray to Mary so she can go and tell Jesus. After all, that is what we see happen here. Mary was told about the problem and she took it to Jesus. Those that believe this will also use Rev. 12 saying that the woman in that chapter is referring to Mary. There are two problems with the belief that we should pray to Mary and ask her to intercede on our behalf. The first problem is that Mary, although blessed among all women, is not God. She is not Devine and is not part of the Godhead. Not only that in scripture we are only instructed to pray to the Father. In the economy of God, it is the Father that receives prays. The second problem about praying to Mary is that we are instructed in the Bible to not communicate with the dead. In fact, King Saul died because he consulted the dead for guidance (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
“Saul died for his unfaithfulness to the Lord because he did not keep the Lord’s word. He even consulted a medium for guidance, but he did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.” 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 HCSB https://www.bible.com/72/1ch.10.13-14.hcsb
Not only do we have the Old Testament that warns of speaking to or seeking guidance from the dead, but we also the instructions of the New Testament that teachers us that we should only seek guidance from God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We are also told that we only have one mediator between God and humanity, which is Jesus Christ.
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human,” 1 Timothy 2:5 HCSB https://www.bible.com/72/1ti.2.5.hcsb
From these verses, we can see that praying to Mary or any other saint would be unsupported biblically and therefore should be avoided. As far as Rev. 12 it is better to understand that the woman in that chapter is not referring to Mary, but instead is referring to Israel.
This brings us back to the topic of Jesus’ first recorded miracle.
“When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told Him, “They don’t have any wine.” “What has this concern of yours to do with Me, woman? ” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.” “Do whatever He tells you,” His mother told the servants. Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained 20 or 30 gallons. “Fill the jars with water,” Jesus told them. So they filled them to the brim. Then He said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the chief servant.” And they did. When the chief servant tasted the water (after it had become wine), he did not know where it came from — though the servants who had drawn the water knew. He called the groom and told him, “Everyone sets out the fine wine first, then, after people have drunk freely, the inferior. But you have kept the fine wine until now.” John 2:3-10 HCSB https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.2.3-10.hcsb
What I find interesting about these verses is that Jesus took what is ordinary and made it into something extraordinary. The first thing that stands out is that Jesus used the stone water jars that were used for Jewish purification, perhaps using the water jars is an image of Jesus fulfilling the law and bringing in the new. For this miracle, Jesus used the “what” and “who” that was available at the time. The common jars, common water, and the servants who would have been common people and not the important guests. So being common is not always a bad thing.
After filling the jars Jesus instructed them to take the wine and give it to the chief servant. Upon tasting it the chief servant declared that they had saved the best wine for the last. What I think stands out here is that Jesus took everything that people would have seen as common and used them to create something extraordinary. This should give us hope in our own lives. That we don’t have to be the best. That we may be considered common by others but as long as we are available and obedient to Jesus; He will turn us into something extraordinary that brings Him glory. The miracle of the water changed into the best wine is a testament to the fact; that anything changed by Jesus will be far better than it was before. So we should all trust Jesus with our hearts and lives and be changed into the best for His glory.
Questions for reflection:
What stands out to you about the first miracle of Jesus?
Are you available and obedient so that Jesus can do great things in you and through you?