Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” … His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:3-5
When Mary told Jesus there was no more wine he wasn’t motivated to act. Yet Mary instructed the servants to, “do whatever he tells you.” This was to become Jesus’ first miracle so Mary had no historical grounds to believe Jesus would perform a miracle. Yet instinctively she knew Jesus could help.
However, Jesus’ response is out of proportion to the need. Running out of wine at a wedding was a major social embarrassment but surely not serious enough to warrant a miracle? Jesus’ first miracle wasn’t to save someone from dying or heal someone with an incurable disease. That would come later. His first miracle was to turn six jars each containing about 100 litres of water into wine. This was an enormous quantity of wine. Furthermore, it wasn’t just wine but the best quality wine and this wasted on guests who had already had enough to drink (verse 10).
Two things stand out to me in this story. The quantity and quality of the wine speak of God’s abundant provision. He doesn’t just meet our needs. He wants to provide more than we can handle. Second, it wasn’t the size of the need that prompted Jesus to act but the size of Mary’s faith. When we are prepared to trust the outcome to Jesus, not really knowing what he will do, we open the way for God’s abundant provision.
Yet often we have limited outcomes in mind. We have expectations of how God ought to solve our difficulties. We would rather God solved our problems quickly and quietly, but what if God wants to do more than we can handle?