That's a lot of Booze
Updated: Jan 21, 2022
What would it have been like to be in the company of Jesus, Mary, and all the disciples at the wedding at Cana? Luke tells us the guests rubbing elbows with the Savior guzzled every last drop of wine early in the party, an embarrassment for the wine steward and a legal issue for the groom's family who often signed a contract ensuring there would be plenty of vino for the duration of the reception.
Mother Mary noticed the empty glasses and called on Jesus to save the day, though at this point, he had no experience with miracles or signs. Yet, Jesus did not disappoint, filling six stone jars each holding 20 to 30 gallons to the brim with the finest vintage imaginable. Imagine 120 to 180 gallons of Chateau Lafite suddenly appearing for wedding guests already buzzing from several glasses of Boone's Farm.
In John's gospel, Jesus said he had come that we would have abundant life—the word “abundant” meaning “a quantity beyond measure and considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate. Jesus’ first sign of wine certainly backed up his claim and proved we have a Savior who walks the talk.
Just how abundant was Jesus' wedding gift? If you do the math, twelve bottles in a case of wine each contain 2.38 gallons. This means Jesus provided at least 50 cases of wine, equaling 600 bottles. Each bottle contains five 5 0z. pours, meaning Jesus produced 3,000 glasses of the best wine imaginable.
Later on, Jesus spoke about wine again suggesting we shouldn't put new wine into old wineskins. Of course, Jesus was speaking metaphorically, urging us to be open to changing structures in our lives to make room for new growth and fulfillment. I'm starting the new year with extended times of silence meditating on the question: "God, what are the old wineskins I need to toss out to make room for the new in 2022? I don't know about you, but I'm ready to replace some Brass Monkey wineskins for Chateau Lafite. Cheers!