Did Jesus Drink Wine?

Did Jesus drink wine? Good question! Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

Jesus famously made wine for a wedding feast He attended in Cana of Galilee:

There was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there (along with) Jesus and His disciples. The wine ran out, (and) the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said … My hour has not yet come (John 2:1-4).”

What, no Wine?

What are Our Options?

Running out of wine at a wedding in this culture was tragic, probably shameful. Jesus’ mother, Mary, knew, if there was something someone could do to provide wine, they should do it. However, her options were limited. But Jesus’ time for ministry and miracles hadn’t arrived. Still, it was probably close to the  time for His public ministry, and this pushed Him into the spotlight.

“Six water pots made of stone were sitting there … containing twenty to thirty gallons (of water) each (John 2:6).”

Jesus’ First Sign

John, the writer of this gospel, called Jesus turning the water into wine Jesus’ first sign (miracle). That wedding reception was a big celebration! Jesus’ miracle resulted in about 150 gallons of wine.

Water into Quality Wine

Serving the Best Wine Last

“The master of the feast tasted the water that had been turned into wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who drew the water knew), (he) called the bridegroom, (saying), “Every man serves the good wine first, and after men have drunk freely, then the poor wine is served. But you have kept the good wine until now (John 2:9-10).”

Also, the wine Jesus crafted was of the highest quality. After the master of the feast sampled the wine, he was amazed and said that usually, good wine is served first. Then, after peoples’ senses are dulled from consuming good wine, they aren’t as particular, so they don’t notice as much when poorer wine is served. But the wine Jesus made was better than the good wine that the master served first.

Aged Wine?

Wine takes time to age and in general, good wine takes longer to age than lesser wine. Jesus’ miracle was more impressive because the wine Jesus generated was so good without having to age or involve grapes as a starter.

Jesus’ Glory Revealed

This account doesn’t specifically tell us whether Jesus drank any of the wine He made. But it seems likely He did and He clearly drank wine when He instituted the Last Supper.”

“This, the first of His signs, Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him (John 2:11).”

Jesus a Winebibber?

During His ministry, Jesus made the following comparison between His lifestyle and John the Baptist’s:

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners (Matthew 11:18-19).”

John didn’t drink because he was a Nazarite, and they were forbidden to drink wine or cut their hair. Jesus didn’t have those restrictions, so He didn’t abstain from certain foods or from drinking wine. Amusingly, people rejected both of these approaches to ministry.

Jesus Sharing the Cup

When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (communion), He shared a cup of wine with His disciples, saying,

 “Truly I say to you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God (Mark 14:25).”

Real Wine

Watered Down?

Some have said that the wine referred to in the New Testament is so watered down that it wasn’t likely it contained enough alcohol to affect people. That conclusion doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. If that were true, Jesus wouldn’t have been criticized for partaking, and the wine at the wedding wouldn’t have been “the good wine.” It also wouldn’t have dulled peoples’ senses enough to have served them the poorer wine.

Full of New Wine?

Jesus had already ascended when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. But when the crowd heard the disciples speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them speech, some accused them of drunkenness:

“They were all amazed and marveled, saying to each other, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we hear, each in our own native language?  “What does this mean?” Others mocking said, “These men are full of new wine (Acts 2:7-8, 13).”

Conclusion

So, the wine and new wine mentioned in the Bible had the usual alcohol content and were capable of their usual effects on people.

So, did Jesus drink wine? The Bible accounts that mention Jesus and wine indicate that He did. And the stories don’t make good sense if the wine didn’t contain its usual alcohol. We’re also sure He partook with discretion.

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