This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
1. For thirty years Christ had done no miracle: which is itself worthy to be called a miracle. He was content to live in obscurity till His hour was come. This is true greatness. In all the works of God there is a conspicuous absence of haste. Six slow days and nights of creative force before man was made. Two thousand years to discipline and form a Jewish people: four thousand years of darkness, ignorance, and crime before the fulness of the time. Whatever contradicts the Divine plan must pay the price of haste — brief duration.
2. St. Paul speaks of the glory of woman as distinct from that of man. Their provinces are not the same, and the qualities which are prominent and beautiful in the one are the reverse in the other. The glory of her who was highly favoured among women was different from that of her Son in degree — the one was human, the other was more: in order the one manifesting the grace of womanhood, the other the majesty and wisdom of manhood in which God dwelt. The glory of the Virgin consisted in —
I. HER CONSIDERATENESS. There is gentle womanly tact in the words "They have no wine." Unselfish thoughtfulness about other's comforts; delicate anxiety to save a straitened family from the exposure of their poverty. So in old times, with thoughtful hospitality, Rebekah offered water to Abraham's wayworn servant. So Martha showed her devotion even to excess. So the women ministered of their substance.
II. SUBMISSION. "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." Here is the true spirit of obedience. Not slavishness, but loyalty to and trust in a person whom we reverence. Submission at the outset of the Bible is revealed as woman's lot and destiny. The curse of obedience, as that of labour, transformed by Christ into a blessing. This blessing twofold.
1. Freedom from doubt. Mary felt no perplexity at the rebuke. A more masculine mind would have been made sullen and sceptical. Mary could not understand, but she could trust and wait. So with the Syro-Phoenician woman, Mental doubt rarely touches women. Soldiers and sailors do not doubt. Prompt, unquestioning obedience is the soil for faith.
2. Prevailing power with God. The Saviour's look promised, probably, more than His words. Prayer is a deep mystery to the masculine intellect. "How," says Logic, "can man's will modify the will of God? Where, then, lies the use of it?" But there is something mightier than intellect, truer than logic — the faith that works by love.
III. PURITY OF HEART AND LIFE.
1. Gradually the recognition of this became idolatry. Why? Before Christ the qualities honoured as Divine were probably masculine — Courage, Wisdom, Truth, Strength. But Christ proclaimed Meekness, Obedience, Affection, Purity — graces distinctly feminine. Men sought to give these new ideas embodiment, and they found them embodied in the Virgin Mother.
2. The only corrective for this idolatry is the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ. His heart had in it the blended qualities of both sexes, and when we have learned that in Christ there is all that is manly and all that is womanly, we are safe from Mariolatry.
(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
WEB: This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.