John 2:1-5 (NIV): On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Many questions have been asked about the wedding at Cana, and many conjectures put forth. But the details, as much as people crave them, are not important. As is true everywhere in the gospels, Jesus, His words, and His actions are the vital things. In this case, the wedding merely serves as the scene, the backdrop for His first sign – the place where He pulled the curtain back just a bit so that His glory could be revealed to His disciples.
Up to this time, Jesus had not performed any miracles or done any large-scale public preaching. He had left His home in Nazareth at the direction of the Father, aware that the time had come for Him to start down the path that had been laid out for Him. He was baptized by John in precise obedience to God’s will, and the Holy Spirit had descended on Him and remained (cf. Matthew 3:13-17). He was then led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where He successfully withstood the testing of the enemy (Matthew 4:1-11). Then He came back to the Jordan for a few days, where He gathered His first few disciples from among those who had been prepared by John. Now He was at a wedding, waiting for the Father’s go-ahead to start preaching, teaching, and doing the miracles that would attest to the reality of God’s kingdom.
When Mary, His mother, came to inform Him that the wine for the wedding had run out, she clearly expected Him to do something about it. She had always known that He would one day begin the work that she had been told about at the time of His conception. And then one day He had told her that the time had come, and had left. Then, a couple months later, He had come to the wedding with a little band of followers. In Her eyes, He had begun.
Jesus knew that the time for Him to “go public” was still on the near horizon. But He heard in His mother’s instructions to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you,” the Father’s guidance to fill this need in order to build the faith of those few that He had chosen to follow Him. And so He began a small “private” ministry before His “public” ministry officially started.
Father, even Jesus had to stay flexible and responsive to Your instructions. I know that it is really easy for me to get so fixated on the big goals that You have pointed me to that I can miss the opportunities that You want to help me to see and respond to along the way. Help me, Lord, to keep an open ear to Your voice, and an open eye to the margins of my way, just like Jesus did, so that I can respond to your slightest leading, and reveal Your glory along my way. Amen.