Woman! (John 2:4)

And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
John 2:4

Whenever I read this passage, I cannot help but think that Jesus was being rude to His mother. It was a wedding, a festive occasion, and there was a miscalculation by the host  because the party had run out of wine. This was considered a serious insult and offense to all the guests during that time. Mary communicated the frantic concerns of the wedding party to Jesus and He seemingly dismissed her.

What stings me is the way Jesus address His mother as “Woman”. When I first read this, I was offended. I would never call my mother or refer to any other woman in this manner. It was not until many years later that I learned that something was lost in translation. During this time, the use of the term “Woman” was a sign of great respect. It would be analogous to a man today addressing a woman as “Ma'am” or “Madam”.

John records two other instances when Jesus used this word. He addressed the woman at the well in this manner.

Jesus said to her, “ Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
John 4:21

And in a sad and poignant moment, He again addressed His mother Mary as He hung on the Cross, making sure she would be properly cared for when He was gone.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
John 19:26

It is very easy to jump to conclusions when one does not take the time to truly understand the meaning of the words in the Bible and how they were used during that time and culture. When you do, the Bible becomes so much richer than anything you will ever read. This is God’s Word and through His Holy Spirit, He directed men to write this.

Won’t you take the time to read the Bible? Ask God to open your eyes and heart to behold and understand the infinite riches and beauty of God’s Word!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.