Through the years, I’ve often been taken aback by the tone seemingly in Jesus’ voice when he addresses his mother as “Woman (John 2).” I know we will hear him call her this again from the cross, but there we hear it used with compassion. In Cana his response to her revelation is short and sharp.
I’ve often made light of this by referring to my own wife as “Woman.” In no way though can I see myself ever calling upon my own mother this way.
In some awkward spry, it just seems that Jesus is being disrespectful to Mary. We know this isn’t true, so what could possibly be going on when he uses the term at the wedding in Cana?
I have heard many try to explain away what is so very obvious; Jesus is scolding his mother for what she is implying.
As I have committed to a deeper study of John’s Gospel, one resolve I have made is to search diligently for answers to the troubling texts, even if some sources are off the beaten path of my usual go-to-guys and their commentaries.
Is this a moment we witness of the humanity of Jesus much like his encounter with the Father in the garden? (paraphrased)
In the garden he asked if there was no other way, but then obediently fulfilled the Father’s will. At the wedding, does he realize his first public miracle will set in motion his path to the cross; His Hour, that had not come? Did he here gain a glimpse of what will be very clear at Gethsemane? Similarly as Jesus will do so with the Father, he now obeys his mother. He changes the water into wine and sets his eyes on Jerusalem.