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4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”


4 Jesus said to her,

Jesus responded to Mary’s request to try to resolve the lack-of-wine problem. This was a human request, not a desire for a miracle.


“Woman” is a typical address for a woman in the gospel (Jn 4:21; 19:26; 20:13). It was not harsh but was close to the English idiom “Ma’am.” This was not a disrespectful term but a simple way of addressing a female during this period of history. Jesus’ use of “woman” here indicated a new relationship to her now that He was beginning His public ministry.

what does your concern have to do with Me?

The idea is, “What do we have in common?” Jesus and His mother from this point forward did not have anything in common when it came to His role as Messiah. His mother’s agenda and His were two different things. The point that Jesus made is that He and His mother were no longer on common ground.

Jesus said in effect, “This is the wedding’s problem, not ours.” The implied answer is, “We have nothing in common.” The tone is not rude in the Greek but it is abrupt. The idea is: “What do you and I have in common about this matter?” Jesus argued that He was on a different mission than mundane issues. He had now entered into His mission. Everything else had to be subordinate to that, even family ties. This was a difficult issue for His mother to face. People must view Jesus in the light of His mission to go to the cross.

This question was not an expression of hostility. Jesus was setting His agenda for His public ministry. His directions in life came from His Father. Christ was now shifting to publicly living out the role of Messiah.

Mary did not ask Jesus to perform a miracle; she simply asked her son to do something less than the will of God for Jesus. However, He was committed to do the will of God no matter what.

Jesus’ relationship to His mother was domestic. Now that He was entering into His public ministry, that relationship had changed. The phrase “What does your concern have to do with Me” conveyed the thought that it was not Jesus’ concern at the moment His mother made the statement.

My hour has not yet come.”

The Father’s “hour” for Jesus to do what He had to do had not yet come. Jesus lived on the Father’s timetable, not His own. There was an eternal plan marked out for Jesus to die and rise again. Everything in Jesus’ life was headed for the “hour” where He would be crucified (Jn 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1).

God did not display the full glory of Christ until His work on the cross and His resurrection was finished. The “hour” refers to the process of our Lord’s glorification—His crucifixion to His coming to reign on earth.

The Father, not human factors, determined Jesus’ agenda. His mother could not inject herself into that program. Jesus would not allow Himself to be detracted by any human agenda. The effect of this statement was that Mary was to no longer think of Jesus merely as her son but as the Messiah.

Israel had not to this point accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus would have to go to the cross to inaugurate a new and different economy that than of Israel.


Jesus lived by God’s timetable.


Jesus saw His life against the background of eternity, not time. Everything that He did, He did under the shadow of the cross. His entire life aimed toward the hour for which He had come. Jesus looked at His life from the viewpoint of eternity and not from the ever-changing background of time. He kept His eye on the goal of His “hour.”

Jesus told His mother that God’s plan for their relationship had changed. From this point forward the Father’s plan for Jesus was to be oriented to the cross. Jesus had to disassociate from His mother and reorient to His Heavenly Father. From this point forward His mother was to relate to Christ as her God. It was now time to launch proof of His deity by mighty signs. He was about to begin performing public miracles; the wine at Cana was more of a semi-private miracle.

Note Mary asked Jesus for help, not the reverse. Mary was no mediatrix. Verse 4 creates difficulty for mariolatry. The Bible never depicts Mary as the “Queen of Heaven” or “the Mother of God.”