What do you think about Mary, the blessed virgin? Have you heard people arguing about her? Do you understand what they mean when they speak of her perpetual virginity and immaculate conception? Do you simply respect her as a fellow-follower of Jesus, or do you pray to her as the Queen of Heaven?
Or maybe you’ve never given much thought to Mary . . .
We can fix that.
We’ve posted previously on Mary:
This post introduces the video of a lesson I gave on Mary last spring at Brookside Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There are three learning outcomes for this lesson:
- First, you’ll be able to understand what people—Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox alike— are saying about Mary, and why they’re saying it.
- Second, you’ll understand why Mary asked Jesus to deal with the wine running out at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee (John 2).
- Third, you’ll learn to reflect on Mary’s request as a model of prayer. Although Jesus rebuffed Mary’s request—she wasn’t mindful of his hour—what she said to the servants at the feast shows her confidence in Jesus and reminds us of our duty today, to “Do whatever he tells you!”
The Take Away
It’s helpful to understand the language that different churches use to describe Mary, and it’s fun to ponder what she was thinking when she told Jesus the wine had run out at the wedding feast. There’s even more value for us when we think of Mary’s request as a model of prayer. Are we mindful of the hour of Jesus’ passion when we pray, or do we just blurt out prayers assuming that God exists to meet our personal needs in the way we want them met? Hopefully we’re learning, as Mary was, about cruciform praying. Our requests, like hers, need to be in step with the hour of Jesus’ passion, when he prayed three times, “I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Here’s the video, let me know what you think by commenting below.
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John 2:1-12 NIV
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.