Mary in John’s Gospel

Mary in the Gospel of John

It is believed by scholars that both Luke and John had Mary as their witness. The Gospel of John was written around the Year 95 – 100 AD. This shows that it was a well thought work because it was written years later. In John 20:30f, many other things are not written in this Book.

Mary is never called by her name by John, instead he calls her Mother of Jesus or woman. By the time John writes, he had known Mother of Jesus as a name of dignity.

John in the Gospel brings out two important points:-

  1. The Gospel begins with Mary, Water and wine
  2. The Gospel ends with Mary, Blood changes from water

Mary is presented in both instances. In John 6, the Jews doubted Jesus, when they said, “is this not Jesus of whom Father and Mother we know?”

Therefore, the presence of Mary at Cana and at the foot of the cross, give Mary a special importance. John emphasizes importance of Mary. Mary belongs to community. John makes Mary present and active in the adult life of Jesus. In the synoptic (Mark, Matthew, Luke) begins with infancy, but in John, he brings out the adult Mary at beginning, at the middle and at the cross.

John gives a vaginal conception in a different way. John 1:14, the word became flesh. He talks about the Word.

In John 2:1-12, we have a Jewish culture. The Jew had three foods: Cereals, Oil and wine. Cereals (wheat grain) represented strength, Oil represented healing and wine represented Joy. John uses wine to show that the marriage needed Joy. “They ran out of wine”, can be “they ran out of joy”.

In Cana, Mary is seen as a woman who:-

  • Is present but Jesus and his disciples were invited.
  • A woman who met and assures human problems
  • A woman who is responsible and this is the natural feminine generous we see in our mother, daughters and sisters in our homes and societies.
  • A woman who knows her Son and she is accustomed to his intimacy.
  • A woman who believes and she brings human problems to her son.
  • A woman who helps her son to reveal himself. She talks to Jesus (“They have no wine”) then talks to the servant (“Fil the jars with water…”). In this case, there are three things that John brings out:-
  • Water becomes Wine
  • Word Become Flesh
  • Hour that has not yet come, is here

Therefore Jesus begins the Signs in Cana outside his time, because of Mary.

At the Cross we find Jesus is no longer calling Mother but ‘woman’ behold your Son in Jn 19:25-27. Jesus is interested with Spiritual Family. Jesus is concerned with creating the Church and confining Mary as the Spiritual Motherhood.

Mary is Mother to the disciples. And disciples are Sons to the Mother. When Jesus sees the Mother, it shows a shift in Mary’s identity. In the beginning, she is the Mother of Jesus and at the end, she is the Mother of the beloved disciple.

Who is the beloved disciple? We are the beloved disciples (Jn 21:22), the disciple who never dies, but remains until when Jesus comes again.

Mary becomes a Mother because of her Son’s rule, Rule of Spiritual family.

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