On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”John 2:1, 3–5 NIV
Finally, the opportunity was here. Mary’s son, Jesus, was the Messiah, but he had yet to reveal himself to the world. She had kept this in her heart and pondered it for three decades. Here was the chance to show his power.
But Jesus responded in a startling way. He called Mary “Woman!” Not mother, mummy, mama, or mom. This was her dearly loved son that she had carried, birthed and raised. What did he mean by this? Even if Mary totally understood that Jesus meant no disrespect and still loved her very much, there had to be some pang, however small. There always is when a mother realizes that things have changed in her relationship with her child. Releasing! Pierced!
Jesus was telling his mother their relationship would be different from now on. He was no longer under her authority, but would act only at the initiative of his Father. He would be about his Father’s business, on God’s timetable.
My sons are young adults. They are no longer under my authority. I have to let them go. Author and pastor, Chuck Swindoll describes this releasing in his book, Great Days with the Great Lives:
Ultimately, the decision to hold anything loosely—especially as it applies to relationships—is an act of faith. Human instinct would have us clutch the things we adore most. Releasing them, presenting them to God, requires that we trust Him to do what is right. When we do this for our children, the lasting impact we leave is a practical model of faith. And I can think of no better way to teach our children about the God we worship than by modeling our trust in Him daily.
I believe Mary was able to let Jesus go to fulfill his mission because she understood God’s compassionate love for her (Luke 1:50). This love is described in Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion (mercy) on you.”
Beth Moore points out in her Bible study, Breaking Free, that the Hebrew word for compassion or mercy (racham) means a love like that of a parent for a child, especially an infant. While we rear our children to become independent of us, God raises us to become more and more dependent on him for he never has to let us go.
Are you struggling with letting your children (or spiritual children) go?
Has someone that you have mentored and discipled surpassed you?
Are you still trying to keep them under your wing?
How can you encourage them to be about their Father’s business?
Compassionate Father, I rejoice that you will never let me go, nor will you ever let my children go. Thank you that because of your unfailing love, I can take the step of faith to let them go to serve you and fulfill their calling just as Mary let Jesus go to become the Savior of the world.
For an edited version of this (entitled Letting Go), please purchase Favored Blessed Pierced: A Fresh Look at Mary of Nazareth, available on Amazon.