555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

308. When Jesus Asked: "Woman, What Have I to Do with Thee?" Was He Ungracious to His Mother?

These seemingly harsh words (in John 24) addressed by the Saviour to his mother at the feast of Cana, have been a subject of much speculation. In English they have a harsher sound than they have in the original. Thus "woman" is in Greek a mode of address used with respect and used even to those high in authority, such as queens. What the Saviour intended by this address was to call his mother's attention to the fact that it was his work he was doing and not one in which she had any concern. He no doubt used a gentle inflection of the voice, and her remark to the servants showed that not only was she not hurt or offended, but that she fully understood.