So we’re offering an editorial caveat on this one! Love Zach! Want to keep him writing! Isn’t it hilarious he chose a subject on which this particular editor gets shockingly conservative, after all her dips into liberalism??? So, read on. This is, though, a personal reflection from an RCC member (as opposed to an official statement from the elders)—which we love to receive—that you may agree or disagree with; hopefully, it will encourage further conversation on this subject (something we are sure Zach would love to have). Go for it, Zach!
by Zach Kadish
Jesus likes good wine…
How do we know Jesus likes good wine? Well, when He was celebrating a marriage, the Scriptures tell us that He turned some water into wine. It’s not just any wine, but it was good wine.
“When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine unit now.” (John 2:9-10, ESV)
From this passage, we can see that the people at this wedding had already drunk freely—let’s say three glasses perhaps (by today’s standards). Or we might surmise that freely means that everyone was allowed to have however much they wanted. One could deduce that some people had no wine, and some had one or even two glasses. Perhaps there were people at this occasion who were already drunk. Or maybe everyone was conscious of Jesus’s presence and stopped at three glasses.
Okay, I’m kidding: the Scriptures doesn’t say or imply that at all.
In fact, I don’t think anyone there knew that the King was in their midst. Now, I am sure some people knew Jesus, but they didn’t know Jesus was the Messiah. Scriptures tell us that Jesus had His disciples with Him, and that it’s Jesus’s first miracle. I think you could say that no one there was thinking of Him as a Holy Man . . . Well, maybe, some people there did consider him to be a Holy Man. His disciples were there, after all.
What exactly is going on here? We have the King hanging out at a marriage reception with His disciples. And His mother pipes up when the wine runs out. And it’s pretty clear to me that she knows what she’s doing.
“When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’” (John 2:3-4, ESV)
Now, I don’t know about you, but I find this passage has a little humor. It’s funny for a few reasons. First, he refers to her as “Woman”—not mother, not Mary, not mama. But “Woman!” I personally find this funny because it’s so counter to the feminist culture we currently find ourselves in… but I digress.
It’s also a little humorous because it’s so personal. That’s right, it’s personal. She is His mother and He is her son. They know each other very well. It seems to me that He is almost teasing her a little bit. He is reluctant to perform the miracle that she is asking Him to perform? And He teases her in way that only someone who knows her very well could. We don’t know exactly what transpired between them. What we do know is that He does what she asks, and she goes on to tell the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
It’s clear to me that she knew Jesus. She knew Jesus could manipulate the very fabric of the universe. She knew that He could perform miracles. There is no doubt in my mind that she knew He could perform this miracle. The thought may have crossed her mind: “He might not do this . . . ” But I don’t think for one second, that there was any doubt in her mind that He could do it.
Mary knew what she was doing and Jesus knew what He was doing.
They both were involved with a cosmic inside joke. Okay, this is not a joke . . . A cosmic show and tell? She asked Him to do something special—miraculous—and she was most likely wanting to share how crazy-special her son was with the world, and she probably even knew He wasn’t ready to share who He really was. But she asked and He obliged!
I know this is a lot of conjecture, and I am not asking you to believe me . . . but can you see it? Now you might see Him as just being grumpy when she asked. And you might hear Him say, “Woman!” and wonder at the tone. But I don’t. I see a mother and son having a little fun with each other. That was a super tangent, so let’s get back to the Bible.
“Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty of thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.’ So, they took it.” (John 2:6-8, ESV)
Mary knew what she was doing, and Jesus knew what He was doing. He wound up turning 120 to 130 gallons of water into wine. And not just any wine, but good wine! They both knew that some people were drunk and would drink more. And that some people who were not drunk would then get drunk. And some who hadn’t drunk any wine would then drink some. Dare I say they were aware of the consequences of their behavior?
But it’s most important to see this in light of Jesus. I really just want to point out that He didn’t say anything about drinking. Maybe because it didn’t matter? Maybe because He didn’t mind? We just don’t know because He didn’t address drinking or getting drunk at all. He had a captive audience, and He could’ve easily given an impromptu sermon, but . . .
Now understand . . . please! I am not making excuses for destroying your life with alcohol or drugs.
I just don’t think Jesus was a prohibitionist.
Jesus likes good wine.