The Grape Juice Club

Communion, or the Lord’s supper, has been ruined for me at the church where my wife attends. Every time there’s a communion service, somewhere along the way the pastor has to insert the idea that the disciples didn’t really drink wine. Instead, it was more on the order of grape juice. After all, Jesus wouldn’t give His people something on which they could get drunk.

I keep waiting for a voice from on high to say, “Today’s communion service is brought to you by Welch’s Grape Juice.”

I suppose it’s possible the wine they drank was diluted, making it difficult to get drunk. On the other hand, it was still wine, no matter how diluted.

As for the notion of Jesus not giving something on which His disciples could get drunk, why not? They didn’t drink enough at His last supper to get drunk. Why would any of us do so when we take communion today?

I don’t care that churches everywhere today serve grape juice at communion. I’m comfortable with grape juice being the fruit of the vine and representing wine, and ultimately symbolizing Christ’s shed blood. To me, that’s not the issue. The issue is that the pastor who says they didn’t use wine in the New Testament times is just plain wrong.

But the argument goes that Jesus wouldn’t create strong wine for getting drunk at the wedding where He turned water into wine. Oh, why not? We don’t know whether people got drunk at that wedding. We don’t know that they didn’t either.

The real issue in John’s account of this miracle is that it was just that—a miracle—an act of creation that cause His disciples to believe on Him. Who knows about the rest of the people there that day? What did it matter if they got stone drunk?

If Jesus wouldn’t have created wine from water that day, then the grape juice club would have a sound argument. The fact is, God permits the growth of plants and substances that can be used to get people drunk or drugged up. If He was so moral as to prohibit the creation of wine at a wedding, why does He allow the existence of potentially harmful substances at all?

Who are all the Scriptural admonitions against drunkenness for? Who are any commandments about morality for in the Bible? They’re for those who will follow the Lord. Anyone else is welcome to follow such injunctions, too, of course. But being moral doesn’t make one a Christian. Believers practice morality and do good works because of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

God knows what’s in people’s hearts. The world’s going to do what it’s going to do. That’s why John’s account of the wedding in John chapter 2 doesn’t emphasize drunkenness, but the fact that the miracle caused Jesus’ followers to believe on Him as the Son of God and Messiah.

In fact, I’d go so far as to ask this. What if Jesus did create wine so people at the wedding could get drunk? After all, the Lord gave Israel quail in the wilderness to the point that many got sick and died. They got what they wanted, and how!

So if you believe God doesn’t think people should get drunk or overeat, think again. He may not only be permitting it, but helping them to do it!

When anyone gets drunk, gets fat, does drugs, or whatever, they’re only getting what they want. And what they want in their lives isn’t God first.

John 2:1-11
1. And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2. And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
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,
10. And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Numbers 11:18-23, 31-34
18. And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
19. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
20. But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
21. And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.
22. Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?
23. And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not….
31. And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
32. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
33. And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
34. And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible Study, Thoughts from John

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