Jesus is the Creator of Dignity

 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

“What does this have to do with me?” (In Greek – what is between you and me?)

In the social context of the time the address “woman” was in itself certainly not hard or impolite (Matthew 15:28 – the faith of Canaanite woman “O woman, great is your faith”, Luke 13:12 – a woman with disabling spirit “Woman, you are freed from your disability”, John 4:21 – with Samaritan woman “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming,” John 19:26 – Jesus on the cross “Woman, behold, your son!”

But what about Jesus’ reply to his mother, “What does this have to do with me?” Isn’t that insensitive or rude? The answer is found in Jesus’ further explanation “My hour has not yet come.”
What does dignity look like? How does Jesus create your dignity?

Two scriptures from the Bible help us to understand what dignity looks like and how Jesus creates your dignity.

Genesis 2:23

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

1 Corinthians 15:45

Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Bad News
Apart from Jesus, instead of dignity, you get apathy.
Apathy results from trying to create some sort of worth or self-respect on our own.
Jesus’ words to his mother can sound very apathetic as if he doesn’t care.
Every young generation has its own expression in its attempt to find worth or value in the world.
Is this what Jesus doing in front of his mother to look “cool” in front of his disciples?

Apathy can be misunderstood as looking cool as if nothing affects you.
For example, negatively speaking, people use trash talk to threaten or to appear strong to others.
People might act “cool” or aloof as if people, events, or situation around them don’t affect them.
That’s like trying to hold your tears back when it really hurts to prove to yourself and others that you are strong.
Positively speaking, people can talk confidently about who they are and what they can do overcoming obstacles or situations around them.
As a result, people compare themselves with one another to feel better about themselves and compete one another to better themselves.
Instead of finding dignity as human beings, man or woman, we end up growing more apathetic and unable to show compassion to one another.
Sin or our desire to be like God apart from his will and his word. It leads to the separation of your sense of  worth and value from who you are and what you do.  No matter how hard you try to find or establish your identity, at the end, apart from Jesus, you are as good as dead even though you live.

Good news
With Jesus, you find identity and empathy.  

“My hour has not yet come” shows Jesus’ understanding of his identity – where his sense of dignity comes from. His sense of worth and value come from his Father because Jesus lives to fulfill the purpose and the mission his Father has sent him to do. He was with his Father at the creation, came to earth for redemption and will return for consummation of creation and redemption.

Jesus who is identified as the second or the last Adam by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is the Creator of Man and Woman. Genesis 2-3, Romans 5:12-21, and 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45  show the origin of human being as man and woman.  The meaning and purpose of man and woman is found in the relationship with God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Man and woman owe their existence and identity directly to the creative will, word, and the work of God without any human intervention.
With Jesus, you find identity, not only yours but also of others. Both man and woman, parents and children, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, and religious and irreligious are all God’s creatures that bear his image and in need of salvation and restoration.

Although Jesus informs his mother that he lives according to the will of the Father and has no business as a guest of the wedding at Cana, he is present to do God’s will by performing his first miracle that rescues the wedding host and the wedding party from the cultural and social shame and embarrassment and points to the ultimate wedding and prepares for the hour that is coming – the ultimate rescue and salvation of the guests of the wedding party of the Lamb on the cross.

With Jesus, you find empathy. With Jesus, you find presence, patience, and passion. Jesus the Immanuel has come to be with us – in our sufferings, failures, shame, guilt, and fears. Jesus the Son of God has come to show us the Father and to give us the Spirit. Jesus the last Adam has come to create the church, purify his bride with the Word and the washing of impurities, and prepare her for the marriage of the Lamb by clothing her with his righteousness.

Is Jesus the creator of your dignity?  
Do you find contentment in who you are in Christ?
How are you fighting your temptation to compare with others and prove yourself better?
How are you fighting your temptation to complain about what you are not happy about with yourself?
Do you find your worth and respect in Jesus?
How does your treatment of others show your dignity in Christ?

 

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