There are several interesting ideas in this text, one of which is how this is an example of Jesus’ family relationships. Jesus’ mother tried to tell her son what to do concerning his earthly ministry, and Jesus gave a response that seems to have been less than respectful. He says in verse 4, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me?" I can’t imagine even at this stage of my life calling my mama ’woman.’ Not without getting a back hand up the side of my head! But that is not the real point of contention in the scenario, for he also called her ’woman’ when he hung on the cross and was referring her to John as her new adopted son. Jesus’ use of the term ’woman’ was altogether solemn and respectful. But that next part, where he tells her that his time is not yet come, that’s where Jesus shows us that his earthly ministry was not to be determined by anyone but Jesus, not even his mother. The Roman Catholic Church makes an entire doctrine of how Mary deserves special attention above and beyond other people. They teach that prayers rendered to Mary are a way of smoothing things over with the Lord. After all, she is his mother. But Jesus was having none of that. The strange thing is that he eventually does what she wants, but he still says what he says to her, "My hour has not yet come." As if to say, "you may be right in what you’re saying, but neither you nor anyone else gets to tell the king of kings and lord of lords what to do. Even if you are my mother." Prayers to Mary may be well-intended, but according to this text, Jesus is still the man. Going to Mary may be what some have taught you to do, but the scripture here suggests that what Mary wants really won’t have any bearing on what Jesus does. He is going to do what he was called to do, whether or not his mother told him to.
Another interesting thing in this text is the presence of wine, and the ramifications of this in an evangelical setting. I was raised to abstain from all alcoholic beverages, that drinking was a sin, and smoking was a sin, and everything really was a sin. Some of you when we first met, you wanted to know if I thought it was all right to have a drink every now and then. And I know there are young people here who are listening to me, there are some alcoholics here as well, and some casual drinkers, some who enjoy a fine bottle of chardonay from time to time. And we have some fun considering the thought that Jesus not only never condemned the consumption of wine, but he even turned into an award-winning wine maker here in our text. One old preacher who insisted that drinking was a sin used to say, "Well if Jesus makes the wine, I’ll drink it. But I’m not touching anything made by Ernest and Julio." On the old show, Sanford and Son, the saintly character Aunt Esther quoted !
Ephesians 5:18 which says, "Be not drunk with wine." To which Fred Sanford responded, "But it doesn’t say anything about ripple." I still don’t drink alcoholic beverages, and I intend to never have any in my home. Not only because I don’t like the taste, but because I hope to set an example for my children, that they will never see their father drunk because never even drank. Like the apostle Paul says, that’s me talking not the lord. Scripture affirms the drinking of wine, the enjoyment of such customs, but not the misuse or excess of such practices. We serve grape juice instead of wine for communion because we don’t want to be a stumbling block for the alcoholic, for whom one small taste could be disastrous. We don’t serve wine because there are often times minors partaking. We don’t serve wine because of our belief that what is being served is not as important as what it represents and symbolizes. Jesus said to do this in remembrance of him, to remember his sacrifice, to remember the means by which he died and purchased our salvation. Whether it’s wine or juice or water as was put in the pots in our text, it’s what you’re doing and not what you’re drinking that matters. Remember. Be not drunk with wine. It is never biblical to drink too much. Of course the same can be said about eating too much, but we won’t go there. Anything in excess can lead to trouble.
But Jesus was invited to a wedding, and the wine ran out. I wonder if we understand the ramifications of this circumstance in the ancient days. Weddings back then were not one day affairs, but could go on for weeks at a time. And everyone was invited. It could be safely assumed that the entire village of Cana was at the feast, and that for the wine to run out was something that could have signaled some serious trouble for the host. And I suppose the thought isn’t too lost on us here at the church. Several times in the past few years, we have had such great attendance on particular first Sundays that we were worried if we might run out of communion wine. The embarrassment of running out, not being able to serve folks who came to be served, and just not being prepared. They ran out of wine. Those of you who weren’t in church and didn’t have a valid excuse, imagine your New Year’s Eve party running out of wine. Imagine running out of champagne before the ball dropped in Times Square. This wedding was in trouble.