Q. I had a discussion about Jesus and wine drinking with a fellow sister-in-Christ today. She said that Jesus did not actually drink alcoholic wine, but only ‘fruit of the vine’. And that since wine is alcoholic and therefore is inebriating, Jesus would not drink that and neither should we. So, my question is, Did Jesus drink alcoholic wine or not?
A. John the Baptist had a very strict diet that followed the Nazirite restrictions outlined in Numbers 6:1-8. Among other things he couldn’t drink any wine or fermented drink. Nor could he eat or drink any thing that came from grapes even if it wasn’t fermented. This was in accordance with the instructions from the angel who foretold his birth (Luke 1:15)
In Matt.11:18 Jesus said that because of this diet the religious leaders said John was demon possessed. Then He said that since He followed no such restrictions but ate and drank like everyone else, they called Him a glutton and a drunkard. His point was that neither of them was acceptable to the leadership of the day, but from this and other passages it’s clear that Jesus drank alcoholic wine.
The restrictions against drinking alcoholic beverages are man made and cannot be supported in the Bible. Through out the Old and New Testaments it’s clear that drunkenness is frowned upon, but drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages is not prohibited.