Jesus did in fact turn water into “wine” – but not intoxicating wine. Abusing John 2:1-11, many condone and promote the drinking of alcoholic beverages. A major assumption, and I emphasize assumption, is made here: the “wine” Jesus made in this miracle was alcoholic! By what means, method or madness, do men thing this wine was alcoholic? For it to have been so would violate every principle of scripture throughout the entire Bible. Consider Proverbs 23:29-35; Isaiah 5:11-12; 28:7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:21; Romans 13:13. This wine was simply the juice of the grape and obviously non-alcoholic!
“Wine” in John 2 is the Greek word onions. The word itself is a generic term and does not indicate whether the wine is alcoholic or non alcoholic. This must be determined by the context. For example: in Ephesians 5:18 it is obviously alcoholic, but in Luke 1:15 it is clearly non-alcoholic. We must, therefore, determine from the context whether the wine in John 2 was also alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Notice the following points which help us understand that Jesus did not make intoxicating wine in this miracle – he made grape juice!
If this wine were alcoholic, Jesus would have been contributing to their drunkenness. Verse 10 states the wine Jesus made was brought forth after they had “well drunk” i.e., drunk freely. They had already depleted the initial supply of wine and if it had been alcoholic, Jesus would have further contributed to their intoxication. Such is absolutely forbidden in Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink— you pour out your wrath and make them drunk, . . .” Did Jesus violate this passage? Not at all!
It is contended that the wine Jesus made had to have been fermented for it was better than what they had been drinking (v.10). This argument says that more intoxicating a beverage is the better it is. By such reasoning 100% alcohol would taste better than 50% or 25%. This is absurd! The best wine, according to the ancients, was that which was harmless or innocent, non-alcoholic. The best wine was the sweetest or nicest flavored, not the most intoxicating!
This miracle was done to sho forth the glory of Christ (v.11). The making of alcohol never has and never will glorify God or man! It has been the down-fall of multiplexed millions through the ages (Genesis 9:20-25; 19:32-36; 1 Kings 16:8-10; 20:13-21; Esther 1:5-22).