Monday, February 16, 2015

2nd. Exhibit - Miracle of Water into Wine

John 2:1-11
Vs. 3 - would have caused major damage to groom and groom's family reputation. 

Vs. 11 - to some this was a "wonder" - WOW!!!!   To others a sign that increased faith in who Jesus' was.

"Wine" - in this passage - locally grown, locally pressed, locally "bottled".  Most likely

Then was diluted (with 3-4 parts water) - mixed wine (mixed with water)
Drank with meals - everyday affair - part of regular diet

OTHER WORDS - based (largely) on alcohol content.

Sha Kar - from foot to be, become drunk"
Therefore:  "strong drink" - 1 Sam. 1:15   Prov. 20:1

Hare Keh - spiced wine (stronger still) - Prov. 23:29-33

example:  "wine mixed with myrrh" - Mark 15:23 - drug, anesthetic

On one hand, wine praised and applauded in old testament.  Literally "a blessing" - symbolic of peace, prosperity, affluence

However, repeatedstrong warnings about mis-use - in Old Testament and New Testament
"mocker/brawler - leads to poverty, injustice, abuses, etc."
AND clear, repeated condemnation of drunk/en-ness.  Typically found in "sin list" - Gal. 5:19-21

So, use it But be

Other considerations:  

#1.  Wine WAS part of daily DIET - in that day and time.  (is that true today?)

#2.  WAS a universal, social norm - in that day and time.  These were Jews/Hebrews, part of their culture.
There was immediate change with Gentile Christians!!!  Why???  Because of their background!  Yes, they were familiar with alcohol but with it went drunkenness, orgies, etc.
Example:  1 Tim. 5:23 - Why was he not drinking?  Because he was an abstainer, as were many New Testament Christians - offensive to new Gentile converts.

Today.... - acceptable some places/questionable in others.
NOT acceptable in Southeast Oklahoma.
Answer:  many times - "we're gonna change that!!!"
WHY???    Because it's ALL about ME and what I want!!!!    1 Cor. 10:23-24

#3.  Wine of then is NOT the wine of today. - Then - alcohol by volume - 2-4%
Today:  beer - 2-4%     Wine = 9-16%   liquors= 32-80%
POINT:  It's NOT the same!!!!! 
Example:  compare the dancing in Psalm 150:4 (a) or folk dancing to the sensuous slow dancing found in most bars and honky-tonks.   It's NOT the same!!!

What is today's alcohol beverage designed to do????
Is it for nutrition?  to strengthen family?  sharpen senses?  enhance your spiritual walk? 

there are numerous statistics - US and Global attesting to alcohol consumption being a primary cause of death - ranks number one in 16 - 50 year olds world wide.

#4.  Restrictions beyond "be careful".
       A.  Priests - Lev. 10:8-10
       B.  Nazarites - Num. 6:1-4 - made highest vow to the Lord
       C.  Kings - (recommended, not statute) - Prov. 31:1-7, 8, 9
       D.  Elders/Pastors - 1 Tim. 3:1-3 - on one hand, not forbidden, BUT clearly spelled out!!!
       E.  Deacons - 1 Tim. 3:8 -              "      "    "       "       "              "         "          "        "

See a pattern?  - Why?  Answer:  people with spiritual responsibility.

BUT - everybody does it!!!!
In a recent Harvard Public Health Study = 50% DON'T.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism = 44% DON'T

Answer:  "I'm a Christian and I'm goon continue to drink responsibly".
Rom. 14:19-22 - context "disputable matters" - vs. Rom. 14:1

Conclusion:    Let's consider:

2)  LORDSHIP - John 2:11  - passage is NOT about WINE/Christian drinking
 It is about Jesus "manifesting His glory", revealing, declaring, His LORDSHIP!!
and that should be the answer to the whole issue!!!!

Whatever your decision, this is where it should be settled. 

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