Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found
favor with God.
Amazingly the angel who had frightened her with his appearance had thought he was doing Mary a favor. The Greek word karis is the same word for grace. Favor and grace are the same. (Remember Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord?) God’s blessings and favors were painful. There were no shortcuts for Mary and Joseph. The grace and favor in their lives had to be nourished and sheltered. Over thirty years Mary struggled between the angelic visit and the pouring out of the wine. But, Mary had internal fortitude. She knew things that she couldn’t share with anyone, so she just hid them away in her heart and set to work raising this child. She had favor, but she had to go through some trials
to receive the fulfillment of that blessing. Thirty years she bore the pain of being the mother of a child who was not her husband’s son. Thirty years she listened to people make snide remarks.
In the story recorded in Mark 3:20 Mary obviously was worried about Jesus, because He was wandering around the countryside, taking on disciples, and making enemies of the leaders of the Jews. Word got around quick back in His hometown that He was purporting to do miracles. Folks back home couldn’t believe the tales. Gossip was flying. So, Mary went with her other sons to find Jesus and take charge of her adult son. Apparently she believed the rumors that He had lost His mind.
Add this to the way that Mary reacted to His meeting with the teachers in the temple at His bar mitzvah, and you find she wasn’t anymore Spiritual at times than you or I. She was human and had her faithless moments, despite the angelic announcements. She changed His diapers as a baby. She probably cleaned up a few other messes for Him as a young boy. Even the Son of God was prone to spilt milk.
Grace in our lives has to be managed. Favor requires a passion for service. Remember Moses in the desert? Moses was going through some trials. He was favored of God, yet there he was wandering around in a desert, tending sheep. But, it wasn’t until Moses turned to see what God was doing that he heard God speak. When the Lord speaks allow Him to draw you. Let Him be your magnificent obsession
In Song of Songs 1:4 we hear the cry, “Draw me, I will run after you!”
In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul is speaking of reaching out for the things of God. If you have a calling on your life, and we all do, then you must press forward, reach out with a passion for your place in Christ’s calling. It is only in running after, in pursuing Jesus that you will find your calling.
Two thousand years ago, Mary was called to suffer. She suffered for this favor from God. But, after withstanding the time of trial, and after allowing the favor of God to live through her, she experienced the free flowing of a miracle. She tasted the water turned to wine. And she received her son back from the dead.
You know, I can’t help but relate that first miracle, given as a gift to His mother, to his resurrection. We know that wine is often related to blood in the Bible. Psalm 75:8 The human body is made up of more water than anything else. The accepted average for an adult man is about 57% of his body weight in water. This varies with age and weight. But, when Jesus died, and the soldiers stuck the spear in his side, blood and water ran out. John 19:34 Later, Mary received her son back whole, full of life, and presumably full of
blood. (Also, don’t forget that during the last supper Jesus called the wine His
So, here in this first miracle, and there in His resurrection, I see a parallel. The water is turned to wine; or His body drained of water was refilled with blood. We can presume He was flesh and blood because He ate fish and honey after saying he was hungry. The disciples stood there and marveled to see Him eating ravenously after His death and resurrection. Yes, He was still flesh and blood, very much so, I would say. Ask Thomas.
But, back to the first miracle, Jesus did Mary a favor, didn’t He? And, receiving Jesus back from the dead would definitely have been a favorable turn of events, as a mother. The angel had said she was favored of God. All of the suffering was a path to the blessings and grace. Don't ask were God is or why you are suffering. Hold on to your promise. Your advent is waiting.