Mary, Mary…Quite Contrary

“And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine.  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.”  John 2:1-5  

When I became a Christian and began reading the Bible, I quickly saw that many of the religious things I was taught in childhood have no Scriptural support whatsoever.  For instance, I discovered that the Mary I learned about in grade school is not the Mary we meet in the Gospels.  In fact, these two Marys are quite contrary.   In Chapter 2 of John’s Gospel, we see a short exchange between the Lord Jesus and His mother that dispels some myths that have arisen about Mary.  Please notice…

The Request of Mary
She tells her Son that the hosts of the wedding have run out of wine.  It’s admirable that she’s concerned for the newlyweds and wants their special day to go off without a hitch.  However, by doing so, she put herself in an inappropriate position, that of mediator, arbitrator, “go-between.”  Therefore, the Lord Jesus, knowing man’s propensity to idolatry, clarifies for all eternity that Mary is not man’s mediator.  Don’t miss…

The Reply to Mary
Our Lord knew His mother’s heart, and while He didn’t let her request go unmet, He didn’t let it go uncorrected either.  In the original Greek, our Lord’s reply is literally “Woman (a term of respect, like “Ma’am”), what between you and me?”  Right there He established an important principle: anyone with a request must take it directly to the Lord Jesus Himself.  She immediately understands, and issues to the servants…

The Report of Mary
What Mary said that day appears as seven little English words in my Bible, yet from a pragmatic perspective, she spoke volumes!  Looking for words to live by?  Consider these:

  • “Whatsoever…”  That means committing to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be — kind of like signing a blank check and handing it to Him to fill out afterward.
  • “He saith unto you…”  Our Saviour, Himself the Living Word, gave us a living Word (Heb. 4:12) through which He makes His will known to us.  If we will rightly divide the Word of Truth, we won’t have to rely upon the wisdom of this world or the traditions of men.
  • “… do it.”  I used to think Nike gave us the slogan “Just do it,” but apparently it was Mary!  When we decide to do the Lord’s revealed will and put our faith squarely in His Word, He will work in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

The Bible tells us in 1st Cor. 4:6 not to think of anyone above what is written.  We see that Mary is not our mediator, as the Scriptures make abundantly clear in John 14:6 and 1st Tim. 2:5.  And she is certainly not a “co-redeemer” because she could not save anyone.  In fact, Mary herself tells us she needed a Saviour (Luke 1:46-47).  That said, let us not forget that she was probably the most godly woman who ever walked this earth, and that she gave us a powerhouse, “one-sentence education” in Christian ministry.  If we really want to honor Mary, let’s take her timeless advice to us with regard to her Son, our Saviour: Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.

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