“Woman, how does your concern affect me?

Was Jesus simply showing His human side in Cana, or was Jesus finally accepting His role as caretaker of the least among us? We read about it in In John 2:1-11.

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them,
“Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
(although the servers who had drawn the water knew),
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.

This is one of my favorite passages from the Gospels, because to me it seems to show the very human side of Jesus as well as the divine.

Here, His mother, Mary, is concerned that the wedding couple has run out of wine during their celebration. She turns to Jesus, who she knows has great powers, wanting Him to do something to help them. But Jesus at first seems reluctant. Some see His response as a rebuke, almost a “What is this to you?” Perhaps it’s just the way the translators of this version of the Gospels chose their wording, but in saying “How does your concern affect me?” it could almost be a worry response, knowing that what He does next leads Him ultimately to His suffering and death on the cross. That’s the “affect me” part, Jesus the human not quite ready to leap ahead. In the end, with Mary pushing Him by telling the servers, “Do whatever he tells you,” Jesus gives in to his divinity and creates His first public miracle, changing water into wine.

Perhaps it was a teachable moment for Jesus, too. Maybe the “how does your concern affect me” response was the human Jesus wondering aloud how He personally was to be affected by this. Could this be the moment Jesus assumed the responsibility and the noble cause of caring for the needy? Here was a couple likely with a limited budget for their wedding celebration, since they didn’t have enough wine to last the event, and Jesus needed to come to their aid. Did it lead to His caring for the least among us? Was he teaching the rest of us something?

How often do we hear someone respond to the needs of others by saying, “How does your concern affect me?” Jesus answers it here, setting the example by providing for their needs. It is the duty of all who call themselves Christians to follow His example.

Of course, the scene in Cana is also where Jesus first showed His glory to His disciples, “and they began to believe in him.” How extraordinary is must have been to witness the Son of God turn water into wine!

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