“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with His disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.'” (John 2:1-4 ESV)
Mary has just quietly mentioned to Jesus that the family hosting the wedding is out of wine. How embarrassing! The rest of the guests will begin to notice soon, and there will be talk. Was it bad planning? Could they maybe not afford more wine—and if so, what does that say about the family finances? People’s tongues will wag, and it will embarrass the family for years.
They need help, clearly—and Mary believes Jesus will find a way to provide that help. She’s so sure of this that she doesn’t even ask Him—just lets Him know that there’s a need. She’s confident He will deal with it.
And He does, of course. He turns water into wine, and the party is saved. But not before He says something very strange: “What does this have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
That phrase, “My hour has not yet come,” pops up a lot in the Gospels. In the other places it clearly refers to Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. He is safe until that hour (see John 7:30, 8:20), but the night before His death, Jesus acknowledges that the hour has come (see John 12:23, 27, 13:1, 17:1). It is time for Him to lay down His life, to die and to rise again. So that God’s people may live forever, Jesus will provide forgiveness, peace, and a place in the family of God for everyone who trusts in Him. They will lack nothing.
And that might be the key to why Jesus says this strange thing to Mary, which could be translated as “Why are you involving Me? It isn’t time for Me to die yet.” Wine is a symbol of joy; it is also the element Jesus chose to give us His own blood through, in Holy Communion. To make wine, a grape must be crushed and give up its juice. To give us everlasting life and joy, Jesus Himself will be crushed. And He is glad to do it—to give us Himself, so that we may live and rejoice in Him forever.
Prayer: Dear Savior, thank You for giving Yourself so that we may have joy with You forever, at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Do people usually talk about death at weddings? Why or why not?
2. If wine is a symbol both of death (grapes being crushed) and life, is that true for bread/grain also?
3. How has Jesus brought joy into your life?