Do Whatever He Tells You: Not About Mary

breawineRoman Catholics frequently abuse the words of Mary in John 2:1-5, twisting the Word of God concerning Christ’s Deity and Messianic nature into a prooftext for their belief in His mother’s supposed co-mediatorial role in the lives of faithful Catholics. Common among Roman Catholics is the erroneous belief that

Mary’s physical presence carries with it the physical presence of Christ with his divine power. The Lord’s words [in John 2:4], which express a certain distance between him—who was about to perform an act as God—and his Mother (who always remained simply a creature), make us understand that, if it had not been for her, he would not have worked the miracle. [<>%5D

The argument they make, apart from invalidly inferring its conclusion from unsupporting premises, places the emphasis on the wrong event. Mary’s asking is not central to the narrative. In fact, anyone could have fulfilled that role.

What is important in this passage is that it is the New Testament antitype of a type of Christ that appears in Genesis 41:53-55. That passage presents Joseph as the King-Savior of all of Egypt, providing bread for its inhabitants, as well as for the world. In light of this, it is significant to note that Pharaoh points away from himself and to Joseph, the servant of God, commanding all those who lacked bread to “Go to Joseph.” And even more significantly, he further commands them, saying “What he says to you, do,” using phrasing curiously similar to the words spoken by Mary in John 2:5: “Do whatever He tells you.”

In both texts, it is only God’s Servant who saves Jews and Gentiles; neither Pharaoh nor Mary have any way of meeting the needs of those who hungered (Joseph) and thirsted (Jesus). This is why Pharaoh and Mary point to the type and antitype, respectively, when they are confronted with the needs of others. This should not be surprising for the one who knows that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness”[Matt 5:6] will be “satisfied” by the righteousness of Christ.[cf. Matt 6:33]

Moreover, it should be evident to the attentive reader that the type (Joseph) and the antitype (Jesus) bring together the two elements of the Lord’s Supper, viz. The Bread and the Wine, once again pointing us away from Pharaoh and Mary and to Christ as the One through whom the whole world receives the Bread of Life and the wine of the New Covenant.

Soli Deo Gloria!



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