- STAN HUNT
We have no idea what kind of wine had been served at the wedding Jesus attended, as recorded in John chapter 2.
Beer, stock image. PICTURE: Paul Pasieczny/www.freeimages.com
"Drinking alcohol today cannot be defended on the basis of wine drinking in the Bible because the two are totally different. Modern wines are purposely fermented and designed to intoxicate and dull people’s senses with from nine to 40 per cent alcohol."
Though intoxicating wine was consumed in Bible times, commonly, what they called wine was a healthy, unintoxicating drink reconstituted with water from a thick paste, similar to a grape jelly. It’s a process still followed today in some parts of the Middle East.
If it does ferment the alcoholic content is negligible by today’s standards, and barely enough to be considered an alcoholic beverage.
Drinking alcohol today cannot be defended on the basis of wine drinking in the Bible because the two are totally different. Modern wines are purposely fermented and designed to intoxicate and dull people’s senses with from nine to 40 per cent alcohol.
So they would have clear minds in decision making, and be examples of the highest standards of conduct, people in Bible times holding high office in society such as rulers and kings were expected not to drink intoxicating beverages. (Although, they did not always comply).
Proverbs 31:4 in the Message says “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves, gulping wine and swilling beer.”
To drink intoxicating wine in Bible times was generally considered barbaric by the culture. (Proverbs describes this wine saying it “bites like a snake”). The prophet Habakkuk says people “transgress by wine”. And, “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbour.”
Total abstinence applied also to spiritual leaders and to people who were completely committed to God, as intoxicating drink was associated with sinful excess.
The New Testament says God’s people are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession". Obviously completely committed to God. And God has not changed His standards.
The wine Jesus created was supernatural wine. It did not come from grapes, the earth and the sun and had no time to ferment. It was the freshest, sweetest, unbelievably best wine ever tasted. It was brought supernaturally into existence miraculously changed from water.
As I said, we don’t know what kind of wine the guests had been drinking at the wedding when it ran out , but you can be 100 per cent sure that the up to 700 litres of wine Jesus created was definitely not intoxicating because drunkenness is sin and Jesus does not create sin, nor the potential for sin. Neither does He create ammunition for satanic terrorism causing social, medical, family and personal disasters.
I like the way one man, a miner, responded to unbelievers regarding drinking and this John 2 account.
He had not long been a Christian, and was being ribbed by his pagan workmates who said “You don’t believe that stuff about Jesus turning water into wine do you?” He replied “I don’t know a lot about that, but I know this – in my house He has turned beer into furniture and that’s a miracle!”
The joy Jesus gives is not bottled in fermentation.