Did Jesus Make Alcoholic Wine?
By Bruce Lackey

Jesus did not drink or make alcoholic wine. Here are ten proofs from Scripture.

THE FIRST REASON IS BECAUSE OF HIS HOLY NATURE. In Heb. 7:26, we read that the Lord Jesus is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." No doubt, the Saviour, being God in the flesh, had an air of holiness about Himself that could be seen by even the most casual observer. For instance, the profane soldiers, who were sent to arrest Him, gave as their reason for returning without Him, that "never a man spake like this man." (John 7:46) The words of Jesus were different; He, no doubt, had a very holy appearance, character, and speech.

Why is this so important? Consider this illustration. The word "cider" may mean an alcoholic beverage, or plain apple juice. Suppose we lived during the 1920s, prohibition days, and were approached by two people offering us a drink of cider. One of the persons, we knew to be one of the holiest men in town, faithful to the house of God, separated from the world, diligent in prayers, always witnessing to others; the other was a known liquor dealer. If each one offered us a drink of "his very own cider," we would assume that the holy person's was no more than apple juice, but there would be no doubt about our opinion regarding the liquor dealer's cider! Obviously, the character of a person influences what that one does.

Since the Lord Jesus Christ was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," we may safely assume that He would not make that which is called in Scripture a mocker and deceiver of man, causing untold misery.

A SECOND REASON: HE WOULD NOT CONTRADICT SCRIPTURE. In Mt. 5:17-18, Christ made this clear, saying, "Think not that I am come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Therefore, Christ could not have contradicted Hab. 2:15, "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!"

Certainly, Jesus knew that this verse was in the Bible; He was well-acquainted with Scripture, since it is His Word and was written about Him. He did not come to violate Scripture, but to fulfill it. He could not have done so, if He had made alcoholic wine and had given it to his neighbor.

Some people object to the use of this verse by saying that it would apply only to one who would give his neighbor drink for the purpose of looking on his nakedness. But we must remember: when one gives his neighbor something which will make him drunk, he is putting himself in the very class of those who do so in order to look on their nakedness. And since the Scripture commands us to "abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Th. 5:22), we can be sure that the Lord Jesus would not have done something that would have been associated with such an evil practice as that described in Hab. 2:15. For the same reason, no Christian should be engaged in the selling of alcoholic beverage.

THE THIRD REASON IS THAT LEV. 10:9-11 COMMANDS THE PRIEST OF GOD, "DO NOT DRINK WINE NOR STRONG DRINK ... That Ye May Put Difference Between Holy And Unholy, And Between Unclean And Clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statues which the Lord hath spoken..." Now, since Heb. 2:17 calls Christ "a merciful and faithful high priest," we would expect Him to obey all Scriptures pertaining to that office. If He had made or drunk alcoholic wine, He would have disobeyed these verses and would have been disqualified from teaching the children of Israel the statues of the Lord.

THE FOURTH REASON IS FOUND IN A PASSAGE WHICH WE HAVE ALREADY CONSIDERED: PR. 31:4-5 PROHIBITS KINGS AND PRINCES FROM DRINKING ALCOHOLIC WINE OR ANY OTHER STRONG DRINK. IF THEY HAD DONE SO, THEIR JUDGMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERVERTED. It was necessary for Christ to obey these verses also, since He was Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) and King of Kings (Rev. 19:16). In Mt. 27:11, He admitted to being the King of the Jews. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey's colt, to fulfill Zec. 9:9, which prophesied that Israel's king would enter the city in just that way. Undoubtedly, He was king, and as such, would have had to obey Pr. 31:4-5.

REASON FIVE: CHRIST DID NOT COME TO MOCK OR DECEIVE PEOPLE, yet Pr. 20:1 says that wine does both. Rather than coming to mock or deceive he came to save!

REASON SIX: HE DID NOT COME TO SEND PEOPLE TO HELL. We have already seen that Is. 5:11-14 teaches that Hell had to be enlarged because of the drinking of alcoholic beverage. Christ did not come to send people to Hell; listen to Jn. 3:17: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

REASON SEVEN: CHRIST DID NOT COME TO CAST A STUMBLINGBLOCK BEFORE ANYONE; yet, Rom. 14:21 teaches that a person who gives another alcoholic wine does just that. "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." Everyone who has studied the problem of alcoholism has learned that some people cannot handle any amount of alcohol, while others may drink one or two "social" drinks and stop. Experts do not know why this is true; various theories have been propounded, but nothing has been proved to be true regarding every person. Some say it is chemical; others insist that it must be psychological. The fact is, we do not know for certain. In any given group of people, there would be several potential alcoholics. What a shame it would be for a person, who is a potential slave to it, to get his first taste at the Lord's table in church, then proceed down the road of misery to an alcoholic's grave!

I certainly would not want my children to get their first taste of alcohol at the family meal; nor would I want them to get it at church. One or more of them could well be potential alcoholics. As evidence that this is possible, we should consider that some denominations which serve alcoholic wine in their religious services also operate homes for alcoholic priests!

But we can be absolutely sure that Christ did not come to cause others to stumble!

THE EIGHTH REASON: JOHN 2, THE MIRACLE OF TURNING WATER INTO WINE, DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT IT BE ALCOHOLIC. Many insist that it was, on the basis of verse 10, which says, "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." They would say that, in those days, it was common to serve the best alcoholic wine at first, saving the worst until later, when men's tastes have been dulled by much drinking. But the point is just the opposite here! These people could definitely recognize that the wine which Jesus made was much better than what they had been served at first. This could not have been possible if they were already well on their way to becoming intoxicated! The fact is, neither the wine which they had at first, nor that which Christ made, was alcoholic.

REASON NINE IS FOUND IN THE SAME PASSAGE: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN GLORY FROM MAKING DRUNK PEOPLE DRUNKER. Verse 11 is most important when it states that, by this miracle, Jesus "manifested forth his glory." Verse 10 indicates that the people had drunk quite a bit of whatever kind of wine they were drinking. If it had been alcoholic, they would have been intoxicated, or nearly so. Had Christ made alcoholic wine, He would have made drunk people drunker, or almost-drunk people completely drunk! Such a deed would certainly not have manifested any glory to Him!

This chapter also gives us the tenth reason: making drunk people drunker would not have caused his disciples to believe more strongly on him, yet verse 11 says that, as a result of what He did in turning the water into wine, "his disciples believed on him." Jn. 1:41 shows that they had already believed on Him as Messiah; this was a deepening of their faith and a proof that they had not been wrong. Would making drunk people drunker inspire such faith? The opposite would be likely! They were not looking for a Messiah who would pass out free booze! Thus, because of the description of this miracle and its result, we can not conclude otherwise than that this wine was non-alcoholic.


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