Finishing School for Christians

“Why did you do that?”

Have you ever been asked that question … ?

“Explain to me just why you felt it necessary to do (that thing)? That is someone else’s job – that is what we pay our taxes for – you’re nuts – you shouldn’t be doing (that)!”

I have always thought there is no point in answering – because if you need to ask me that question there is no way you will understand my answer.

I found that thought running around as I read today’s verses:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11

Why did you tell him that, Mary? Why did you do that, Jesus?

I used to ask those questions a lot as I read verses like this: “Why” – always Why.

I wonder whether it because the bible is so often viewed as a manual from the “Finishing School for Christians”  – full of tips on how to learn the “correct etiquette” in all situations for becoming a respected and valued follower: a Good Christian

“When the wine runs out do not judge them as being drunken harlots and sinners. Rather, do pray for their lost souls – and do pray for more wine! It proves to God that you are not judging. If God approves, there will be more wine.  If not, then you have done your bit as a Good Christian!

Important point of order: unless leading fellow Christians in a programme, it is NOT okay to mention any of this to “them” – they will simply interpret this as “you are all hypocrites!”  We do not approve of drinking – but we do pray for wine.  It really is just too complicated to have them understand the finer points of being a Good Christian.

Important side-note: this reinforces the need for ongoing programmes in your church.  It ensures immature Christians are “on message” in all circumstances.”

Something of that sort used to be my analysis of the Good Book. I hope I am not the only one who has viewed the bible in that way.

Nowadays, what sticks in my mind is “the way of weddings” in the dusty peeps time and place.

How if you had ever spoken to the bride or groom … their extended families … or even the friends of their friends … you are connected and you are invited!  And you would attend … and you would press a few (or many) denarii onto the happy couple’s clothing … shake their hands … kiss their cheeks … wish them a happy life and many bambinos. And you would stay many hours or a few minutes – but probably many hours. And no one would wonder why – no one would wonder whether or not you should. That is how things are (still) done.  So Mary’s observation and Jesus’ response?


My God Soft Hands Jesus has more patience than I merit or deserve. I don’t know if that comes under the “grace umbrella” – or is just “unconditional love.”  All I do know is He allows me to ask the daftest questions until I “get there” in my own time.

And I have never thought to ask Him why He does that for me.

I have always known the answer to that question.


4 thoughts on “Finishing School for Christians

  1. I can see why the Pharisees and scribes didn’t like Him. What a bad example to us all. I mean, did Jesus even had a license to legally manufacture wine? Not only that, He (and His mom) are hanging out with a bunch of drunks until the wee hours of the reception, then rather than cutting them off like any responsible bartender would do, He makes more so they can keep on drinking! What an enabler! We’re going to have to add that to the list of His infractions. Didn’t He read the Christian manifesto against drinking and causing others to stumble? (literally, in this case!) 🙂

    Okay, to your point…good stuff, Paul. Cheers!


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