In the story of the wedding at Cana when Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine, readers sometimes think that he addressed his mother somewhat harshly or even disrespectfully. Look at the exchange:
“When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’ ‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come’” (John 2:3-4). Jesus’ words sound perhaps even harsher in the KJV: “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee?” But there is no harshness or disrespect here at all. Actually, “woman” was a standard form of address in the ancient world – just as Jesus often addresses males as “Man” (Luke 5:20, etc.) – and the expression carries no lack of respect any more than saying “lady” or “ma’am” would for us today.
Remember that we don’t know the actual words Jesus used in this circumstance. He probably spoke to His mother in Aramaic which was the commonly used language in Palestine at that time, but in the Greek in which the New Testament was written, the word “woman” guné (from which we get our word "gynecologist") is in the ‘vocative’ case which was reserved for addressing others, even in the most formal speech. Jesus used the same form of address when speaking to other women (Matt. 15:28, etc.). At his crucifixion, when he lovingly delivered his mother into the care of his disciple John as his last act of kindness before his death, this was the form of the word he used in saying to her “Woman, behold your son!” (John 19:26).
Another detail of the wedding story which might sound harsh to our ears is the fact that Jesus said: “…why do you involve me?” (John 2:4), or as the KJV has it: “…what have I to do with thee?” But in the original Greek, the expression is literally “What [is that] to me and to you?” – in other words he includes his mother with himself in saying, in effect, “Is this our responsibility?” or perhaps even “Does this situation need to involve us?”
But the story itself shows us that there was no tension between Jesus and his mother. Immediately after he answered her, note that “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you,’” showing that she had not been rebuffed and that Jesus was about to help as she had requested – as, of course, he did.
Although the turning of water into wine is usually said to be Jesus’ first miracle, we do not know that to be the case. The New Testament does not say it was his first, it is just his first recorded miraculous deed. The fact that Mary turned to Jesus and asked him to help in the situation suggests that he may have already quietly done deeds of healing and help before this point. In saying his time was not yet come (John 2:3-4), Jesus may have meant not the performance of good deeds, but that the time for public display of such deeds – as in a wedding before many guests – was not necessarily yet.