John 2:1-11 gives the account of the Lord Jesus turning water into wine at a marriage feast.  We are told that this is the first miracle that He performed.  This was a very appropriate miracle for Him to start with!  We are told in Psalm 104:15 that wine “maketh the heart glad.”  So, the Lord Jesus providing happiness is really the basis of why He came here.  He came to give us eternal life and a place with Him in glory.  We read in Psalm 16:11 that “in thy presence is fulness of joy.”  To be redeemed by Him and to dwell with Him in glory gives us joy that we can never know while still here.

What kind of wine did the Lord make?  Obviously, it was the best!  Almost every time the word ‘wine’ is used in the New Testament, it is translated from the Greek word ‘oinos’, which literally means ‘intoxicating wine’.  Some have objected to the idea of the Lord making an intoxicating beverage and say that He made ‘new wine’ which was not intoxicating.  Let’s read Acts 2:13, “Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.”  The occasion here is the day of Pentecost when the church began.  Those believers there were listening to Peter speak in his language, but they all heard him in their own language.  There was great celebration and joy, and they were accused of being drunk with ‘new wine’, showing that new wine is indeed very intoxicating.

This portion tells us that the Lord created wine, but did He drink wine?  Let’s read Matthew 11:18-19 where the Lord is speaking of Himself and John the Baptist.  That says, “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.”  John did not drink (as a result of his Nazarite vow) and the people accused him of being possessed by a demon.  The Son of man (Christ) did drink and was accused of being a winebibber, or a drunkard.  Of course, these people hated both John and the Lord and were making up criticisms to hurl at them.  Did the Lord Jesus drink wine?  It is obvious that He did.  Did He ever get drunk?  No, that would be sin.

Wine is not condemned, but the abuse of wine is strongly condemned.  We are taught in Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”  In this verse, wine and the Spirit are mentioned in a contrasting way.  The Lord does not want us to be drunk and thus be led by the wine.  Rather, He wants us to be filled with and led by His Spirit.  The key here is ‘excess’.  It would be sin for us to be drunk.  We read in Genesis 9:18-27 of Moses drinking too much wine and being drunk.  The result was shameful.  However in Genesis 14, we have the account of Abraham being victorious in battle, we read that “Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” (Verse 18)  Here Abraham was nurtured with bread and also drank wine.  Melchizedek, as a type of the Lord Jesus (read Hebrews 7) brought him nourishment and joy!

I realize that many people have true horror stories involving alcohol.  Many were abused by alcoholic parents, relatives, or spouses.  Their stories are real and they are terrible.  However it is the ‘abuse’ of alcohol that is condemned, not the drinking of it.  Some are determined to never drink a drop of alcohol and that is fine.  Scripture does not demand us to drink, but it does allow it in moderation. Some have rightfully pointed out the prohibition of wine or strong drink in the Old Testament.  Let’s read one such case.  Leviticus 10:8-9, “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations.”  Notice here that it is during their time of administering their priestly duties that wine and strong drink was prohibited.  The Nazarite vow also prohibited drinking wine.  I am not trying to give permission here to people who love to drink to excess.  That is strictly forbidden, but wine in moderation is not condemned, for even the Lord Jesus did that.  (209.4)