Why did Jesus make wine?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by LeBuick, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    This is not to debate if the wine was fermented or not.

    A member asked me why Jesus would make wine for a bunch of drunks who had already drunk all the wine in the house. In other words, those who were drinking were drunk so why further contribute to their drunken state. Even if non-fermented, why contribute to the illusion and continuance of sinful celebration?

    Jn 2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
    8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
    9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
     
  2. webdog

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    Where is it stated everyone was already drunk?
     
  3. rjprince

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    It does not. What it states is that the wine Jesus made was the good stuff, so that after they had enough of it, they did not care what they were drinking.

    The phrase "well drunk" means intoxicated.

    I will be watching this one. My position on this has certainly labeled me a black sheep among my brethren. I would not make total abstinance a requirement for our elders, not a popular call.

    In any case, best reason I can give is to save the couple from a great deal of shame at having run out. He did make a concesssion to His mother as well, as the miracle was performed at her request.

    However, there is nothing in the context that says that anyone was drunk before OR after the miracle. It may be a likely assumption, but that is all it is, an assumption.

    Jesus clearly condemned drunkenness, but He went looking for the sinners, came to seek and save them! Also spent more time with them than the religious crowd. Their honesty and openness may have been refreshing. Jesus came to forgive their sin, but He never condoned it.

    There are parts of this story that I would have done differently! But I am not in charge. There is a God, and we are not HIM!
     
  4. rjprince

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    You left out verse 10! It is important to the discussion...

     
  5. rjprince

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    One other possible reason for this miracle is that it demonstrated "His glory and His disciples believed on Him", v. 11.

    It did have a definite "faith-boosting" effect upon His disciples.

    We should also keep in mind that they did not have a choice of sweet or unsweet tea, coke or pepsi, perrier or dasante... It was pretty much water or wine in Palestine.

    Did a wedding last Saturday. They did not have wine, but since more guests came than anticipated, they did send someone to the store to buy more soft drinks...
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    Honestly, I think Jesus was a party animal. He knew h ow to celebrate.
     
  7. rjprince

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    LOL! He certainly seemed to enjoy messing with the expectations of the religious crowd, didn't He?!?!?! I honestly believe that He intentionally went out of His way just to tick them off! That is what I believe! Maybe that is another reason for the whole water into wine thing?
     
  8. LeBuick

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    Apart from the miracle, I believe there is purpose in the words of Mary. She first comes to Jesus and says they have no wine. She then instructs the servants to do whatever he tells them to do. We say this was the beginning of Jesus’ miracles but Mary gives us suspicion to suspect otherwise. To everyone else he was just another person at the wedding but to Mary, his mother, she knew something about him that made her call on him when the wine ran out.

    I am leaning toward verse 11 to answer this question

    Jn 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

    I guess I am just curious why he would choose this setting to manifest his glory?
     
  9. npetreley

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    Maybe there's no deeper meaning to it. Maybe the wine symbolizes His blood, and the wedding His church. I don't know.
     
  10. TCGreek

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    1. Can't we just accept the simple reading of Scripture without too much deep reasoning?

    2. In another place, John says that the episode of Lazarus was to bring glory to both the Father and the Son (11:4).
     
  11. jshurley04

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    Understanding Wine



    We have no scriptural proof that anyone was intoxicated or acting under the influence. What we do have is a one time only phrase in scripture that refers to drinking and not being drunken or intoxicated. In doing some surface research, the implication is that they "have well drunk" does not refer to intoxication but rather to steady drinking so as to diffuse or dull the sense of taste of quality. Further, Barnes (I don't care if you like him or not) references an anceint author that indicates that "good wine" refers to the taste, body, color, aroma, and so on of a beverage and infers to a milder level of intoxicating effect so that the good wine is understood to be destitute of spirits (the kind that causes intoxication). It is also understood that "bad wine" would refer to taste, body, color, aroma and include a higher level of alchol as new or good wine. In fact, the O.T. indicates the phrase "new wine" as wine that has recently been pressed out of the grape and is now ready for drink. We have to consider that to get the alchol content of today, wine has to firment for years and not hours or days.

    Further, I have sat under some teaching on the subject which presents wine as a generic term for purified water. I have not searched it out, but merely present this as something to ponder in our understanding of strong drink. However, Barnes also notes that wine of the time of Christ is a pure form of grape juice that does not carry the same combination of ingredients as ours do of today. Thus it may have small amounts of alcohol as its content, but certainly not enough to be considered an alcholic drink as we do today.

    Keep in mind that Christ is perfect in all that He is and does, so why would He present a beverage that would be a clear violation of the teaching of the Old Testament Proverbs?
     
  12. David Lamb

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    The answer is surely in John 2.11:

    This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.​
     
  13. Linda64

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    C. Jesus Making Wine at the Marriage Feast in Cana (John 2:3-10)

    1. In considering Jesus’ first miracle, two important principles must govern our thoughts:

    a. The wine Jesus made did not conform to modern standards for fermented wine. His wine surpassed the standards of that day and was judged superior to that which had been previously consumed. Because new wine (unfermented) was considered superior to the sour, fermented variety; one could assume that Jesus’ wine was new wine.

    b. Whatever the nature of the wine Jesus made, we can be certain that it was consistent with His character. Dr. R.A. Torrey has written:

    "The wine provided for the marriage festivities at Cana failed. A cloud was about to fall over the joy of what is properly a festive occasion. Jesus came to the rescue. He provided wine, but there is not a hint that the wine He made was intoxicating. It was fresh-made wine. New-made wine is never intoxicating. It is not intoxicating until sometime after the process of fermentation has set in. Fermentation is a process of decay. There is not a hint that our Lord produced alcohol, which is a product of decay and death. He produced a living wine uncontaminated by fermentation."

    2. The true nature of the wine Jesus made at Cana is unknown. Consider the words of Dr. William Pettingill, one of the last century’s great Bible scholars:

    "I do not pretend to know the nature of the wine furnished by our Lord at the wedding of Cana, but I am satisfied that there was little resemblance in it to the thing described in the Scriptures of God as biting like a serpent and stinging like an adder (Prov. 23:29-32). Doubtless rather it was like the heavenly fruit of the vine that He will drink new with His own in His Father’s kingdom (Matt.26:29). No wonder the governor of the wedding feast at Cana pronounced it the best wine kept until last. Never before had he tasted such wine, and never did he taste it again."

    3. Years ago, Presbyterian scholar Albert Barnes wrote:

    "No man should adduce this instance in favor of drinking wine unless he can prove that the wine made in the “water pots” of Cana was just like the wine which he proposes to drink."

    Baptist Ministry Seminar – Session 7:
    The Bible and Beverage Alcohol, Part 2

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/8110510746.pdf
     
  14. standingfirminChrist

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    Along with the Historians Aristotle, Cato, Horace, Herodotus, Josephus, Pliny , Plutarch and Xenophon citing at least five processes by which fruits were preserved and fruit juices kept unfermented—by cold, heat, boiling, straining, and chemicals (sulphur), and mentioning "wines that do not make the heart heavy," we have this most revealing quote by yet another Historian, Caesar Baronius:


    "The practice of abstinence was so widespread among the early Christians, and prized so much, that in some places scandal was given if a Christian were seen to depart from it and drink intoxicating wine."

    The Word of God commands "Look thou not" in the Old Testament, and "Be ye sober" in the New Testament. The early Christians understood what these words meant... this is evidenced by Historical documents. It is too bad the Church of today does not heed the warning against alcohol in any amount as being forbidden. At the last, it will bite like a serpent and sting like an adder.

    This poison called alcohol was never condoned by God for human consumption. Oh that we who claim to be of God would follow the example of the early Christian Church and abstain from the drink that deceives and mocks.

    In light of the Word of God, and Historian documents, the wine Jesus produced had to have been nothing more than what we refer to as grape juice.

    Had it been intoxicating wine, He would have been providing for someone to stumble. He came to seek and to save that which was lost, not help them down the road to hell.
     
  15. Alcott

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    Your opening statement and the succeeding paragraph do not match. Whether the wine was fermented-- or if it could have so tasted without actually being so-- seems to be exactly what you are spurring discussion about. Besides, as I see you have about the same number of posts on this board as myself, surely you know that any thread about wine is going to go that direction... it probably would even without Old Slick.
     
  16. Zenas

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    Few people are more comfortable with the Bible than Baptists. Yet there are some passages we just don't like and this is one of them. I have taught Sunday School 25 years (that's about 1,300 Sunday School lessons) and have never had a lesson from John 2:1-11. That's really too bad because John 2:5 contains a lesson for all the ages: "His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.'"
     
  17. Jkdbuck76

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    WHy?

    Because He was predestined to, silly! :laugh:
     
  18. rjprince

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    Oh, come on! "Surface research"? Dig a little deeper!The word is the root word for methuskw used in Eph 5:18! Look it up in a lexicon!

    Methuw means "drunk" not that the tastebuds have become dull!

    3184 methuo meth-oo’-o - from another form of 3178; TDNT-4:545,576; v -
    AV-be drunken 5, have well drunk 1, be made drunk 1; 7
    1) to be drunken
    2) metaph. of one who has shed blood or murdered profusely


    A similar root is 3178 meyh methe meth’-ay - apparently a root word; TDNT-4:545,576; n f
    AV-drunkenness 3; 3
    1) intoxication
    2) drunkenness

    The lengths that people will go to to deny the plain meaning of the word. It really bothers me that Jesus turned the water into wine. I have literally spent a COUPLE OF HUNDRED hours researching trying to prove that it was grape juice. That is how bad it bothers me. That is what I wanted to get to. On the basis of the text you just can’t do it!

    If you do a lot of historical research you CAN find out about semper mustum and some other non-alcoholic things they did with grapes.

    WHAT YOU CANNOT DO IS DEMONSTRATE FROM THE TEXT THAT THIS WAS ANYTHING LESS THAN WINE! THE WORD IS "DRUNK".

    How can someone use Eph 5:18 against drunkenness and then maintain that it refers to the dulling of the tastebuds in John 2:10? UNBELIEVABLE! Of course this is not my first trip to this rodeo...

    But if you really want to argue that it is non-alcoholic – a Seventh Day Adventist, can’t think of his name at the moment, did about the best presentation of that side. His arguments simply won’t HOLD WATER, IMO, only wine.
     
  19. LeBuick

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    Sure it does, the question I was asked and that has been keeping me in thought is WHY did he make it and not WHAT did he make?

    Reading the responses in this thread shows the amount of confusion this first miracle brought to future believers. God is not the author of confusion so we know this biblical account was not intended to be the source of such debate.

    Why this as his first miracle?
    Answer whether we accept it or not is it manifested His glory. </scratches head>
    It also made believers out of his disciples.

    Why this of all means at his command to get to the end of manifesting his glory?
     
  20. jshurley04

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    Understanding Wine

    So then it is your contention that Jesus is a violator of His own Word? The problem is that you cannot prove intoxication in the context of the cultural setting and you are also reading in an American predisposition to the understanding of drunkenness or drunk, meaning intoxicated. The historical context alone from non-theological sources proves that intoxication is not the desired use of the wine or of the statement about being drunk. Besides, the structure of the verse (2:10 - KJV) states "have well drunk" which gives the natural implication of drinking large quantities of beverage and does not imply a state of intoxication.

    Proper interpretation is not JUST word definition, it is also historical context in relation to the word definition and proper understanding of historical meanings and settings. If the world of that day understood wine as to be good to the taste, and the historical understanding of wine is that the alcohol content is very low and we know that a high alchol content makes a bitter product, then how can it be argued that they are drunk to intoxication.

    I will research further and post later, I just wanted to reply so that we could continue the discussion. I don't run away from those who disagree with me, I might hide for a while, but I don't run away. :laugh:
     

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