First we’ll look at the Last Supper. In not one of the gospels recording this event is there any mention of “wine.” Just examine the texts:
- Matt. 26:27, “…he took the cup”
- Matt. 26:29, “…I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
- Mk. 14:23, “…he took the cup”
- Mk. 14:25, “…the fruit of the vine”
- Lk. 22:17, “…he took the cup”
- Lk. 22:18, “…the fruit of the vine”
When Paul deals with the Lord’s Supper, he refers to the “cup:”
- 1 Cor. 11:25, “…he took the cup”
- 1 Cor. 11:26, “…drink this cup”
- 1 Cor. 11:27, “…drink this cup”
- 1 Cor. 11:28, “…drink of that cup”
The Bible makes no mention of wine, but only the fruit of the vine. That’s very important because “new wine is found in the cluster,” (Is. 65:8). The grapes can be pressed directly into the cup (Gen. 40:10-11), which is what the butler did who dreamed about the vine and branches.
A careful study of Deut. 29:29-38 with 1 Cor. 10:16-21 and 1 Cor. 11:23-32 will reveal to you that there are two different Communions. One is a “memorial” to a risen Saviour who soon will return, and the other is “a sacrifice and offering” to devils. You can be sure that the memorial is not conducted with fermented liquor any more than the first one was.
The marriage in Cana is likewise fairly easy to see. In Jn. 2:9, the ruler “tasted the water that was made wine,” and this wine was called “good wine” in verse 10. However, Christ had just made it minutes before the ruler tasted it. It didn’t have time to ferment. It was literally “new.”
The Bible makes the distinction between “new wine” and “wine.” The new wine is grape juice, like Pharaoh drank in Gen. 40, and wine is fermented. For the fermented kind see Gen. 9:27, Prov. 20:1, Prov. 23:30-31, etc. For the new wine see Is. 24:7, Is. 65:8, Hos. 9:2, etc.
The purpose of the miracle was not to give Christians an excuse to drink alcohol. The purpose was to manifest Jesus’ glory and to identify him as the prophet that was like Moses in Deut. 18:15-18. The second miracle that Jesus performed was the healing of the sick son of a nobleman (Jn. 4:45-54). These two miracles match the healing miracle and the changing of water into blood (a type of wine, Deut. 32:14) that Moses did in Ex. 4. That way the Jews in Jesus day would have the signs that were necessary for them to believe that Jesus was Christ.
Just look at the verses that speak against consuming alcohol:
- Kings are not to drink wine (Prov. 31:4 w/ Rev. 1:6)
- Priests are not to drink wine in the inner court (Eze. 44:21 w/ 1 Pet. 2:9). So why should they drink it now at communion?
- Nazarites, who were separated unto the Lord, were not to drink wine (Num. 6:2-3 w/ Rom. 1:1, Rom. 12:1-2).
- Paul said that a Christian ought not drink it (Rom. 14:21)
Consuming alcohol creates problems:
- You forget the law (Prov. 31:5)
- You pervert judgment (Prov. 31:5)
- It puts you out of your misery but it doesn’t make it go away (Prov. 31:7)
- It causes sorrow, fights, wounds, red eyes, and a loose tongue (Prov. 23:29)
- It exacerbates lust (Prov. 23:33, Hab. 2:15)
- It causes diminished motor function and dizziness (Prov. 23:34)
- It causes hangovers and addictions (Prov. 23:35)
- It causes other Christians to stumble, be offended or weakened (Rom. 14:21)
- It causes a sin against Christ (1 Cor. 8:2)
What do you say? Are you going to keep it up? After all “I ain’t hurtin’ nobody and it ain’t none of their business no how!!” Okay! Just thought you might like to see God’s thoughts about it.
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder