Short Meditations in John 2: 3. Jesus’ Timetable
Jn 2:3-5 When the wine was gone, 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.”
As John’s Gospel appears to be the recollections of one man, John (as distinct from a collection as in say Luke), it is interesting to speculate that John was one of the ones at the wedding and how, in old age, he mused over the things he can still remember. He sees in his mind’s eye Mary turning to Jesus and quietly saying, “They have no more wine.” At this point John has no great expectations of Jesus and so is slightly surprised at Jesus’ slightly abrupt, “Why do you involve me?” Well, John might have thought, because she looks to you as the man of the house now your father has gone (no mention of Joseph in Jesus’ latter days – we assumed he has died).
But then Jesus adds something that might have had John wondering: “My time has not come.” At the time John might have been a bit perplexed by that but perhaps later on he came to realise that Jesus had a timetable that he was working to, Jesus’ timing is not accidental. We find similar things later in the Gospel, e.g. “Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right…. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come,” (Jn 7:6 & 8) and then, “At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come,” (Jn 7:30) and then, “He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come.” (Jn 8:20)
There are a number of other time references in John that indicate Jesus was aware of what was yet to happen, e.g. “Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem….Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth,” (Jn 4:21 & 23) and “I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” (Jn 5:25) and “Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me.” (Jn 7:33) and “Jesus said…”Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (Jn 12:30-32) The message is clear: throughout Jesus is aware of a timetable of things to achieve.