“How does that concern you and Me?” (John 2:4)
The wedding was in full swing and apparently Jesus knew the bride and groom. He and His disciples (a newly forming group) were invited. His mother Mary was there too. And then the unthinkable happened. The wine ran out.
Of all the social expectations in the first century Jewish world, this one was clear. No matter how hard poverty had struck you, you still pulled out every possible stop for your son or daughter’s wedding. And to announce that you’d run out of wine mid-celebration was a serious social embarrassment.
Mary comes over to Jesus rather quietly and says, “They have no wine.” I doubt this was gossip or criticism. She expected Jesus to fix it! For whatever reason, she thought He could do something. And Jesus replied with this question:
“How does that concern you and Me?”
Jesus is not sure that this is any of His business. He knows it is certainly not His responsibility. If the wedding families couldn’t ration the wine appropriately, they’re to blame. They brought this social embarrassment upon themselves.
I love Mary’s motherly response. She ignores her son’s question and simply turns to the servants in charge of the party and says, “Just do whatever He says!” Mothers work like that, sometimes. She is utterly convinced that Jesus won’t ignore this need; that He’ll step up and do something. And, of course, Jesus does perform a miracle (his first) and turns water into additional wine; very good wine.
But His question catches my eye. To paraphrase Jesus: “Why should I care? It’s not my problem.”
The story highlights at least two truths.
First, the small things in other people’s lives do matter…and perhaps should matter a little more to us too. Are we too quick at times to assess the size of someone’s problem before we decide to help? Heroes like to make major saves, not help minor needs. But Jesus shows a different way.
Today, let’s be more sensitive to the little things that threaten to embarrass someone else. And, if possible, extend our hand.
Second, our small things matter to Jesus. The question He posed to His mother Mary sounds cold and callous, at first. I suspect He always intended to perform a miracle, but only if someone had the faith that He could and would.
What’s happening in your life that is awkward, embarrassing, or uncomfortable. Lost a job? Out of money? Carrying too much weight? Unable to finish a task at work? Our small things matter to Jesus. Really, they do. If we have faith, He can extend His hand and turn water into wine once again.