Mary’s Bad Day: A Lesson For Modern Day Mom’s

Mary’s Bad Day: A Lesson For Modern Day Mom’s

Opening Illustration
A few years ago we hired Josh Raybon to be our youth pastor.  When he arrived on staff, he brought with him all sort of new ideas.  Josh told me about new music that I had never heard of.  We talked about movies.  

Then Josh told me about Kid President.  I had never heard of Kid President until Josh came to town.  Kid President is a little kid who dresses nice and simply points out the simple things that we can do to make our world a better place.  

I want to play a video by Kid President.  The video is entitled “An Open Letter to Mom’s by Kid President, 10 Things That Every Mom Needs To Know”

Check it out.  

There Is No Perfect Mom!

That’s right. there is no perfect mom.  Kid President tells the audience, specifically his Mom to…

Put down the phone

Stop cleaning

Cool it on the meatloaf

Have fun for once

Hug more/shout less

I think that we can all identify with what the little fella is saying.  It is easy as parents to be so concerned with the goings on of a home that we miss the little opportunities to invest in our children or spouses.  

I know that I am very guilty of that.  

Today’s message is about Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Mary was a very unique person.  She was kind.  She was compassionate.  She loved her children and served as a stable source of encouragement for Jesus.  Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, you can find Mary by His side supporting Him and investing in Him.  

Mary was a great mom, but she was not a perfect mom.  She was a sinner just like you and me.  She was mortal.  She had flaws just like me and just like you.  Mary was human.  

Today we will examine Mary’s actions captured in John 2.  In John 2 we see the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry.  The ministry kicks off with an amazing miracle.  Before we read John 2, let me provide for you a brief moment of context. 

Jewish weddings were far more elaborate than ours are. Our wedding ceremonies may last the better part of the day. But as fancy as American wedding can be… they still don’t match the vibrancy that the Jewish culture invested in this event.

It usually started with a time of feasting. And then late in the evening, the father of the bride would take his daughter on his arm and parade her and the wedding party through the streets of the village so that everyone could come out and congratulate the bride. 

Finally the wedding party would arrive at the home of the groom. The wedding actually took place in the front door of the groom’s house. 

After the wedding ceremony the wedding party would light torches and parade the bride and groom thru the streets of the town again - always taking the longest route through the village so that as many people as possible could wish them well.

And that’s when the real celebration began. For nearly a week after this, the newlyweds held an open house. And they were treated like royalty. They dressed in fancy clothes and many times actually wore crowns on their heads. And the groom’s family was expected to provide all the refreshments for this week of festivities.

And that’s what this wedding in John 2 was all about… except they ran out of wine.

Running out of wine at such a feast was really embarrassing because a good host always made sure there was plenty food and drink available. But they ran out – and now there was a crisis.

Speaking of wine.  Wine during an ancient Jewish wedding would have looked and tasted very different that what our modern day wine would taste.  In these days, wine was watered down.  It was the desire of the groom and the groom’s family to make it last as long as possible.  So, don’t misunderstand the Scripture.  It was very difficult to get drunk at a wedding because the ratio of water to wine would have been in most cases 20:1.  

It was also thought to be very uncivilized to drink wine straight from the bottle without mixing it with water.  

In II Maccabees 15:39 (a Jewish history book written about 200 years before Christ) it says:

“It is harmful to drink wine alone, or again, to drink water alone, while wine mixed with water is sweet and delicious and enhances one’s enjoyment.”

According to John MacArthur, “Only barbarians drank (wine) unmixed, and the mixture of wine and water of equal parts (1:1) was called ‘strong drink’ and frowned on.”

Now let’s get back to Mary and this wedding.  We are not told in Scripture who is getting married.  Some theologians believe that this was one of Jesus’ relatives.  Perhaps one of His sisters or a very close friend.  We are not really sure.  However, we are sure that the wine runs dry and Mary makes this a very personal issue.  We see that she is embarrassed and tries to remedy the problem.  

So, who is the only man who can fix this issue?  You guessed it…Jesus.  

Jesus was 30 years old at the time of this story.  He has already been baptized by His cousin John.  He has His disciples in place.  Jesus is now embracing the “Master” role.  Jesus may have been the “Master” to the disciples but He was Mary’s son.  

Notice in the story that Mary does not ask Jesus to fix the issue, she pretty much tells him.  

Mom’s you know that it doesn’t matter how old your children get, they will always be your children.  You will always see your sons and daughters as your babies.

So, before we go any further, let’s read John 2:1-12.

John 2:1-12 ESV
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. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

Mary Is A Modern Day Mother! Mary Dealt With…

I.  Chaos vs. 1
John 2:1 ESV
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

Moms, let’s face it.  You are busy.  We husbands probably do not do enough to help you.  You live chaotic and fast lives.  You may not know this, but Mary knew exactly how you feel.  

Mary’s Modern Day Issues…

A. Expectations

B. Exhaustion

From the very beginning of this story, we see that Mary is neck deep in a wedding.  Again, we don’t know whose wedding this is, but we know that Mary is personally invested in this week long ceremony.  

Let’s theorize that this is one of Jesus’ sisters, one of Mary and Joseph’s daughters, that is getting married.  Remember, Mary is all alone in this planning.  Joseph, Jesus’ father, passed away long ago. If this was one of Mary’s daughters, she was carrying the full load of the wedding on her own.  She did not have a husband to help her.  No doubt she was struggling with the expectations of her family and friends to perform a wedding to remember.  

Ladies, it is easy to put yourself in Mary’s shoes right?

Mary was surrounded by lots of people with big expectations.  There are so many moving pieces to making a Jewish marriage ceremony special and memorable.  No doubt Mary was spinning lots of plates.  

Remember, it was late in the week.  She is tired.  She is probably irritable.  She is moody and most likely ready to move on. 

Major Point:
As you will see in a minute, Mary is so frustrated and tired, that she hands over the decision making authority to Jesus.

Moms, how many of you know what I am talking about today?  It seems that every single day you wake up, you open your eyes to chaos.  You have to get your kids to school, dance, the ball fields, and church.  You wake up early and you run all day long and finally hit the bed exhausted.  You do this over and over and over again.  Everyday is another day of chaos.  

Friends, that is exactly where Mary was.  She was tired.  Fed up.  Exhausted after a long time of wedding planning.  

Moms, if you feel that way today, I have some good news.  It is not God’s desire for you to be exhausted, He wants you to be excited.  God wants to provide for you rest, peace, and assurance.  

Moms, when is the last time you slowed down?  When is the last time you stopped and just sat silently and prayed?  When it is the last time you sang?  

I believe, whether you are a Father or Mother, we have to prioritize our walk with God above all things.  I think that when we are feeling worn out and exhausted, it usually means that our walk with God has been pushed somewhere to the bottom of our priorities.  

Friends, open your Bibles to John 4:13-15. You will see that Jesus encounters another woman in chaos.  We don’t know if she was a mother but her personal life was all out of control.  Look what Jesus tells her:

John 4:13-15 ESV
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Jesus says “come to me, drink from my fountain and never thirst again.”  Wow! What a promise.  Jesus essentially tells this Samaritan woman whose life is spinning out of control to rest in Him.  He will give her peace and rest.  

Mom’s, how many of you are exhausted today?  How many of you are tired?  Friends, come to Jesus.  Slow down.  This world will have you run a race that you cannot win.  Jesus says stop running and rest.  

Mary Is A Modern Day Mother! Mary Dealt With…

I.  Chaos vs. 1
II. Crisis vs. 3
John 2:3 ESV
3 When the wine ran out…”

This was not the first crisis Mary had dealt with.

1. She faced the crisis of Jesus’ birth.
2. She faced the crisis of revealing her pregnancy to Joseph.
3. She faced the crisis of being pregnant before marriage. 
4. She faced the crisis of leaving her home to save her life and the life of Jesus.
5. She faced the crisis of losing Jesus as a boy in Jerusalem.
6. She faced the crisis of losing her husband. 
7. She would eventually face the crisis of Jesus’ death.

Mary’s life was hard and filled with trouble one after the other.  

So Mary was busy.  Welcome to motherhood.  Now Mary deals with a crisis.  The wine is gone.  Not one drop.  All of Mary’s preparations were meaningless.  She never saw this coming.  

Mom’s have you ever been in a crisis?  Some of you have.  In our congregation today, we have mothers who have had to wade through dark deep waters of crisis.  They have had to navigate divorce, miscarriage, separation, death, disease, job loss, and lost finances.  

Certainly Mary’s crisis is not life altering but it was still a big deal to her.  In the scope of humanity, it does not really matter that she ran out of wine, but for her it served as a major embarrassment.  

When the wine ran out, I imagine that Mary asked herself some questions.  Questions like:

1. How did I get this so wrong?
2. Is it my fault that it turned out this way?
3. What are people going to say about me or my family when they find out how I failed?
4. How did I miscalculate so badly these choices?

Parents, have you ever asked yourself these questions?  I sure have.  I have also sat down with lots of families over the years who have asked similar questions.  

Most of these families are good Godly people who have wayward sons and daughters.  They did everything right.  They came to Sunday School and church.  They sent their kids to camps.  Yet at the end of the day, their kid went a different route.  A wayward child can throw any mother or father into crisis.  

I had a pastor once tell me that “we are all one bad decision away from being homeless”.  That’s true.  Our decisions can serve to help us or to hurt us.  

In this case, Mary is involved in making a decision that leads to embarrassment and crisis.  So, what do we do when crisis comes knocking?

What does Mary do?  Where does Mary go?  Jesus!

Friends, I have no idea what crisis you are facing today.  Maybe you are facing embarrassment.  Could it be a rebellious son or daughter? An illness?  A divorce?  Either way, Jesus is there for you.  Just like He was in the midst of His mother’s chaotic life, He is there for you.  

Remember, Jesus does His best work in times of chaos and crisis.  Look to Him, and He will be your compass in the storm.  

Psalm 34:17-20 ESV
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Mary Is A Modern Day Mother! Mary Dealt With…

I.  Chaos vs. 1
II. Crisis vs. 3
III. Control Issues vs. 4-5
John 2:4-5 ESV
4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does. The next day in a written test, she included this question: “My full name has six letters. The first one is M, and I pick up things. What am I?” When the grades were all in the teacher was astounded to find that almost fifty percent had written in, mother.

No wonder Mothers are exasperated and simply over it.

This piece of Scripture is very revealing.  We see a brief moment of what Jesus and Mary’s relationship was like.  

Mary was in the midst of chaos.

Mary was in a moment of crisis.

So, what does Mary do? Does she play games with Jesus? Does she dance around the issue?  


Mary gets real.  Mom’s, put yourself in Mary’s shoes.  Have you ever said to your kids or your husband “that grass sure is long” or “hey that bedroom is really dirty”? Sure you have.  You say things like that because you have an expectation for your spouse or your child to do something about it.  

You have to read between the lines here people.  Mary is essentially giving Jesus the Mom look.  She is trying to control the situation.  She knows that Jesus is the Son of God.  She knows it is within His power to resolve this situation.  It is right here that Mary shows her humanity.  We see her embarrassment, her impatience and her desire to force Jesus’ hand.

Look how Jesus responds.  “Woman, what does this have to do with me?”  Jesus says, “why is this my problem”.  You might think that Jesus is being disrespectful but that obviously cannot be true.  

Jesus is setting the stage for a miracle.  He is letting us know that this mistake was not His.  This error did not belong to Him.  He was free from guilt and shame.  Yet, in the midst of His perfection, he takes up the mistakes of another and brings about a huge blessing.  

That’s what Jesus does.  He takes the curse and makes it a cause.  He takes Mary’s vice and transforms it to a victory.   

I John 3:5 says as much…

I John 3:5 ESV
You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

We know the rest of the story.  Jesus changes water into wine.  Yet, I want to take a moment to brag on Mary.  

No Mary was not perfect.  No mother is perfect.  

Like Mary, you will get angry and tired.  

You’ll yell when you shouldn’t.

You’ll fail more than you’d like to admit, and you will feel terrible about it.

Just like Mary, you will not get everything right. 

But the last words of Mary in this story read like this, “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.”

Mary, at the end of her rope tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.  “No matter how crazy or outlandish it might be, follow Jesus boys.”

Moms, I have no idea what you are facing today.  I have little insight into the operations of your day.  I know that you are busy and that you sacrifice so much.  I know that you get frustrated.  I know that you get exasperated just like Mary.  Perhaps you just want to throw your hands up in the air and quit.  

Let me encourage you to follow Mary’s example.  At the end of the day, tell your family and friends to do whatever Jesus says.  Just follow Jesus.  Point your children to Him.  Be the example.  

Mary certainly did not have it all together but she did get one thing right.  She pointed people to obedience in her Son.   

Moms, if you do that one thing, point your children to Jesus, then you can consider that a really good day. 

Let’s Learn From Mary’s Motherhood!


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