For years I heard some passionate debates about whether or not Jesus made intoxicating wine. I think the real issue isn’t really a curiosity on the alcoholic content but rather if this situation would create a loophole for his followers to imbibe. Some want to find an excuse to indulge their physical desire. It isn’t just this passage however that gets twisted.
The effects of alcohol, and other such drugs, have a biblical purpose to be used to provide relief of physical suffering and for medicinal purposes (Proverbs 31:6, 1st Timothy 5:23). Folks however want to have the effect without the purpose. The use is a justification rather than a legitimate reason. But God’s people are not to be controlled by a substance but rather by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:8).
It’s sad because in the debate we often lose that principle. I’ve seen some of the most adamant teetotalers that take pain medicine like it’s going out of style. We somehow seem more comfortable with misuse that comes from a pharmacy rather than a liquor store. It is estimated that there are over 8.6 million prescription medicine abusers. The medical purpose has been overtaken by the physical desire. It not always the substance that makes something bad, it is how it is used and if it controls me.
That should make us think about some other physical things in our lives. Do we use food for the nourishment of our bodies or in gluttonous abandon? Is the caffeine in our coffee a nicety or a necessity? Are our sexual desires in accordance with God’s purpose or with the lust of the flesh?
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.
1st Corinthians 6:12-13
Instead of trying to find the right amount we should be trying to find the right purpose. Instead of trying to find an exception to the rule, we should search for way to be more Godly. Are our bodies used for personal pleasure or the glorification of God?
The desire of our physical bodies should never be used to justify putting our eternal soul in jeopardy!