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Trading Control for Power

John 2:4-5

“What has this concern of yours to do with Me, woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”

“Do whatever He tells you,” His mother told the servants.

These two verses seem to contradict each other. The setting is the wedding at Cana, where the host ran out of wine. Mary took the matter to Jesus in a manner which implied she expected Him to fix it. Jesus avoided responsibility by telling her His hour had not yet come. Mary left the matter with Him and instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do.

Mary exhibited a power here that few women learn, especially in our society where the word “submission” is almost taboo. Mary submitted the issue to Jesus and left it with Him to handle. She gave Him full authority to do whatever He needed to do, and she walked away so He could do His job.

For anyone to submit a matter requires three things to be in place: authority, responsibility, and trust. Authority is the power to do something, but it requires responsibility. The two go hand in hand; he who has the authority of a matter also carries the responsibility. On the flip side of that rule is the fact that anyone who has been given a responsibility must have the authority to carry it out. To give someone responsibility without giving them the authority or power to do what is needed sets the person up for failure. This is the first rule of Management 101, and it is the reason most small businesses fail. Failure to delegate can be summed up in one word – trust.

You will have trouble delegating – submitting – to anyone to whom you do not trust. Wherever you have a submission problem, you have a trust issue. Submission must be voluntary. Forced submission is coercion.

In these verses, Mary took the matter to Jesus, who realized He did not have authority in that place. Therefore, He avoided responsibility at first. Mary then instructed the servants to do whatever He told them. Most scholars believe Mary was actually helping with this wedding, which was probably the wedding of a relative. In this case, Mary surrendered her authority to Jesus.

Mary could do nothing about the fact that the wine was gone. When she no longer had the power or ability to handle the matter, she looked for someone who did – Jesus. We must realize that there are some things in our life which are just too great for us to handle. At that time, we would be wise to do as Mary did and fully submit the matter to Jesus. To ask Him to help us and try to keep our hands in the matter proves we don’t fully trust. If we are going to make Him responsible, we must give Him the authority to carry out what He needs to do. Through submission, Mary turned control into power.

What issue are you facing that is beyond your control? Follow Mary’s lead, and trade control for power by submitting it fully to Jesus. Deal with your trust issues by accepting the fact that He loves you with an unfailing love, and He can do this better than you can. Mary’s submission led to a miracle, and yours can, too. Jesus has your best interest at heart, and you can always trust Him to do the right thing. The guests at this wedding received superior wine as a result. Let the grace of Jesus surprise you with the best wine possible for your want. He is the expert at miracles!

Have a blessed day!

PHOEBE Connections, Inc. is a 501(c)3 dedicated to enhancing the lives of widows by building relationships and helping them find new identity in Jesus Christ through serving others. We promote an atmosphere of fellowship, where the widow can connect with other widows to develop friendships and supportive relationships.