“Do Whatever He Tells You”

These are the words of Mary to the servants at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee (John 2:5). Mary mentioned to Jesus that the host had ran out of wine. Jesus replied, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” Having concluded that Jesus would nonetheless help them, Mary then instructed the servants to do whatever he told them to do.

It is not my purpose in this particular article to address the meaning of the word “wine” in this passage. (The Greek word “oinos” can mean either fermented wine or unfermented, but as I have explained in other writings and sermons, there are many good reasons for concluding that the “wine” of this passage was unfermented.) This article will focus upon the words of our title — the words of Mary to the servants: “Do whatever He tells you.

Of course we know that Mary’s admonition was in the context of the marriage feast, but other passages prove that her advice works for the other commands and instructions given by her divine Son. Christ is the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). Christ told His disciples, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. And you are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:13-14). In order for one to be considered a “friend” of Christ he must “do” as Christ commands. Abraham was called the “friend of God” (James 2:23) because of his active (working) faith (James 2:21-24). “By faith Abraham obeyed…,” we are told in Hebrews 11:8. If we wish to identify with faithful Abraham, then we must DO what the Lord tells us to do. This concept is contrary to the old “faith-alone” notion of salvation, but that is because the faith-only doctrine is erroneous and wrong. The Lord’s mother was absolutely right. We must “do whatever” God tells us to do if we wish to receive eternal life!

Notice also that Mary and Jesus said that we must do “whatever” is commanded. This “whatever” part is obviously important, for humans have a tendency to pick and choose through God’s commands, keeping only the one’s that they are comfortable with and ignoring the others. This is not what they said. The Bible obligates us to respect the authority of Christ in ALL that we do, whether in word or in deed (Colossians 3:17). This means that when He tells us to believe (John 8:24; Mark 16:16), we must believe. When He tells us to repent (Luke 13:3, 5), we must repent. When He tells us to confess (Matthew 10:32), we must confess. When He tells us to be baptized (Mark 16:16), we must be baptized. When He tells us to remain faithful to the end (Matthew 10:22), we must be faithful to the end. When He tells us to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), we must worship God in spirit and in truth. When He tells us to control our thoughts (Matthew 15:18-19), we must control our thoughts. When He tells us to control our speech (Matthew 12:34-37), we must control our speech. It’s simple: “Whatever he says to you, do it” (John 2:5). Contact us if you have any questions.

—Tim Haile

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