Woman, What Does Your Concern Have to Do With Me?
John / Chapter 2 / V1-11 (NKJV)
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. ~Jn 2:1-11 (NKJV)
Instead of addressing Mary as “mother” (meetros), Jesus used the word “woman” (gunai). To address one’s mother in such a manner was rude and inappropriate. Could it be a wrong choice of word during the recording of this incident or that the Lord really addressed His mother as “woman”?
From the Lord’s reply, “what does your concern have to do with Me?” we know that “woman” was the word used to refer to Mary. If the word “mother” had been used, it would not agree with the question – what does your concern have to do with Me? The Lord for some reason had decided to put aside the kinship with Mary as His mother. He was declaring to Mary, “I am not your son, nor are you My mother, you are a woman of no relationship to Me.” This was followed by the Lord explaining that His hour had not yet come. What did He mean by this? The manner and reason of the Lord’s calling Mary as woman will become clear when we fully understand the intention of their words to each other.
Before the birth of Jesus, Mary had been told by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive and give birth to a son through the Holy Spirit. She would name Him Jesus and He would be called the Son of God – the eternal King of Israel (Luke 1:31-35). When the Lord attended the wedding at Cana, He had just recently begun His preaching ministry. It was likely that when Mary saw the wine at the wedding feast depleted, she naturally thought of her son, Jesus – the omnipotent Son of God. In Mary’s heart, Jesus was the most filial son in the world that any mother could ever ask for. Perhaps, as the mother of Jesus, to request for a miracle to meet the present need would not be deemed unreasonable. Yet, the Lord’s reply was, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” The Lord had deliberately used such harsh words in order to correct a grave mistake made by Mary.
According to the flesh, Jesus was the son of Mary. Therefore even though Jesus was God, He too had to submit to Mary just like any child must obey his parents. However, the Lord also wanted Mary to know that although she was His mother, she did not have any authority to instruct Him to exercise His divine powers. The decision to perform a miracle lay solely between Him and the Heavenly Father. Mary, a created being had no rights to interfere with the decision of the creator. She had trespassed the boundary of her relationship as the mother of Jesus by instructing Him - the Lord of the Universe, to perform a miracle as one would instruct her child. It was therefore necessary for the Lord to remind Mary that with regard to the matter of performing miracles, she had nothing to do with Him. Mary was merely a “woman” to Him and no longer His mother. She was in no position at all to use her relationship as His mother to make such a request.
From Jesus’ reply “My hour has not yet come”, we understand that it was not the time to perform miracles to reveal His identity as the Son of God. Now that the Lord had begun His ministry, whatever He did had to be in accordance to the Father’s will and this included the performing of miracles – “unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (John 5:19)(NASB).” To perform a miracle publicly at a wedding feast in order to reveal His identity as the Son of God, was obviously not appropriate in terms of the time and venue. To do so would be to direct the focus of the wedding away from the bride and bridegroom and place it upon Himself. Instead of revealing Himself as someone who was understanding, the Son of God would be deemed as insensitive. In assessing the situation, the Lord eventually chose to perform this miracle in secret: ‘When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”’ In doing so, the Lord was able to help the bridegroom to solve his problem without interrupting the wedding and at the same time revealed His glory as the Son of God: “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”
What the Lord had done in Cana was not merely the performing of a miracle, His handling of Mary’s request and the running out of wine at the marriage feast revealed that He was the King of Truth. In all things Jesus had resolved them fittingly and therefore flawlessly manifested His glory as the only begotten Son of God.