Whatever He Says To You…
John 2:1-5 MKJV And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. And the mother of Jesus was there. (2) And Jesus and His disciples were both invited to the marriage. (3) And when they lacked wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no wine. (4) Jesus said to her, Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come. (5) His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it.
Nathanael, who has just been introduced to Jesus in chapter 1 was from Cana (see John 21:2), so this wedding may have been his – or a friend of his, or even a friend of Mary the mother of Jesus because it is mentioned “the mother of Jesus was there.” Contrary to much modern speculation there is absolutely no evidence that this was the wedding of Jesus to Mary Magdalene. I think the way the narrative moves from introducing someone from Cana, to a wedding at Cana is a big hint that we are dealing with the same person or his family – Nathanael.
Putting such controversies aside, it was a big wedding and all and sundry, Jesus and the disciples were invited, the wine ran out and Mary asks Jesus to do a miracle – much to His exasperation. After Jesus’ mild rebuke Mary backs off and leaves it up to Jesus with the immortal words: “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Thus leaving it open for Jesus to do anything at all.
What did Jesus mean by “My time has not yet come” – probably that it was not yet time for His Messiah-ship to be made plain through signs and wonders. Miracles of provision such as that of the five thousand and here with the wine have a huge impact and can attract “rice Christians” that follow for an easy way to have a full stomach. Jesus did not want those sort of followers at this stage, when He was seeking out His core disciples.
Mary’s statement is good advice for all Christians: “Whatever Jesus says to you - do it.” Even if that is going to the mission field, or marrying a certain person, or taking a certain job – then do it.
As simple as this sound, doing what Jesus says raises a host of questions such as:
1. How do I know it was Jesus?
The voice is probably that of Jesus if it is loving and holy, if it lines up with Scripture and with your previous experience of the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is sometimes described as being “clean”, pure, light/positive and specific. God’s voice is patient and never “hurries” or urges in a “compulsive” fashion though it may indicate to do something straight away. The mind is left open, and clear and in a highly aware state. There is often a “ring of truth” about it.
2. How do I know it was not the Devil or my own flesh or my own mind?
God protects us from spiritual deception (Luke 11:11-13) and we can soon learn to tell when it is the Devil (lust, pride, accusation, snares), or the flesh (sex, money, power, worldly desires) or our own minds (often concerned with our own goals and importance). The Devil’s voice is often accusing, vague, confusing, dark, urgent, hasty, impulsive and compulsive and demanding instant irrational action. The mind is disabled and overpowered.
3. Does Jesus still tell people to do things today?
Yes Jesus still speaks to people today via the Holy Spirit who He has given to us as our Comforter and teacher (see John 14:26, 1 John 2:20,27, Acts chapters 8,10,13:1-3 etc).
If in doubt, TAKE TIME, think clearly, check the Scriptures, seek counsel from a wise spiritual leader – or even a few such people. Never hastily rush into something on the basis of an impression.
God’s leadings often lead to miracles – like the one in Cana or the Ethiopian eunuch. God’s holy nudges can have big consequences such as the time the Lord said to pack a certain black sweater when I went to camp – and it led to the conversion of five young people.
We need to wait in a state of “utter abandonment” on Him saying “Lord have your way, whenever, however.” This is very hard for the natural, logical impatient mind. Yet it is very necessary. We need to let God be God, just as Mary had to let Jesus be Jesus and stop trying to pressure Him. So on “major issues” take the matter to God in prayer then simply carry out your normal daily duties and wait for Jesus to speak.
Write down your thoughts in a journal. Let grace infuse you. Don’t harass God and hurry God and get stressed out and impatient, Daniel had to wait 21 days in a fasting mode to get his answer (see Daniel 10). Try and remain in that frame of mind that is obedient and supple and open to grace. Don’t try and twist God’s arm or force Him into a preconceived notion. Let Him speak – then do exactly what He says.
Blessings in Jesus,