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Did Jesus Turn Water into Alcoholic Wine?

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

We know that the wine Jesus made at the wedding in John 2 was non-alcoholic pure grape juice for the following reasons:

1. The word wine in the Bible is a generic term; sometimes it means grape juice; sometimes it means alcoholic beverages. The following verses prove that the word "wine" can mean fresh grape juice, the fruit of the vine: De. 11:14; 2 Ch. 31:5; Ne. 13:15; Pr. 3:10; Is. 16:10; 65:8; 1 Tim. 5:23.

2. It was unlawful for kings and priests to drink alcoholic wine, and Jesus was both (Pr. 31:4; Lev. 10:8-11). "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink." (Pr. 31:4). He wouldn’t have drank it, and He wouldn’t have made it.

3. It is forbidden to give alcoholic drink to others to make them drunk (Hab. 2:15). Jesus would not have made alcoholic wine, transgressing this very commandment. If this wine that Jesus made was intoxicating, then He was guilty of putting the bottle to His neighbour's lips (Hab. 2:15), which then means He transgressed His own Word, which then makes Him a sinner. But God forbid! Jesus is Perfect and without sin!

4. Had they been drinking alcoholic wine earlier, the Scriptures forbade them to tarry long at it (Pr. 23:29-30). But it was never alcoholic wine at any point.

5. The Bible says no drunkard will ever enter heaven: “nor drunkards . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:10). Only by being "born again" (Jn 3:3-7; 1 Cor 6:10-11), can a drunkard be cleansed of his sin and be made fit for heaven. Think about it for a second. That’s all you should need. If Jesus turned water into an alcoholic beverage, He would’ve made everyone that drank from the wine at the wedding, drunk to some degree. Drunkenness has many degrees my friend. This then consequently means Jesus was responsible for causing those people to sin, to being “drunkards” and thus not inheriting His kingdom, the kingdom of God. He would specifically be the cause of these people being cast into eternal hell fire. NO, Jesus did NOT turn water into alcoholic wine.

6. This miracle proved that Jesus was the Messiah (Jn. 2:11) and it glorified Him, which means that Jesus did not do anything unholy or unwise in this circumstance (or any other for that matter). The apostles knew that the Messiah would be sinless and holy. Had the people been drinking alcoholic wine prior to that, which follows that narrative since they were drinking wine prior to running out, 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. It is also unwise for men to drink alcoholic wine (Pr. 20:1), especially kings (Pr. 31:4) and we know that Jesus, Wisdom incarnate, would never do anything unwise.

7. The more alcohol a man drinks, the less he can taste of the drink. Anyone would admit this. After we drink much of anything, our ability to taste becomes less sensitive, but especially alcohol. There is a threshold and its crossed fairly quickly. Yet at the wedding, the very opposite occurred: "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." (Jn. 2:10). How would this man have known that this wine was better? His ability to taste should have lessened. Furthermore, alcoholic beverages never taste better after drinking much. And verse 10 does not mean that the people were drunken. “Drunk” is referring to past tense drinking. The fact that the people at the wedding recognized Jesus’ wine as superior to the earlier wine shows that they were not drunken. Had they been drunken, as in toxicated, they would not have noticed that the wine that Jesus made was better.

8. The Nazarites were forbidden to drink wine: "He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine…" (Num. 6:3). Samson, a Nazarite and the strongest man that ever lived, did not drink wine. We cannot believe that Jesus was less separated than the Nazarite Samson or Daniel or John the Baptist (Lk. 1:15).

9. Jesus Christ was not a winebibber. The Phari­sees did accuse Him of being gluttonous, a winebibber and having a devil, but all three charges were false. If He was a winebibber, the Bible commands separation from such (Pr. 23:20). But God forbid!

10. Alcoholic wine is a deceiver (Pr 20:1), and we know that Christ would not partake in something that would deceive people.

11. Had Jesus given the people alcoholic wine at that juncture in the wedding, He and they would have been breaking God’s commandment not to tarry long at the wine (Pr 23:29-30).

12. Alcohol ("strong drink" and "wine" many occasions) is classified in the Scriptures as unholy and unclean (Lev. 10:9-10) and the Scriptures declare when someone is saved they will “put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;" (Lev. 10:10). This warning is written specifically to the priesthood (Lev. 10:8), and believers are "priests unto God" (Rev. 1:6; 5:10), under their High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1). If the sinless Son of God expects His children not to partake of alcoholic "wine" and "strong drink", we can certainly rest assured that He would never have created alcoholic "wine" or "strong drink".

We can know for absolute certainty that the sinless Son of God did not make intoxicating wine. He did though turn the water into wine, that is pure grape juice, at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. The Greek word for wine is "oinos.” “Oinos is a generic word, and as such, includes all kinds of wine and all stages of the juice of the grape, and sometimes the clusters and even the vine, it is begging the whole question to assert that it was intoxicating." (William Patton, Bible Wines or The Laws of Fermentation).

The Spirit of God would never have put anything in the Bible to encourage drunks, to cause men to offend in sin (Rom 14:21; 1 Cor 10:31-33), but the idea that Jesus made alcoholic wine for distribution at a wedding has done exactly that. It gives encouragement and justification for men to sin. But it’s not of God!

For further reading on alcohol see Total Abstinence Society is the Only Remedy

"Look Not Upon the Wine When It Is Red"

Look not upon the wine when it

Is red within the cup;

Stay not for pleasure when she fills

Her tempting beaker up;

Though clear its depths, and rich its glow,

A spell of madness lurks below.

They say 'tis pleasant on the lip,

And merry on the brain;

They say it stirs the sluggish blood,

And dulls the tooth of pain:

Ay, but within its gloomy deeps

A stinging serpent unseen sleeps.

Its rosy lights will turn to fire,

Its coolness change to thirst;

And by its mirth within the brim

A sleepless worm is nursed.

There 's not a bubble at the brim

That does not carry food to him.

— by N. P. Willis (1847)

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