Magic Tricks from a Savior


A model replica of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.

John 2:1-21 Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Do you remember when you were a kid and your mom called you into the living room? She turned you to face your aunts and uncles and asked you to sing a song? Or maybe she wanted you to tell about a basketball game, reveal your artwork, or perform a spelling bee. Parents are notorious for pressing their kids into a performance. And it begins very early. Newborns are urged to laugh and giggle. Toddlers are forced to patty-cake. Even something as simple as a new tooth or taking a small, baby step can be the main event of a family gathering.

This is one of those performance moments in Jesus’ life. It is a wedding, a family gathering with aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, and nieces. It is a captive audience and proud Mother Mary pulls the “Performance Card”. It is as if she says, “Jesus, sing that cute song you learned in Hebrew School.” Or “Jesus, show them the boot jack you made in shop class.” But this is different. Mary knows Jesus has more than a simple tune up his sleeve. Jesus has a power that no one has witnessed and she wants to show it off.

Jesus’ response? “Awww, Mommm! Not now! Pleeeeasssse?

Mary’s response? “What? A mother can’t be proud of her son?

An interesting thing occurs at this moment. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in an effort to showcase her son’s talent, trivializes the eternal power of the Son of God. Mary asks him to use his God-given power to perform a simple magician’s trick. Mary, the same woman who witnessed angels, shepherds, and wise men proclaim Jesus’ greatness, now asks him to change water into grape juice. “Just show off a little, dear.

But before we come down too hard on Mary, we need to take a closer look at ourselves. How often have we prayed, “God, help me do well on this test…” in spite of the fact we didn’t study? “God, give me traveling mercies…” as we drive like we’ve entered the Indy 500? “God, help me get a raise…” as we take advantage of our employer by surfing the web and making personal calls on company time? So often we ask the Savior of the Universe to perform a cheap and simple trick for our own selfish benefit. In so doing, we lose sight of the majesty and power of God’s great gift. We belittle Jesus and his ultimate plan; to save the world.