At the time of the Gospel story, weddings were major social events. And that’s not just for the direct families but for the whole community, who would all be invited to the celebrations. Any shortcomings would be remembered for a very long time and could be a considered a matter of shame which was to be avoided at all costs. So, difficulties with the wine supply at this particular wedding at Cana needed to be sorted.
In amongst all of the ‘what happened next’ two particular things come to notice – the importance of Mary’s role and that most of those present had no idea what had happened. Firstly, Mary recognised the problem and took responsibility. She may not have been able to resolve the wine shortage herself but she knew someone who could.
Despite showing initial reluctance, that someone, Jesus, did get the job done. He just needed a little encouragement from his mother! It would seem that Jesus certainly took the view that ‘mother knows best’!
So, how are we when it comes to taking responsibility? How do we react to being encouraged to take on a task? Perhaps more importantly, how effectively do we encourage others? If Mary hadn’t acted as she did there would have been no first miracle – and no best wine!
Getting on with it
Secondly, bearing in mind this was Jesus’ first miracle, there was no fanfare, no attention seeking. Only Jesus’ disciples and some servants knew what had taken place. The vast majority of those at the wedding just enjoyed the results by drinking the best wine! They were completely unaware that a miracle had taken place. It was the first of many that Jesus performed.
He continues to intervene and to perform miracles in our day. Wonderful, amazing and unexplained things happen. To most people that is put down to good fortune, luck or coincidence. Those who are aware of Jesus’ presence will testify that it is down to prayer and faith – and to God’s intervention. There are many instances where Jesus is intervening behind the scenes for those who don’t know him. They will taste the benefits (the best wine) and not think too much about it.
What’s our role?
Maybe our job is to introduce them to the Miracle Maker – the one who can change things for the better? Jesus – the one who does things without a need for fuss or trumpets blowing – well, not just yet anyway!!