"And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what has this to do with me? My hour has not yet come." John 2:4
John 2:1 - 4
ESV - 1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.
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He meant that the hour for him to show Himself as Messiah and king of the Jews had not yet arrived. In a broader view, His hour did not "fully come" until He was crucified (John 7:30, John 19:30, Luke 17:20-21). Though He did do as His mother wished, His hour still had 'not yet come'. After the water-to-wine, He did perform miracles and conversations, but He did not publicly declare Himself as the Messiah. There was a lot of speculation, however, by the people and the authorities (John 7:25-26). This is further explained in John 7:1-13. " But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil." Jesus' brothers wished Him to publicly announce Himself as the Messiah and prove it with public miracles. [It is very possible that they were teasing or mocking Him, for they did not believe He was the Messiah]. They were saying that if He was the Messiah, He needed to announce it before the whole people and prove it, not just walk around Galilee with His Disciples performing miracles. Jesus did later go up to the Festival, but in private. He taught there, too (John 7:14-15) He was viewed as a wise teacher with the power of God behind Him (John 3:2), but only a few were beginning to understand that He was the Messiah (John 7:40-41). Jesus had performed several miracles up to this point, some very public (John 2:23-24) - but the question of whether or not He was the Messiah had not been decided by the people. Some, thinking He was, wanted to crown Him king (John 6:14-15). Others, believing His ministry false, wished to kill Him (John 7:1). The Jews expected Christ to come in glory and set up an earthly kingdom, as He will at His second coming. The kingdom of God, however, is an eternal one that reigns over our hearts (John 18:36-37, Luke 10:9, Luke 11:20, Rom 14:13-18, Mark 10:15, Mark 12:28) and Christ revealed its coming by His death and Resurrection (Daniel 2:31-35). When His hour 'fully came', He was acknowledged as king of the Jews and put to death (John 19:21). " Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners". (Mark 14:41) "Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:28-30) The signs accompanying, including the Resurrection, finally proved Him as the Messiah to many who had doubted. (Matt 2:54). After His Resurrection, He announced "“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”" (Matt 28:18-20) This is the very public announcement of His authority and kingdom that His brothers had wanted Him to make earlier. It is possible that his mother asked Him to perform the miracle of water to wine because she wanted Him to publicly declare Himself as the Messiah, as she knew "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:32-33)
Jennifer as always gave a great answer. I want to add my personal view that I hope some can relate to. I have mentioned in another post the video "The Star of Bethlehem" (which can be seen on youtube). I believe Mr. Larson presents an amazing demonstration of the Majesty of God. When I watched this video, I was amazed at how God chose the exact time of Jesus death on the cross (and of his birth) when the universe was first formed. The heavenly bodies were put in motion so that through mathematics we can view events in the skies at any time in history. The events of Jesus life (and death) obviously are the most important things that have ever happened. And this was set in motion from the very beginning of time, whenever that was. The specific timing of these events could not be changed. Therefore when Jesus said my "hour" has not yet come, he was referring to the preordained specific timing of God's plan. The Greek word hour, according to Strongs dictionary, literally means "a specific time".
Let's examine the narrative in question. There was an issue at hand; the host of the wedding had run short on wine. If the festive occasion was to continue, it would go on without the wine that would add joy to it. Someone had the foresight to invite Jesus and a few of his disciples to this wedding. His mother Mary was also in attendance. It seems to me that she was somehow connected with the wedding party. When they ran out of wine she got involved. Knowing that her Son Jesus could do miracles, she mentioned the problem they had to him. We aren't told that she requested that he do anything. She simply reported to him what the problem was, and then she told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. But at being alerted by his mother that they were out of wine, Jesus responds in a way that causes us to wonder; He says to his mother, 'What does them running out of wine have to do with me'? Then he adds, 'My time has not yet come.' Why did he say that? What does he mean by that? His first response is really simple to glean; he wasn't in charge of supplying the party with wine, number one. And he wasn't a wine maker! "What does them running out of wine have you do with me"? Then he amended it a bit; "My time has not yet come." That says something worth trying to parse; he means something extra by this. The first response probably made the listeners shrug. This additional feature however, probably made them think, 'What "time" is he referring to?' A couple of thoughts pop right into my mind when I read John 2. Of course the wine issue wasn't his problem. But is it ever a time in our lives when it isn't Jesus' time to get involved? I believe the fact that he wasted no time in helping out answers that question. I think he wants it to be clear that he didn't come here to fix problems at weddings, that his mission was much more earnest in scope than that! But then he showed something about himself: his compassion; I think this wedding episode is the first installment we have in getting to know his loving character. He cares about our most basic matters. Nobody was sick; there was no healing involved. It was a basic problem of not having enough wine with which to celebrate. Of course, there are all sorts of allegorical meanings we can apply to this that makes for good, thorough bible study. Wine representing something more spiritual than a strong drink, etc. (I let the Holy Spirit illuminate the parts he wants me to focus on, whether to stay in the shallow or go in the deep. It varies from time to time). Back to "My time..." What "time"? Some think he's referring to the Cross. No, I don't think so. That would be like talking about the World Series in April. This sounds to me like the first game of the season. Nobody talks about the playoffs on day one, much less the championship! I don't think he's referring to anything that far into his ministry. I think he's saying that he hadn't planned on stepping out of the shadows and into the light just yet. I don't believe he meant that he couldn't, only that he had planned to wait a little longer. But he didn't wait! He filled a need for those people and got on with it, Praise the Lord! This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.. (Jn 2:11) And his disciples believed in him. He went on and came out! Jesus says it wasn't his time, but Jesus didn't have an itinerary that he was given that he was trying to tell us about. This story speaks to me about how he will change his plans if a need arises in my life; Not only for a major challenge, but for a simple inconvenience. I don't think he's trying to tell us anything more than something like that. Many get swept up into a discussion about the alcoholic content and potency of the beverages they were consuming at the wedding, claiming Jesus wouldn't give them anything stronger than grape juice. At a celebration! Grape juice... that's a different kind of bible study.
I attended a Bible study and we were reading John 2. When the verses were starting to be read I got what I would call a "knowing". All of a sudden I just knew this chapter wasn't about this particular wedding at all. I thought what would be important about this couple? My thoughts were that this chapter was about US... about Jesus and his Bride. It was about our marriage. All the way home from the study I was impressed with thoughts of, "Every single word in the Bible is put there on purpose." Pay attention to every word. When I arrived home I opened my Bible to read John 2 again. The first words.... ON THE THIRD DAY. It exploded in my spirit. That's the day Jesus took his bride. He took the captives, captive... that's us. In this chapter he turned water into wine. At the cross he turned his blood into living water! I asked a pastor, an evangelist, and a college professor, "When is the wedding of Jesus and the Bride?" They all had different answers or none at all. It was when he was raised from the dead!
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