John field notes 2a: What to me and to you?

John is as arid and sketchy in its way as Genesis.  To me, the wedding at Cana-of-galilee feels like Abraham and God negotiating over Sodom:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee and Jesus’ mother was there.  Jesus and his disciples had been invited to the wedding too and when wine ran short Jesus’ mother said to him “They’re out of wine.”

Jesus said to her “What’s that to me and you, woman?  My hour hasn’t come.”

His mother said to the servants “Just do what he tells you.”

Now six stone jars for the Jews’ washing cutom were standing there.  Each could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to them “Fill the jars with water.”

The filled them to the top.

He said to them “Now draw some and take it to the head servant.”

They took it.

When the head servant tasted the water turned to wine, not knowing where it came from — though the servants knew, the ones who’d drawn the water — the head servant called the bridegroom and said to him “Everybody brings out the good wine first and once the guests are drunk brings out the poor stuff. You’ve kept the good wine till now.”

Jesus did this the start of his signs in Cana in Galilee and showed his glory. (John 2:1-11, Reynolds Price, Three Gospels.)

Just as with Nathaniel and Jesus in the preceding conversation, we hear the words, but we don’t have the history.  The when and where are only here and now for Jesus and his mother, and not for us. Jesus, you might say, tests his mother  (“My hour hasn’t come”) just as he tests, say, the Canaanite woman (“It is not right to take the children’s bread and to throw it to the dogs.” Matthew 15:26).  But how does she know?  Jesus’ vociferous response to her simple statement suggests also that he knew she knew, too. And how does he know she knows?

So much depends upon an Hebrew idiom translated into Greek and then (for me) into English.  The New American Standard translates it literally as “What to me and to you?” What is Jesus’ and his mother’s me and you? Jesus and his mother’s short conversation suggests much about them and their relationship, and it also says little.

I know as much as the servants who draw the water, no more.

John to me, again: get yours.