Daily D – John 2:3-5
The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” JOHN 2:3-5 (NLT)
Someone ought to write a book called, How to Talk to God. Think of all the things that book would teach.
- How to address God
- How to praise God
- How to thank God
- How to make requests of God for yourself
- How to make requests for other people
- How to pray about problems
- How to pray when you do not know what to say
- How to pray when angry
- How to pray when sad
- How to pray when full of joy
- How to pay as you walk along the way
The possibilities go on.
Actually, that book has been written. It is found right about the middle of the Old Testament. It is called Psalms. There you will find 150 poems, words of men to God which became God’s words to teach us how to talk to him. These are prayers real people prayed and God loved so much that he preserved them forever.
Do you ever wonder if he thinks about your prayers in the same way? Does he hold on to sticky notes and snippets from notepads with our requests which particularly moved his heart?
When we read John 2 about the wedding at Cana of Galilee, Baptists get uncomfortable with the whole wine thing. Why, I have even heard a Baptist preacher say, “If Jesus turns water into wine for you, then, and only then, you can drink it!”
Get past that issue for a moment and look at how Jesus’ mom, Mary, talked to Jesus, Immanuel, God with Us. She said rather pointedly, “They have no more wine.” Boom! Truth bomb! Jesus’ response is notable as well. “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”
Facts are stubborn things. Newspapers used to be filled with them. Here the facts were clear: No wine; big embarrassment.
After Jesus’ response, Mary, undeterred, simply turned to the servants and told them, “Do whatever he tells you.” Is that the way to talk to God even if he is your own son? Where did she learn to talk like that? Sure, it sounds like Mom 101, but still. She more than anyone on earth knew who Jesus was. Which is why she talked to him the way she did.
Let’s examine this a bit more closely. What did she do? She took another person’s problem to Jesus. She then instructed the servants to get ready for what came next. This sounds a lot like the psalms. Today’s reading in the Following Jesus One Year Bible Reading Plan includes Psalm 54. How did David pray in response to his life being on the line?
Come with great power, O God, and rescue me!
Defend me with your might.
Listen to my prayer, O God.
Pay attention to my plea.
For strangers are attacking me;
violent people are trying to kill me.
They care nothing for God.
Urgent, to the point, and as the poem goes on, expectant.
But God is my helper.
The Lord keeps me alive!
When Jesus prayed on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” how did he learn to talk to our Father in heaven like that? It was a direct quote of Psalm 22:1.
We learn to pray by praying along with the prayers preserved for us in Psalms. I chose this Bible reading plan this year because it has a psalm each day. These keep me in school learning to pray.
Back to Mary and her request: She told Jesus the circumstances. She told the servants to do whatever he said. This is good praying. This is a nice model for us. It sounds like what the Apostle Paul says in Phil. 4:6, 7:
Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
Today’s prayer lesson is this: Tell Jesus what the problem is. Get ready to do what he says.
One other note thought arises. Jesus did what only Jesus could do. What do you need from him that only he can do today? Tell him what it is. Do whatever he says. Miracles occur most often after obedience. Just a thought.
I will tell God what I need and do what he says.
Our Father, teach us to pray. Thank you for preserving Psalms for this purpose. Give us the kind of confidence Mary had that when she told Jesus the facts of the situation, he would respond appropriately. Teach us to express our fears to you and to expect your intervention. Teach us to trust you and to obey you. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.