and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:9-11
Jesus saves the best for last
Wine is a very popular term in the bible, and one which is sometimes confused is the miracle where Jesus turned water into wine. Weddings in the middle east usually last much longer than American weddings; they last about one week. During this ceremony Jesus was present, along with his birth mother Mary and the disciples. For some reason the wine finished, but the party had not; so Mary asks Jesus to turn the water into wine. Jesus responds with a shocking “woman, it is not yet my time (to do miracles and demonstrate God’s glory)”. But Mary only walks away, Jesus is obedient to his earth mom and turns the water into wine.
Greek word for wine: oinos
Grape juice and wine are similar, they both come from vines of grape, either white or red (purple). This is the term for the grape juice which is fermented/alcoholic. And this is the same type of juice Jesus made at the wedding feast, the one containing alcohol. This same word is used in Ephesians 5:18, “...do not get drunk on wine…”. This is a Christian dilemma in many churches, even for myself for quite some time. I thought Jesus never drank wine, until my friend brought up a good point: Jesus drank of the cup in the last supper, it was a cup of wine.
- Ecclesiastes 9:7: Drink your wine with a merry heart.
- Psalm 104:14-15: wine that makes glad the heart of men.
- Amos 9:14: I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine..
- Isaiah 55:1: Yes, come buy wine and milk…
- Proverbs 31:6: Give strong drink [as medicine] to him who is ready to pass away, And wine to him whose life is bitter.
Even with these scriptures in the bible, some proclaim that consumption of alcohol in any quantity is sin. Truth is that God is against alcohol, but when it is abused in over consumption, and/or addiction! Same as food, food is good but it is bad when it becomes a source of dependency or illness because of gluttony. My pastor preached once, and he said that Jesus would not have made wine because the people would have been drunk and Jesus would not go against His character to do so. I am sure that he meant well, but it was not a sin for Jesus to create an alcoholic drink.
- Ephesians 5:18: do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
- Proverbs 23:29-30: Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
- Proverbs 20:1: Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
Is it bad that Jesus cared about a celebration? Is it wrong for Jesus to provide something to the people which would provide some sort of pleasure? God is holy, but God is also the God of details. God is spirit, but God the Son (Jesus) is also a man. So He can us physical things, as well as spiritual; He is not ignorant of our needs. Jesus provided a need during this wedding, but He also proved to the disciples that He was a carrier of God’s glory. He did not mean to prove this to them, which makes it even better. Imagine this: somebody has a need or something needs to get done, and you are able to provide the solution. In doing so, you get the praise without even trying to attract attention unto yourself.
For some it is Well, then again, maybe not! The joy of possessions, lovers, money, vacations, leisure activities, careers or work are things that will not last! Just like the wine finished at the wedding, sometimes God will allow things to end in our lives so that He can give us the best. The host of the wedding banquet declared ‘you have saved the best till now!‘. Hopefully, you and I will both be able to say God you have saved the best until now!
Father God, I pray that you would pour new wine into our lives. Let the old wine, we’ve had for so long finish. And please provide for us some new wine, which will bring you glory. The new wine which represents greater joy, greater love, greater connections, and greater relationships, including our relationship with you. I pray that the years of sickness, lack and mental problems come to their end, and be replaced by health, in our bodies just as our souls prosper and may we see you meet our needs and fill our cups until they overflow. I pray this renewal and conversion in Jesus name, Amen.
Finished wine: The law v. The new wine: Grace