Article by Jeremiah Riner
Mary is arguably the most famous mother who has ever existed. Much has been said and written about her life and rightfully so. Certainly, over exaggerations and false teachings surround her life as well, but we cannot pin those faults on this faithful mother. Many of the things which have been ascribed to her and associated with her throughout Scripture are abused and fall far short of Christian orthodoxy. This is why it's imperative we look at her life from a Biblical lens and not one of man-centeredness. With Mother's Day upon us here in the States, I thought it helpful to take a glimpse of one particular scene in her life and how we can learn more of our Master through this humble, obedient mother.
In John 2, we find ourselves reading of an important cultural event in the Jewish community during the time of Christ. A wedding ceremony and feast was taking place in the small community of Cana. This tiny village was not far from Jesus' home town of Nazareth. To no one's surprise, Jesus, His disciples, and His mother Mary are here. More than likely they not only knew the family, but there is a great possibility they were related to them. A one year engagement for the married couple to be was customary and it was the groom's responsibility to prepare for this special occasion.
First, the groom would be searching for or preparing a home for the couple to live in once they were married. Secondly, it was his responsibility to organize the ceremony and prepare for the celebration feast which followed. This had enormous cultural and social implications and the young man's reputation is without a doubt on the line. As one could see, this is a major moment and the couple would be focused on everything going as smoothly as possible.
By the time we get to verse 3 of John 2, a problem arises and it's here we see the first lesson from Mary's life we should glean from. As the wedding party realized they had run out of wine extremely early in the celebration feast, they are mortified. Mary, full of compassion and empathy, does exactly what all of God's people should learn: When problems arise, go the the Master. She immediately takes the issue to Jesus and what a great reminder this is to all of us. Self-sufficiency is a slap in the face of God and should be seen as an act of defiance. The psalmist says in Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Christ is to always be our first and most trusted option in the middle of life's knowns and unknowns alike. This type of trust speaks volumes about our spiritual maturity, particularly Mary's.
Of all people, Mary knew exactly what Jesus was capable of. Gabriel had declared in Luke 1:32 "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest." Mary had seen so much, experienced so much, been blessed so much, and loved Him so much, but Jesus' response in John 2:4 had to hurt. You see, their relationship for roughly 30 years is now about to change dramatically. The day she had been preparing for had finally come. His time to showcase Himself to the larger public as the Messiah had arrived. Jesus, in His reply to Mary's request of aiding with the lack of wine for the wedding feast, was respectful, but honest. Herein lies the second lesson: When the answer is difficult, trust the Master. Sometimes the answer we receive from the Lord may be hard to accept, but this is when trust is the most important. Isaiah 26:4 says, "Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Simply put, trusting the Master is never the wrong decision, regardless of how circumstances may appear.
The third and final lesson we learn from Mary is arguably the most important. As she leaves her request with Jesus, she makes her way to the servants at the feast in verse 5 and utters one of the greatest bits of wisdom contained in the Bible as she says to them, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." Believers, this is the way of true Christianity. Whatever the Lord says is always right and always good, therefore obedience to Him is always right and always good. Mary's lesson for us here is plain: When He speaks, obey the Master. Jesus doubles down on this in John14:15 when He told His disciples, "If ye love me, keep My commandments." Obedience to Christ is the hallmark of all true followers of the Lord. In fact, obeying the Master is the highest endeavor anyone could ever live for and the greatest privilege we can experience.
The marriage celebration continued on that day and what started out as a nightmare became one of the great testimonies of Jesus' power and glory ever recorded. All that could've went wrong was made right and while many celebrated and feasted the evening away, a woman at the party was pondering in her heart the wonderful things her faithful God had accomplished once again. I'm thankful for Mary, her faith, and the wisdom we can glean from her. But most of all I thank God that she points us to Christ in all facets of her life. In everything we do or say, be mindful of Mary's example and bring glory to God by giving preeminence to Jesus. Good mothers do this and they count it as their highest duty and honor. So should we!