Why did Jesus refer to his mother as "woman" at the wedding in Cana?

Please explain this verse. It seems like a disrespectful thing to say to his mother.

John 2:2 - 4

ESV - 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 09 2016 Mini Saleem Bhatti

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
While I would agree that Jesus addressing His mother as "Woman" might sound abrupt or even rude to English speakers, that would not have been the case in the language that Jesus spoke, and in the time and culture in which He was living.

In that context, what Jesus said to Mary would have been understood as an acceptable or even respectful form of address, similar to using the word "Ma'am" in English. (Some English versions of the Bible seek to convey this sense by translating the term that Jesus used as "Dear woman" or "Dear lady".) 

(Also, interpreting Jesus' words as being discourteous to His mother would not make sense in light of the fact that He then proceeded to deal with the matter that she had brought to His attention (that is, the lack of wine at the wedding), even though (as He pointed out to her) He was not yet ready to reveal Himself by performing such miracles. Mary's wishes as His mother nevertheless still took priority for Him.)

(In addition, Jesus again used this same form of address in speaking to His mother from the cross (John 19:26), when He surely would have only meant to express His love for her and to comfort her, rather than to be discourteous to her.)

November 09 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
I am speculating here that Christ's calling his mother "woman" might be explained by catholics that this word refers to Mary's special spiritual status as the second Eve, succeeding the first woman (Gen 2:22). 

See https://www.stpeterslist.com/682/6-biblical-reasons-mary-is-the-new-eve/, for example. Christ is the second Adam, but the second Eve is claimed to be Mary, his mother, not his wife.

November 10 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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