LIFE

Did Jesus really speak harshly to his mother?

Here’s my take on John 2:1-11

First of all, let’s ask, “Why was Mary upset about the lack of wine at a wedding that wasn’t for one of her children?”

It’s clear she had some sort of role otherwise she wouldn’t have been concerned. Maybe she was helping a friend or distant relative.

So she approaches Jesus. And let’s make no mistake, she is expecting him to do something miraculous.

water into wine

A very important point to consider is that Mary knew Jesus was God’s son. Remember, she was told by the angel. How much she really grasped during that encounter is not clear. But it seemed she did know that her Jesus could perform miracles.

What Jesus knew about His mission on earth and when He knew it is also not clear.

Was Mary pushing Jesus to reveal Himself sooner than He should? Or could it be she knew this was His time?

As far as Jesus addressing Mary, every commentary I read stated His words were not spoken harshly.

But I’m not so sure.

Sometimes I think we want Jesus to be the one we imagine in our head, the one we need Him to be. We want to think of Jesus as meek and mild like the Christmas carols. We don’t want to think of Him growing up and becoming mature. And we certainly don’t want to believe He was as human as He was divine. Somehow that diminishes Him and His gentleness in our mind.

While I don’t think He was actually harsh, I do think He was irritated. He was irritated with His disciples more than once. He was often irritated and angry about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. So why does this story have to be interpreted any different? Why do we insist that Jesus couldn’t have possibly been a little irritated with His mother?

It is my belief that when we forget the human side of Jesus, it becomes harder to believe He understands our feelings, that He has experienced the very same feelings we experience. I then find that I don’t have to hesitate to confess my own feelings because I know He has experienced them Himself. He knows how it feels to be irritated, angry, jealous, etc.

And when we remember that Jesus expressed His feelings without being sinful, it should also prove to us that the mere feeling of emotions is not sin. It’s only when we act out those feelings inappropriately that it becomes sin.

Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than even God. We merely think something and wham!, we feel guilty. Don’t get me wrong. Certainly, when we find ourselves feeling irritated, angry, jealous, we should mentally take a step back in our thoughts and deal with it immediately. Otherwise, it might become sin.

The other day I was frustrated with someone because they were doing something far slower than I thought they should. Thank goodness, I immediately realized I was being judgemental about something totally unimportant and changed my thinking immediately. But I didn’t chastise myself for it although I did allow myself to reflect on it later to understand how I got there and prevent it from happening in the future.

The solution to avoid sin?:

Admit you are human.

Admit when you are irritated. 

Admit when you are angry.

Admit when you are jealous. 

You don’t have to beat yourself up because of your feelings. Just acknowledge it, confess it and move on. (You might want to read this post.)

God bless and have a good day.