Here's this week's Bible study blog post for i.ucc:
Who wants to have the "Jesus turned water into wine, so . . . " discussion?
This week’s Bible reading from John 2:1-11 describes the story of Jesus' first recorded miracle: Turning water into wine.
Here are some things I've heard over the years.
I don't know how he did it.
I don't know how it really happened.
And over the years, I've heard some explanations from others:
"It wasn't really wine. It was grape juice."
"The wine of Jesus' time wasn't the kind that makes a person drunk."
"Jesus wasn't endorsing the consumption of alcohol -- he was simply doing what his mother asked"
I simply think that somehow, Jesus turned water into wine and the guests were really happy. Jesus offered extravagant hospitality in a situation where he was a guest! And I'm reasonably certain that Jesus drank with the guests. I think it's even possible that he got a little bit tipsy -- on this and maybe some other occasions.
I also think that some people have a problem with alcohol consumption -- either from their moral perspective or as a person who has abused alcohol or as a person who has been affected by the behavior of a person who abuses alcohol. I don't think a person should ever use this verse to berate or cut down a person who chooses, for whatever reason, not to drink. I also don’ t think the story should be used to say that alcohol consumption is just fine. This story isn’t about drinking – it’s about abundance and hospitality.
What are your thoughts?