The Whine

"Whatever He says to you, do it." John 2: 5

Jesus and His disciples were invited to attend a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. This becomes the first of seven signs affirming His Messianic mission, and it is the first public miracle performed by Jesus.

Also present at the wedding was Mary, the mother of Jesus. When the hosts ran out of wine, a social disaster, she turned to Jesus and said, "They have no wine." The exchange between mother and son appears to have been conducted on two different planets, or at least in two different languages. Most parents can relate.

Jesus responded by saying to his mother, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." This is not exactly a clear indication to us that Jesus understood what His mother had just said to Him. Again, most parents can relate. Whatever His meaning, apparently Mary seemed satisfied that she had said her piece and had been heard. She left the crisis in His hands.

With an air of, "My work is finished here," Mary tossed a little piece of advice towards the panicked servants. It is something every contemporary Christ-follower ought to have put in red ink next to their "Agape" tat.

"Whatever He says to you, do it.' " (John 2:5) They did, and the rest, as they say, is history.

"Whatever." I still cringe every time I hear that word. I was privileged to usher my teenaged daughters through the "Valley Girl" phase. It was a 1990's fad imported from California. Most cultural crazes and phases have the life expectancy of a fruit fly, but this seemed to have the shelf-life of a "Twinkie." I thought it would never end. It used every second of its allotted moments of fame on the cultural stage.

For the uninitiated, this is how it went. Every time a question was asked of a disenchanted teen, the correct response from them was always, "Whatever." The question simply didn't matter. The response was always the same. It could be said with disdain, disinterest, disrespect, or "whatever" particular mood swing was being experienced. "Whatever" became the word of choice and appropriate for the angst of the moment.

Still, there it is, from the lips of Mary to the ears of the servants of the household, "Whatever." She gave a confident heads up to those who were going to have to come up with a solution to the crisis du jour. It seems Mary knew something the servants didn't know. Perhaps she had become familiar with the drill in her own home. For three decades she had experienced what Jesus could do, when called upon. Mary's response to the crisis of the hour reveals she knew when Jesus was in the house, anything could happen. Good to know.

Nike's "Just Do It" campaign has been highly effective at convincing millions of people to lace up their running shoes, and to stop whining. Long before they made it into a household term, Mary had seen the wisdom in it. In her experience, when it came to Jesus, every potential crisis was an opportunity to see Him at work. It still is. Thank's Mary.

Jesus turned the water into wine. "Whatever" you call it, wine or grape juice, Jesus transformed the water, and the result impressed everyone who tasted it. "Whatever" the crisis, put it in the hands of Jesus. He has a way of turning the worst into the best, at just the right time.

"This beginning of His signs, Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him."
(John 2:11)

That is always the point of any great work of God. It should lead to great belief. Too often we treat Jesus like a traveling magician who has nothing better to do than to transform our "Whine List" into a "Wish List" for our self-gratification. Believing in Jesus should lead us to have a great passion for Him and His mission, not just a longing for what He can do for us.

Jesus turned the water into wine to reveal His transforming power, over the crisis at hand, but it was not a mere social grace to help an ill-prepared family save face in the community. When our "Whine List" becomes focused on our own personal needs, we miss the big picture. People obsessed with the lint their own navel, rarely weave it into a life-line for a lost world. Jesus turned the water into wine, but He can still turn a self-absorbed whine into selfless intercession for others. Now that's a miracle that will leave a good taste in the mouth's of a thirsty people. Save the best for last.