Responsibility and Authority for Marriage

“This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it back again.
No one is taking it from me; I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This is what my Father has commanded me.” John 10:17-18

God gave Jesus the command to lay his life down and take it up again. This command is both responsibility and authority.

When God gives responsibility, He also gives authority so the command can be achieved.

So consider what He says on marriage:

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
This mystery is great – but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33

God gives the command–responsibility and authority–for husbands and wives to leave and cleavebecoming one, and for husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands.

The corrupt flesh, the world,  and the enemy are not going to help.

Selfishness, pride, lust, idolatry, and those who steal, kill, and destroy do not help your marriage.

They will attack your responsibility and/or authority to leave-and-cleave and/or to love-and-respect.

Focus on God as your source and example who defines your responsibilities and provides the authority to achieve oneness, love, and respect.

And–metaphorically–cut off at the knees anything that gets in the way of holy and righteous oneness, love, and respect! Leave it in your wake to die so you can live at a higher level!

Because the better we do in marriage the more we will understand the relationship between Father God, Jesus, and the Church–His Bride.

Jesus lived and laid His life down to rescue us, and rose again to prepare a place for us, fulfilling the Father’s command. We are going to spend eternity with the Father and Jesus (and the Holy Spirit), doing and enjoying the things He has planned.

Yes, relationships with others may have to suffer and even die in order for your marriage to achieve oneness, love, and respect. God knows–read Matthew 10. This life is going to have challenges in relationships. Your boundaries need fixing and maintaining. If you cannot do it for your marriage, you will not be able to do it for your relationship with God.

Are you letting others get in the way of God’s best for your marriage? If so, stop it! Fix and maintain good boundaries!

Are you living God’s command for oneness, love, and respect in your marriage? Make progress so tomorrow can and will be better than today. .

Strangely Greatest

“Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Jesus highly praised John, and John was a strange man.

From before conception God made John strange by telling his parents that John was to drink no wine or strong drink, but instead he would be filled with the Holy Spirit.

This seems to be a reference to the vow of the Nazarite in Numbers 6 where a man or woman would separate themselves to God for a period of time, letting their hair grow long until the end when it would be shaven and included with the specific required offerings, one of which was a lamb offered to atone for sin.

Jesus praised John for his life of separation unto Him, and for the part John played in history, namely preparing the way of the Lord by preaching a baptism of repentence–calling the people to return to God’s ways, and identifying Jesus as the Lamb of God offered for atonement of sin.

If John did follow all the Nazarite rules, then he had thirty some years of uncut hair. And he would not have gone to the  funerals of his parents, or anyone else. And he would not have drunk the wine at Passover, or any other time. These would have made him strange, but he also lived in the desert, wore rough garments, and ate a simple diet of what the wilderness had to offer (I’m thinking he was likely thin; perhaps why Jesus called him a reed). All normal social and religious customs were set aside to be focused on God.

And this strange man who focused on God and preached repentence was the one chosen and able to identify Jesus as the Lamb of God offered to atone for sin (consider the ram God provided to replace Issac on the alter, the Passover lamb, and the Temple sin offerings).

Curiously, fascinatingly, Numbers 6 established two things:  the vow of the Nazarite and the blessing God commanded Aaron to speak over and into the people:

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

When the greatest Nazarite came, he was followed by the One who embodied God’s blessing to His people. John identified Jesus as the Lamb of God who atones for the sin of the world. That is blessing, grace, and peace!

Jesus, God’s Son, the Prince of Peace, the Way of Peace, the One Who gives peace to all who repent of their sin, accepting His death as their atonement, and His life as their sanctification.

Are you strangely focused on God, set apart to live for Him? Does your life identify Jesus as the Lamb of God who came to atone for sin?

Oh to be holy unto God! It is the greatest life. Strangely greatest!

May you and your spouse be holy unto God. That is the only way for your marriage to reach its full potential, to live and display Christ and the Bride.

Selah.
Shalom.

Is Your Love Like Peter’s or Jesus’?

In John 21:15-19 Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. This is one of those times we must go to the Greek to see what is really happening.

The first two times Jesus asked if Peter agape’ed Him, to which Peter replied he phileo’ed Him. The third time Jesus asked if Peter phileo’ed Him, which grieved Peter.

There is an important difference between agape and phileo. It appears Peter thought phileo was more important than agape, while Jesus believed–thereby setting the standard–that agape is more important than phileo.

So what’s the difference?

Phileo is defined in the Strongs concordance (5368) as to be a friend to, to be fond of, or have affection for, as a matter of sentiment or feeling. This contrasts with Agape (25, 26) which is to love in a social or moral sense, with affection, or benevolence, including the judgment and deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety.

Consider Proverbs 17:17,

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

You have affection with friends, while siblings–notably brothers–have an adversarial role which prods us to learn conflict resolution. Conflict with friends is painful and might end the friendship. Conflict with siblings is painful, yet the loyalty of siblings usually wins out.

God does not merely want our fond affection of sentiment and feeling that changes with circumstances. Instead of that shaky structure He wants the foundation of our love for Him to be our loyalty based on our judgment and deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety.

God defined Agape in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love is not proud; love is not rude; love is not selfish; love is not easily provoked; love thinks no evil, does not rejoice in evil but in truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,  endures all things. Love never fails.

When God asks a question it is for us to think and learn, because He already knows. Jesus asked Peter if he agape’ed Him, and Peter said he phileo’ed Jesus, but Jesus challenged him on that. He wanted Peter’s agape and it appears by His question He was not even getting phileo. Note that phileo runs from the cross while agape embraces it.

Peter had a lot to think about, and when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Penticost and indwelled him, he did agape Jesus, with the ultimate evidence of embracing the cross.

How do you love God, phileo or agape?
How do you love your spouse?

Is your love based on circumstances and emotion–which change like shifting sands, or on the decision of will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety–an immovable foundation able to endure the storms of life? Are you able to embrace the cross?

Remember Jesus said we are to take up our cross to follow Him. He wants us to be ultimately dedicated lovers of Him, and our spouse is our practical training ground.

If it’s not costing you your life–putting to death your corrupt nature with its selfish desires–then it’s not agape.

Beautiful Judgment

I drive America’s highways looking at the beautiful plains, hills, mountains, deserts, forests, rivers, lakes, and oceans. It struck me that everything I see was sculpted by water, by a lot of water; it was all underwater and formed by lots of moving water. It is all evidence of the Flood.

The Flood was God’s judgment on a world full of sin–He was sorry He made mankind on the Earth (Genesis 6:6). God caused the fountains of the deep to open and rain to fall, and the world was changed forever.  

Every day we see the evidence of God’s judgment, but we do not comprehend. We live in the wake of His judgment without thought of the patterns around us.

And then I made the connection: His judgment is beautiful! He is beautiful, His works are beautiful, His judgment is beautiful.

We need to hunger for His heart, His character, His word, His morality, His rule, His kingdom, and His judgment. In that mode we can be salt and light.

Have you noticed His beautiful judgment lately? Do you enjoy His beautiful judgment? Have you thanked Him for His beautiful judgment lately? Have you asked Him to judge your heart now, while you have time to change and grow? Limited time offer: today is the day of salvation. This era will end, His final judgment will crack down and our eternities will be decided.

Run to His beautiful judgment now, while there is still grace and mercy available at the cross of Christ Jesus.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.” All history revolves around this one perfect man–Jesus. Run to Him and receive eternal life, then pass the word! 

Our Identity for Marriage–1 Peter

Have you ever heard bad teaching on the husband and wife verses in 1 Peter? Or been on either end of the statement, “Wives are supposed to submit to their husbands!”

My last post was on Reality according to 1 Peter, the reality we need to recognize, accept, and align with in order to model Christ and the Bride.

Now consider what 1 Peter 1:1-2 says about your Identity–who you need to be–in order to model Christ and the Bride:

“To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:”

I hear you ask, “Are you saying this applies to me?”

Yes, this is you, as a secondary audience. Let’s take a look:

  • Pilgrim: The Greek means “in reference to heaven as the native country, one who sojourns on earth.” You are traveling here for a while, heaven being your home, so as a visitor you do not follow all the cultural norms and expectations of the region. Jesus is from heaven and the Bride’s real home is heaven, so live from heaven’s perspective.
  • Of the Dispersion: This refers to the group dispersed from Israel over the world due to religious persecution, where they then shared the gospel and made disciples. It can figuratively apply to us as visitors of our lands while on a mission for the kingdom of God: sharing the good news and making disciples.
  • Elect: Meaning chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. He thought of you beforehand, wanted you as His child, so He created you. You are a desired and planned child of Father God! Be in relationship with Him as His child!
  • Sanctified: Meaning to make holy by setting apart and purifying. God enables you to obey Him by making you holy through the Holy Spirit setting you apart and purifying you.
  • Obedience: Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). You are one who obeys Him out of love. Do you, Bride, love Jesus? Are you ever lovesick for Him? Does your love make you willing to do anything for Him? Do you do anything for Him?
  • Sprinkling of the blood of Jesus: Here we have the fundamental aspect of our identity. In the prior covenant removal of sin was obtained by animal sacrifice and God confirmed the covenant with the Hebrews by having Moses sprinkle blood on the alter and people (Exodus 24). In the new covenant Jesus is the sacrifice and High Priest who sprinkled His own blood on the alter in heaven and on each of us to remove our sin and confirm the covenant between us and God (Hebrews). Husband, are you in covenant with God? Wife, are you in covenant with God?

A few more details are given in 1 Peter 2:9-10 which says you are:

  • A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation
  • God’s own special people for the purpose of proclaiming His praises
  • Called from darkness to light
  • Called to your true identity, purpose, and unity
  • Called to receive mercy

How wonderful! You, desired and planned by Father God, have a covenant with God through Jesus taking away your sin so you may spend eternity with Him, therefore you are set apart and being purified by Holy Spirit both in preparation for eternity and so you may pour out His love to others here and now. You are called to receive mercy bringing you into light, into your true identity, purpose, and unity as holy royalty, made to proclaim God’s praises.  Who else but you would have grace flowing in your heart and peace being multiplied within!

Combine the 1 Peter Reality with the Identity and we begin to see a whole new viewpoint on the husband-and-wife verses in 1 Peter 3:1-7. Just the first two verses–“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by [respect]”–become mere details of explanation of how to live out Reality and Identity, how to model Christ and the Bride and thereby achieve the best marriage ever!

Instead of lording authority over each other, husbands and wives are to live lives devoted to God, knowing who you are in God, and from that foundation of Reality-plus-Identity serve each other, seeking to benefit each other to strengthen your one-flesh-team! Just as Christ and the Bride will.

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The Reality of Marriage—1 Peter

There they were, the famous words—or infamous depending on whom you have been around—regarding wives submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives. I read them as I studied 1 Peter looking for insight into modeling Christ and the Bride.

I do not recall ever hearing teaching on them in context. By which I mean a marriage study of all of 1 Peter to get the letter’s context.

So I did my own study. Wow! The context is so important!

For my study I categorized all the verses in 1 Peter as statements of Reality, Identity, Mindsets, Goals, or Actions.

Here is a brief version of the Reality you must recognize, accept, and line up with in order to model Christ and the Bride:

  • God exists as the blessed One, and the Father of Jesus
  • Jesus is the son of God—carrying equal authority—and is Lord and Christ
  • God, from His mercy and through the resurrection of Jesus, has reborn us into a living hope and an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that does not fade away, waiting for us in heaven
  • God, in His power, keeps us for salvation through faith

We must believe God—the Father of Jesus Christ—exists to accurately model Jesus’ marriage. We have to believe He exists and He created everything in order to grasp eternity past as the foundation for eternity future. Without that basis there is no way to model Jesus’ marriage.

We must believe Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and the Lord in order to accurately model His marriage.  We have to know Jesus in His relationship with the Father and in His authority to properly relate to Him, serve Him, and model Him.

We must believe in God’s mercy, the resurrection of Jesus, and that Father God has reborn us into a living hope and incorruptible inheritance in heaven in order to accurately model Jesus’ marriage by living as the reborn new people—adopted by Father God—with the hope of our reward in eternity.

We must believe God keeps us for salvation through faith to accurately model Jesus’ marriage because we must know God’s love and forgiveness to model love and forgiveness to our spouses.

In order to model Jesus and the Bride we have to know God exists. We have to know Jesus. And know Father God. And be reborn into true hope of our inheritance in eternity. And be kept by God through faith for salvation.

And that is just the beginning. That is just the basics of Reality.

Modeling Christ and the Bride in Our Marriages

Have you ever wondered what the ultimate marriage looks like? I was raised by good parents who had one of the best marriages I have ever seen. But not perfect.Image

To know what the perfect marriage looks like we have to find a perfect man. There has only ever been one perfect man: Jesus Christ.

I hear someone say, “But Jesus did not marry.” But He will as Revelation 19:7-9 foretells Jesus’ wedding as the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Jesus is going to get married.

Jesus is going to be the perfect husband–already is as He faithfully and patiently waits for the Bride while Holy Spirit prepares her for Him.

Jesus is going to have the perfect marriage.

Even though it is in the future, we can look at what the Bible tells us of this concept and model Jesus’ marriage in our own marriages. By modeling Jesus’ marriage we will have incredible marriages and will be assisting Holy Spirit to prepare the Bride.

Quick note: there is controversy as to who the Bride is. I believe the Bible identifies the Bride as the Church. I read an article asking, after examining a lot of verses, whether the Bride is only part of the Church—those who are truly seeking God with all they have, who are in fact following the first and second greatest commandments. I do not have the final answer or the final say, that’s God’s job. If He wanted it to be clearer in the Bible He could have made it clearer. Perhaps it is not absolutely clear just so people will seek God harder. But we do not have to know the exact identity of the Bride in order to pursue the concept of modeling Christ and the Bride.

What does it mean to model Christ and the Bride? What concepts are encompassed in this phrase “modeling Christ and the Bride”?

With Jesus’ wedding as one of the last events on the Bible’s timeline, I believe the concept of modeling Christ and the Bride encompasses the culmination of the Bible’s entire teaching of who God is, who we are in Christ, what the end goal is, and therefore how we should live to contribute our part of the end goal.

In order to accurately model Christ and the Bride in our marriages here and now we must experientially know God, be healed and whole men and women, have at least a basic understanding of God’s goals, and be working to fulfill God’s goals.

That is the outline of what I mean by “modeling Christ and the Bride.”

This is obviously a huge topic. Posts on this topic are coming!

Have You Ever Sweat Blood?

My son sweated blood. This gave me an insight into the suffering of Jesus in Gethsemane. I will tell you about the event and the insight.

The Event

My son lied to me about hitting his sister.

Once we discussed the situation and he finally confessed the truth, he was faced with righting the wrongs.

As a four year old he wrestled with what the standard is, his deviation from the standard, and what it took to make things right. 

When he came through it I looked at his face and saw he had sweated blood.

He literally sweated blood.

The situation was so intense for him the capillaries in his facial sweat glands broke and a tiny bit of blood came through (medical book explanation). Not enough to run down his face, it was just enough to color the pores. And you had to look close to even realize it. Two days later his skin was back to normal.

The Insight

Have you ever sweat blood? I have not. I have been through some extreme things, dreading suffering, close to death, and my facial pores stayed free of blood.

I think it was the weight in soul and spirit that caused my son to sweat blood. And that was a tiny glimpse of what Jesus suffered in Gethsemane.

Jesus as fully God and fully man, with no sin, knew God’s standards, took our sin on His being, and knowing every detail of His coming suffering He faced the most cruel, torturous death devised: beating and crucifixion. Under that agony He sweated blood. Which makes the skin more sensitive.

He came to His own and His own did not receive Him. Instead they put Him through a mockery of a fake trial. They ripped His beard out. They masked His eyes and punched Him. They beat Him till His bones showed through His broken skin. They smashed a crown of thorns onto His head. They nailed through the nerve centers of His wrists, excruciating, to a beam that was raised up and fastened to an upright post so all His weight was on those nails, excruciating. His feet were nailed to the upright post, excruciating. It is very difficult to breathe in that position.

Crucifixion produced pain so intense, so beyond anything else, they had to come up with a new word for it: excruciating, meaning “out of the cross.” Your weight hanging on a nail through the nerve center of your wrist is excruciating. Think twice before using that word for lesser pains.

And He did it all having sweated blood which makes the skin more sensitive.

It is hard to know whether the blood loss or asphyxiation killed Jesus. Either way His heart’s response was to increase the beats per minute shortly before the end, which signaled Him to say, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

The Roman soldiers, experts at killing people in painful ways to intimidate cities and nations into obedience, were surprised that Jesus died before the two others crucified that day. One stabbed Jesus with a spear, which released blood … and water! The water was from the lungs and/or heart lining, the accumulation being an aspect of death and the release conclusive proof that Jesus died.

(For more details I recommend “The Case for Easter” by investigative journalist Lee Strobel and the excellent resources he references.)

My point is Jesus knew beforehand in Gethsemane all the details of the suffering He was about to undergo. Combine that detailed knowledge of pain with the full knowledge of the standards of God and with bearing the sin of the world. That agony was so intense Jesus, the perfect Man, asked Father God if there was another way. There was not.

The weight and anguish of it caused Jesus to sweat blood.

Jesus submitted to the process, took our sin and bore it on the cross.

In my description of Jesus’ suffering I said “they” did it to Him. But it was our sin that did it to him, yours and mine. Without our sin there would have been no reason for Jesus to have gone through that experience. He took our place. He took our sin. He went to the cross.

He sweated blood, He shed blood, He died in your place that you might go free.

Will you follow Him? Will you love Him?

Will you love Him enough to resist sin to the point of shedding your own blood in the struggle? To sweat blood?

Will you love your spouse enough to resist sin to the point of shedding your own blood in the struggle? To sweat blood?

Cherishing Jesus the Baby, Jesus the Man

This being the Christmas season, I was inspired to think about Jesus when He was a baby. I read the gospel accounts.

It hit me that Mary’s response to the angel’s news she would bear Jesus was not, “Yes, I am about to be married and thank you for telling me my husband and I will have a son.” No, Mary understood the angel meant immediately, so asked, “How could this be, I have not had physical intimacy with a man?”

The answer of course is that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and work the miracle of God becoming man, of God stepping into His creation to experience it “from the inside” as it were. It is not enough to create mankind, God had to experience it!

That got me thinking. A while back I wrote a short story on the conceptual beginning of mankind, when God sat around and thought us up. I posted it in this blog as the menu page “God’s Desire.”

I realized there is a scene I could add in the planning session of Jesus getting a twinkle in His eye and saying They should not only create mankind, but that He could enter into history as a man. Not the first one. No, it would be better to long foretell of His coming, get the people desiring His coming, let the anticipation build to a fever pitch, and then surprise everyone by showing up in a very normal way, specially announced of course.

And here we see Jesus in the gospels, a baby, lying in a manger. Fully God become also fully man. Without sin. Desiring to be held, cherished, protected, joyed-over, fed, cleaned, raised, and loved. Truly Mary was blessed among women, to be the one who held Jesus, cherished Him, joyed-over Him, fed Him (nursing God?!), raised Him, and loved Him.

And it hit me. He desires that we would protect Him. He desires that we would cherish Him enough to protect Him. And that is when I got a glimpse of what holiness is. Just an angle. And here it is: one angle of holiness is love. A love that cherishes and protects. A love that sweeps away sin and death and destruction to protect the baby in your arms.

One description, one angle of His love for us is as a mother holding a new baby in her arms. He cherishes us, sweeping away sin and death and destruction to protect us.

And He wants us to do the same for Him! Even as a mother is transformed by the baby in her arms, He wants us to be transformed and sweep away our sin, deny death and destruction, out of love for Him.

We cannot do it in our own will. Many have made themselves agonizingly miserable trying. It is by grace, not works, lest any man would boast. In love there is no room for pride. He must give us the grace to be able to do it; we must open up to Him to receive the grace.

Thus He came to give us life, and life more abundantly. He came as a baby desiring to be loved and grew into the perfect sinless man desiring to be loved, and because we could not love Him how He wants He came to be the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world. Thus He endured the cross, despising its shame, for the joy set before Him! The joy of those who say, “I love You, Jesus!” The joy of the mystery of Christ and the Church. The joy of the wedding feast of the Lamb of God.

Jesus came for the joy set before Him. The joy of you saying to Him, “I love You, Jesus!”

Love produces obedience. Faith produces works. Do you love Jesus as a mother does her baby, enough to cherish Him? Enough to let Him cleanse you of sin and death and destruction to properly love Him? Enough to join Him seated at the right hand of the Father, having your priorities changed to see things from the Father’s eternal view and be motivated by the Father’s heart? Enough to say, “My corrupt nature must die because Jesus should not be touched by sin. I will pick up my cross, die daily, and follow You, Jesus, because You are worthy of the best I can give, the best I can be!”

And He will joy over you, laugh with utter delight, and with a twinkle in His eye draw you deeper into His heart, into depths of love and holiness and glory we do not yet know exist! Because there is no sin there. We start the process now to get rid of sin, and He is faithful to complete the process.

Do you love Him enough to model Christ and the Bride? Husband, love your wife as Christ loves the Church, His Bride; He gave His life for her. Wife, reverence your husband as you do Christ. Your spouse is the first place where the rubber meets the road and you will either follow Jesus’ example or not. Do it! It is worth it! Jesus is worthy!

May the love of Jesus overwhelm you this Christmas! May you truly cherish Him! May your life be transformed by His love! May your marriage bloom with His love!

Alcohol in Your Marriage: Yes? No?

In your marriage do you accept alcohol or reject it?

I think GK Chesterton’s thoughts on alcohol in his book “Heretics” make a lot of sense:

Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. Never drink when you are wretched without it … but drink when you would be happy without it …. Never drink because you need it, for this is rational drinking, and the way to death and hell. But drink because you do not need it, for this is irrational drinking, and the ancient health of the world.

This image shows a red wine glass.

Image via Wikipedia

Many people’s experiences and habits of alcohol are bad simply because it is too much. They have not learned moderation. The dangers of alcoholism are known and the other half of the bell-curve is teetotaler-ism which has dangers including pride, legalism, misunderstanding God, and health issues!

I grew up with a mixture. I’ve seen hard-bitten alcoholics and known a few recovering alcoholics. My grandparents and parents drank in moderation until my pre-teens when my parents stopped drinking. In my mid-teens they started again, which threw me for a loop. As I sorted the pieces out I learned to drink in moderation.

My wife grew up in a family with the history of alcoholic relatives and her parents almost never drank, so there was no consistent counter-balancing example of drinking in moderation. My parents gave her that example.

Man’s wisdom aside, what does God say?

In the Bible, God forbids getting drunk, meaning intoxicated, and states those who make a habit of becoming intoxicated will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus’ first miracle was making high quality wine at a wedding for people who had already drunk all there was and were perhaps intoxicated. This rescued the newly married couple’s reputation as running out of wine would have been social disaster. Were they poor, bad planners, surprised at the number who attended, did not think people drank so much, or was this just for the glory of God? Whichever it was, Jesus saved the day!

For thousands of years wine has been a regular part of mankind’s diet partly because pure water and cities do not peaceably coexist. Wine is water purified and fortified, a drink and a medicine. The daily wine may have had a lower alcohol content. Timothy was a teetotaler (perhaps he thought it would appear more holy?) who developed stomach issues and illnesses so his mentor Paul prescribed wine as the cure.

Jesus drank wine, and was falsely accused of being a drunkard! I see that as evidence of His passion to share the Father’s love and message by going to where the hurting were. But Jesus went beyond accepting wine as a cultural drink. He made wine the symbol of the new covenant, the representation of His blood shed for us for our salvation. He commanded His followers to regularly remember His blood shed for us by drinking wine. And He said He will drink wine when the kingdom of God comes.

My wife and I drink in moderation at appropriate times, and to remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us. And as Chesterton put it we drink irrationally and enjoy the ancient health of the world.

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