The perfect guest
– Greg Laurie – and

Are you facing what seems like an impossible situation?

A failing marriage?

Loss of employment?

Bad news from the doctor?

Then you need to read this article.

Because Jesus Christ is very concerned about what you are facing and has the very answer to your problem.

There is a story from the gospel of John that tells about a time Jesus attended a wedding in a place called Cana, in the Galilee area.

In Jesus’ day, a Jewish wedding ceremony was a big deal. It could last up to a week, sort of like a bridal shower, bachelor party, family reunion and honeymoon all rolled into one. But this wedding would be different than any before or after.

His mother, Mary, was there at this wedding, along with some of his followers. While they were there, the host of the wedding ran out of wine. So Mary spoke to her son about it. "They have no more wine," she told Jesus. Jesus replied, "Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come." Mary then turned to the servants and said, "Do whatever he tells you" (see John 2:1–5).

This seems to be an odd exchange, doesn’t it? Jesus seems almost rude to his mother, and Mary seems to think Jesus should use his divinity to solve a rather earthly problem. But I believe there is something important happening beneath the surface.

In addition to sparing their host some embarrassment, Mary perhaps had another motive behind her request: an opportunity to redeem her tarnished reputation. Through no fault of her own, Mary, a godly and morally pure woman, had lived her life under a shadow of suspicion. She had been immoral, the gossipers said. She had become pregnant out of wedlock.

On one occasion when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, he told them, "You are doing the things your own father does." They shot back, "We are not illegitimate children … the only father we have is God himself." The implication was clear enough.

For 30 years, Mary had lived with the humiliation of having her character questioned. In asking Jesus to perform this miracle, perhaps she not only was looking for the supply of wine to be replenished, but for vindication as well.

But Jesus doesn’t respond the way we might think he should. Notice the verbiage he used here. The Greek word used here for "woman" implies respect, but not necessarily warmth. It would be like addressing Mary as "Ma’am" or "Lady" – a somewhat curious term for someone to use for his own mother. It seemed unnecessarily formal under the circumstances. And that’s precisely why Jesus used it. He was changing the dynamic of His relationship with her. It may seem rather cold on the part of Jesus to address his loving mother this way, but what he said was as much for his mother’s good as it was for his Father’s good: "Ma’am, this is not the way it will be done, because my time has not yet come."

"My time has not yet come." What does this mean? Jesus was referring to the days of his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. He was speaking of the time when all the sin of the world would be poured upon him and he would be tortured, humiliated and crucified on a Roman cross. That was the time – the time of the completion of his earthly ministry – to which he was referring. Ultimately, in the final hours before his arrest, Jesus prayed, "Father, the time has come." So he was saying to his mother, "Lady, I understand what you’re trying to do. I appreciate it, but the time isn’t right. It will happen when it is supposed to happen."

Like Mary, we sometimes come to God and say, "I need you to do this right now. I need you to come through for me in this situation." Maybe we see someone getting away with their sin or we hear someone saying unkind things about us. We pray, "Lord, intervene. Do something about this." Sometimes God’s timing is such that the situation changes. But sometimes God says, "My time has not yet come. This is not the time for this to happen. Be patient. Wait on me."

I think Jesus enjoyed himself as a guest at this wedding. And shortly after his conversation with his mother, he did, in fact, do something about the wine shortage. (The Bible doesn’t tell us why Jesus decided to do so after the conversation he’d just had with Mary.) As I mentioned, running out of wine seems like a rather mundane problem for the Son of God to tackle. This would be Jesus’ first miracle, and it might seem like an odd choice. After all, he could have done something a bit more dramatic like restoring sight to a blind person, healing the sick or raising someone from the dead. Instead, he chose to turn water into wine.

Jesus performed a miracle that would bring happiness and joy to those who were celebrating. That is not to say it was frivolous in any way. If anything, Jesus demonstrated the unlimited power at his immediate disposal. At a moment’s notice, Jesus Christ can meet the needs of humanity. He can always provide what is lacking in earthly resources.