And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
John 2:4, NRSV
John 2 records the Wedding at Cana, where Jesus performs his first sign, turning water into wine. John 2:4 has often perplexed me. When his mother pointed out that there was no more wine, instead of getting right on it, Jesus responded, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
In order to get to the deeper meaning of Jesus’ response, I had to look past the fact that most of us would not be alive if we answered our mothers like that or had the nerve to address her as “woman.” I had to stop assuming that Jesus was trippin’ out on his mother. With the help of the Bible scholars, I was able to look at the world of the text and see a deeper message.
First, Jesus was not being rude by calling his mother, “woman.” He often addressed women with the greeting, “Woman,” but his use of the word does point to a larger point. Jesus was distancing himself from his family, his community, in preparation for his ministry. Second, by asking his mother why the problem was their concern, Jesus was distancing himself from human control. Mary’s response points to this. She says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (v5). She was not deterred by his distancing. She trusted him to do what He thought was best. Finally, by saying that his hour had not yet come, Jesus was distancing himself from human time and tapping into God’s eternal clock.
I say all this to say that sometimes, we become overly concerned with what others think. We get caught up in what our community thinks – family, friends, church folk, co-workers, etc. Sometimes we get caught up with things that don’t concern us. Sometimes we get caught up in human time. But, for believers, we must remember who is in full control of our lives, our plans and our time. While the world has its own perceptions of everything, we look to Jesus as a perfect example of how to live in community, on purpose, and on time.
Today, as you reflect, ask yourself these questions. Are you concerned about others’ perception of you or are you at peace with knowing that God’s opinion matters most? Are you looking at your milestones through human eyes or are you resting in the knowledge that God’s plan for your life reigns supreme? Whose time are you on? Are you pressed and pressured by human time or are you flowing effortlessly with God’s eternal clock?