John 2:5

“His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”

Here we have the first miracle that Jesus preformed in his public ministry: verse 11 says, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” This seems to be confirmed by John when he says in chapter 4 verse 54 “This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.” So we have the first and second miracle mentioned in John’s gospel.

Was Mary expecting a miracle? What did she mean when she said, “Whatsoever he saith unto you do it?” I have often wondered. Had Jesus worked miracles before? Is Mary expecting a repetition of something Jesus had done in the past? Does the “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee” mean this is the first miracle that Jesus had ever wrought or the first miracle in his public ministry where he was offering convincing proof of his Messiahship? I must leave that to the mystery of the unexplained. That is one of the lessons we have to learn as Bible students. We just don’t have all the answers. But I can affirm that we have all the answers that God wants us to have.

The word “servants” (diakonos) means “one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister.” The word deacon comes from this word. This is not doulos which refers to slave. The word here refers to attendants (it is plural) who had a designated duty at this wedding. Was Mary giving commands? It is not in the imperative mood. It is a present active indicative verb which means that Mary just made a simple request of the servants. This probably means that Mary was more than an invited guest at this wedding. She was probably an aunt or some kin to the family.

The words “do it” is an aorist active imperative. The aorist tense suggest acting immediately upon Christ’s instructions. The imperative mood means that Jesus instructions will come authoritatively. It will be a command. Don’t question it. Just do it. Mary seems to be saying, “Jesus can take care of this situation. Just do what he says when he says it. It will be unusual but don’t question it. He knows what he is doing.” All miracles come with authority. When we pray, we pray in the name of Jesus. That is authority. Mark 11:23 says, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” The words “be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea” has two verbs and both are aorist passive imperative verbs. Jesus is saying that orders must be given. There must be authority for doing it and faith to give the order. Mary says, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” When Jesus said “Fill the waterpots with water” it is in the imperative mood. Jesus is acting on the authority of his Father and is verbalizing his faith.

This sets forth the truth of obedience. Obedience is our faith response to Christ’s orders. Whatever he tells us to do we are to do it. There are some things that I will mention here:

The “whatsoever” may sometimes be SURPRISING. When they wanted wine, Jesus said, “Fill the pots with water.” Now wouldn’t that be a little surprising to you? I am skeptical by nature. I know a lot of skeptical people. If I had been one of the servants on that occasion, I think I would have said, “This man is a little confused. We are not out of water. We are out of wine!” I don’t think anyone, with maybe the exception of Mary, was expecting a miracle. I think that is where we are today in the church. Don’t you? I don’t believe anyone is expecting a miracle. There is only one thing we have going for us. Jesus worked the miracle in spite of the fact no one was expecting it. That’s grace. Amen! I heard the story of a preacher that was pulled over by a policeman for speeding. The policeman asked the man, “What’s your hurry?” to which the preacher replied, “I am a pastor and I am on my way to a convention and I am running a little late.” The policeman saw a wine bottle laying in the seat by the preacher. He asked, “What’s in that bottle?” to which the preacher replied, “It’s water. It is just water.” The policeman said, “Hand it to me please.” The preacher said, “Officer, it is just water.” The policeman said, “Would you please hand it to me?” Well, the preacher reluctantly handed it to the policeman. When the policeman received the bottle and uncorked it and put it to his nose he said, “This is not water, it is wine.” The preacher said, “Praise God. He’s done done it again!!!” The miracle that Jesus wrought on this occasion surprised them.

Next, not only will the “whatsoever” sometimes surprise us but IT WILL NEVER BE IMPOSSIBLE. Jesus said, “Fill the waterpots with water ... and draw out.” They could do that. Even if he asks the seeming impossible, it is never actually so. Someone has said, “his commands are always his enablings.” But even though we know this, it is still a struggle to act in faith and JUST DO IT. One of the servants could have said, “I’m not putting water in those pots. We are looking for wine. If we put water in those pots, the host will laugh us to scorn. I am not going to suffer that kind of embarrassment.” Have you ever read Romans 10:11 “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” The word “ashamed” (kataischuno) means “to be ashamed, blush with shame; one is said to be put to shame who suffers a repulse, or whom some hope has deceived.” God never allows obedience to one of his promises to cause us to be embarrassed or put to shame. These servants did what Jesus said and they were no doubt surprised but they also learned that with Jesus nothing is impossible. Jesus specializes in the impossible.

The “whatsoever” WILL ALWAYS BE FRUITFUL. Arn’t you glad these servants acted in blind obedience to what Jesus told them. We have this great miracle. They did not waste their efforts in filling the waterpots to the brim. I love verses 9 and 10: “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” I imagine the servants who overheard this conversation smiled. Maybe jumped a little and laughed outloud. Well, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. They had a fit! And praised God all over the place. Can you imagine trying to stay quiet on this one. If I tried to keep quite after having seen something like this, you would have had to wiped me off the wall. I would have blown up! We need the “up to the brim” of obedience so that we will see the fruit of God’s work in our lives.

May God bless you.

In Christ

Bro. White