John 2:1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Mary and Jesus here seem to be speaking in secret code.

What did Mary expect to happen next?

  • Help them procure and/or transport more wine for/to the wedding ?
    – Lucian
    Jul 16, 2020 at 21:25
  • The servants appear to have told the mother of Jesus (she is not named, this is not personal) about the lack. Jesus rejects this intermediary. The servants are told to be obedient to Jesus. There is more, here, then mere practicalities. This has spiritual meaning.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 16, 2020 at 22:38

2 Answers 2


Here we must tread very carefully as this passage has been the cause of huge (and necessary) debate between Mariologists and Protestants. Most of the matters debated are not in this passage. So let us not try to claim to much.

What we do know is this:

  • Mary, Jesus' mother, was well aware that Jesus was the Messiah as explained by the angel before His birth and by Jesus Himself at the temple when He was 12.
  • The disciples probably knew this as well but from subsequent events it is clear that understood quite imperfectly and only dimly, and still harbored doubts.
  • The remainder of the populace were almost entirely ignorant of Jesus' Mission, including most of the guests at the wedding.

When Jesus said to Mary, "My hour is not yet come", He presumably meant that it was not yet time for His identity to be fully revealed. Such occurred subsequently on several occasions such as:

  • Matt 16:20 - Then He admonished the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ.
  • Luke 8:56 - Her parents were astounded, but Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
  • Mark 7:36 - And Jesus charged them to tell no one.
  • Mark 8:30 - And Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about Him.
  • Mark 9:9 - And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

... and so forth. This suggests that there had been "discussions" between Jesus and Mary about such matters but Mary, sensing that Jesus would do something without revealing too much gave the servants the succinct instruct, "Do whatever He asks". By this, I understand that the unstated message is, "It may look strange but just follow His instructions."

Jesus then performed the miracle of the wine in such a way that very few people knew what had been done (John 2:9). Even the master of the banquet was ignorant because he called the bridegroom aside to praise him for supply such high quality wine (John 2:10).

The reason for Jesus wanting to reveal His identity gradually and at the right time is complex and another question. Suffice to say here that if Jesus had revealed Himself and His divine power immediately, the wrath of the authorities would have been aroused too early and prevented Jesus from accomplishing all He intended to do.

Benson observes when commenting on John 2:5,

Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it — Obey his orders immediately and exactly, for he may have reasons for them beyond what you imagine. Hereby she declares her expectation of his performing some mighty work, in answer to what she had suggested to him; and prescribes a rule, which it would be well if every servant of Christ would invariably observe, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it, not questioning the reasonableness of the command, or its fitness to accomplish the end proposed, but implicitly obeying whatever is manifestly a precept of Christ.


Did Mary expect Jesus to perform a miracle in John 2:5?

4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

The expression appears many times in the OT, some of the verses I have mentioned below, it also appears six times in the NT (Matthew 8:29, Mark 1:24, 5:7, Luke 4:34 8:28 and John 2:4)

In the Hebrew scriptures.

2 Kings 3:13 (NASB)

13 Now Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What do I have to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” And the king of Israel said to him, “No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to give them into the hand of Moab.”

2 Samuel 16:10 (NASB)

10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? If he curses, and if the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’”

2 Chronicles 35:21 (NASB)

21 But [a]Neco sent messengers to him, saying, “What have we to do with each other, O King of Judah? I am not coming against you today but against the house with which I am at war, and God has ordered me to hurry. Stop for your own sake from interfering with God who is with me, so that He will not destroy you.”

In the Christian scriptures.

Matthew 8:29 (NIV)

29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

Mark 1:24 N (NIV)

24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

Luke 4:34 (KJV)

34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

This ancient expression literally means "What have I to do with you?" You will notice that on each occasion this question is used, it indicates and objection to the proposed thing, so when Jesus said this to his mother, it was a mild reproof, not to interfere in his ministry, He replied, “My hour has not yet come.” (Vs John 2: 4b)

Jesus had just begun his ministry and his main objective was to do his father's will ( John 4:34) and no one was to interfere with its predetermined course. Jesus in his reply to his mother was in no way disrespectful or nasty to her, she did feel embarrassed. Rather than ignoring his mother, Jesus took into consideration his mother's concern as well as His Father's will and so performed his first miracle-turning water into good quality wine.

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