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John 2:1-11, Wedding at Cana

Sunday, January 14

Our Greatness Needs a Push

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Mothers want the best for their children. It’s what they do. Mothers also want their children to become productive and successful members of society using their best gifts to make the world a better place. In this text, we learn Mary was no exception.

Jesus had barely gathered followers when an opportunity to show his greatness found him. The wine ran out at a wedding – a terrible faux pas then and now. What an embarrassment it would have been for the wedding families to send the guests home unsatisfied! In a culture where shame was tangibly painful, Mary knew that Jesus had it within him to save them from such shame.

But Jesus resisted. Was it because he didn’t feel ready? Was it because God hadn’t yet given him the green light? We don’t know why, but clearly it wasn’t abhorrent for him to perform such a miracle or he certainly would have refused. But this exchange between Jesus and Mary is light and whimsical. Mary asks him to help. He refuses. Mary ignores his refusal and makes it impossible for him to say no.

Reluctantly, Jesus obliges, and the wedding is saved. His first miracle is done, and his ministry is officially underway. We will never know how long it might have taken Jesus to begin his ministry if not for Mary’s nudge, and we will never know what his first miracle might have been. Maybe this is how it was always supposed to happen. Nobody, including Jesus, lives and works in total isolation. All of us need to be surrounded by the people that push us, challenge us, support us, and love us no matter what. Sometimes our greatness needs a little push in the right direction from the people that know us better than we know ourselves.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Earlier Event: January 13
Psalm 66:20
Later Event: January 15
John 2:12, Jesus Goes to Capernaum