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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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”