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Matthew 26:29:

But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom

Is Jesus speaking about physical wine or some other kind of wine? Why was it necessary for Jesus at this moment to say anything about the wine?

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At that Passover celebration, several cups of wine would have been drunk at various stages of the ceremony, prior to the cup of wine that Jesus said was “…my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (vs. 28) Having got their attention Big Time with such a startling declaration and invitation to partake of that particular cup of wine, Jesus then said what you quoted in your question.

You ask if the wine in his Father’s kingdom is physical wine or some other type, and why Jesus thought it necessary to speak about wine at that point.

Some people have taken the word ‘new’ to be a clue about ‘new wine’ – ‘the wine of the kingdom’. They would say it won’t be literal wine, but a spiritual kind of drink that can be enjoyed by all believers now that Jesus has returned to heaven, to be with his Father there. He returned to heaven ten days before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believers in that upper room, at Pentecost, the 50th day after Passover. Many would see that glorious outpouring as ‘the new wine of the kingdom’. Heady stuff, spiritually speaking, given the amazing effects on the believers and the resultant conversion of some 3,000 people as the believers then proclaimed the gospel of the risen Christ to those people from many countries, in their own languages.

However, let it be noted that Jesus said “with you” – requiring himself being in God’s kingdom, and the disciples also being with him, in that kingdom. Jesus will be WITH them and they with him, in the Father’s kingdom. This raises the question of WHEN this mutual drinking of wine can take place. After all, the risen Christ is still in heaven with his return to earth being a future event. Jesus, however, did not say their companionable drinking of this wine would be located on earth – the earthly kingdom of God, if you will. He is speaking of heaven because He knew, at the time he spoke verse 29, that he would be returning to his Father in heaven on the 40th day. That is why he said to Mary Magdalene on the 3rd day that he had not yet returned to the Father (John 20:17). Jesus had previously said to the disciples that he was going to the Father in heaven to prepare a place for them, “so that where I am, you also may be” (John 14:2-3) – in the kingdom of heaven, in heaven.

This is where 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 provides light for we learn that after the Day of Resurrection and Judgement,

“Then the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

That is the point at which all things are restored to how they originally were and the fullness of the glorious kingdom of God is realised, after the Son of God delivers the restored kingdom back to the Father. Then, Revelation tells us, comes the wedding of the Lamb to his spotless bride, “And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ (21:5) That will include new wine – the wine of the kingdom – which surely shall be drunk with joy at the marriage supper of the Lamb, in heaven.

This is not to say that there is also a sense in which the receiving of the Holy Spirit by humans here on earth can be likened to new wine – the wine of the kingdom. There may, indeed, be a foretaste of the wine in heaven by those given to partake of the Holy Spirit before they get to heaven. It’s just that Jesus, on that night, knew all that lay ahead and of the glorious outcome of his death as the Lamb of God, and his resurrection, which would achieve the restoration of the kingdom of God on a cosmic scale, beyond anything his disciples could imagine, that Passover night. The wine of the kingdom, at the marriage of the Lamb, will be wine, but not as we know it! Nothing on earth can fully prepare Christ’s followers for the astounding glory of heaven, including its new wine.

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Yes, it would appear that Jesus is making reference to literal wine. This verse is cross-referenced to Acts 10:41 when Peter testified to the bodily resurrection of Jesus:

"He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen - by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead."

Jesus' words were to assure his followers that he would be physically resurrected.

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  • But He didn't say "until I raise", but rather "until I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom". – brilliant May 5 '18 at 7:36
  • @brilliant Jesus did not ascend into heaven until after his resurrection and so he would not drink again with his disciples till they joined him in his Father's heavenly kingdom, is how I understand it. – Lesley May 9 '18 at 8:19
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    If it were all just about resurrection, then He would have drunk the wine with them during the 40 days preceding His ascension; however, He said explicitly, "until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom". He didn't say, "until that day when I drink it new with you after my resurrection." One may argue that the moment He resurrected was already the moment He entered His Father's kingdom, but then one would still need to prove that all His disciples also entered the Father's kingdom at that very moment. – brilliant May 10 '18 at 20:36
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Does Matthew 26:29 Really Mean "Wine"?

It seems to me that Jesus is saying nothing about wine. Rather, He is referring merely to "fruit of the vine" as in grape juice. This appears to be a common misconception, that the Lord would expect us (including alcoholics) to imbibe in wine as a crucial part of worship: communion, a "common union" with Him. How would this not represent a significant stumbling block to those who cannot drink at all?

Some may point to the Book of Proverbs where it states,

Proverbs 31:6-7: Give strong drink to one who is perishing, and wine to the bitter in soul. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

However, is this the correct way to view alcohol consumption? Or should we not understand this verse in the context intended? First, the letter states that it is:

Proverbs 31:1: "The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him."

What is important is to reflect on verses 4-5:

Proverbs 31:4-5: "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to crave strong drink, lest they drink and forget what is decreed, depriving all the oppressed of justice."

This is a warning from the queen-mother saying: "Stay away from alcohol! It impairs one's judgment and leads to poor decisions over the people. Allow the subjects to drink as they may, but as for you, it is improper."

I would suggest that, in most cases, the phrase "fruit of the vine" is being terribly misinterpreted as "wine," where there are no such statements. It seems presumptuous to immediately label "fruit of the vine" as such when neither the text nor the context calls for it.

The first reference to someone drinking wine in the O/T was Noah. It clearly states in Genesis 9:

Genesis 9:21: "He drank some of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent."

This led to, at the very least, great embarrassment for Noah. (When does alcohol not do so?) While we may not know the precise details of the account, Noah was deeply affected. This was probably meant as a warning to everyone that alcohol consumption often has adverse effects.

The reality is that drinking alcohol by most people is a bad idea. It almost immediately leads to poor judgment. In the context above, the king must remain diligent and alert (as must the faithful) to rule the kingdom even though some of the suffering poor will resort to drunkenness to ease their heartache and misery. There is no recommendation here for anyone to drink alcohol other than to ease severe, physical suffering, and mental anguish for those who are probably about to die (vss. 6-7).

The lesson for the faithful is this: It is imprudent to consume alcohol. We must remain sober-minded as role models, lights to the world, to serve the interests of others (Matt. 5:14, Eph. 5:18).

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  • Thank you for this input, but I would want to know why Jesus mentioned the fruit of the vine (whatever is implied by it) in that last supper in the first place? Why was it so important to talk about that on the night when He was about to be taken? – brilliant Apr 24 at 2:59
  • @brilliant - The fruit of the vine (grape fruit juice) is representative of Christ's blood. When you partake of the bread (Jesus' broken body) then the fruit of the vine (life through His blood), you are continually cleansed of all sin and all unrighteousness. Of course, a life of faithful obedience does this for us, but it is disobedient to Christ's commandment in Luke 22:19-20 to ignore this biblical imperative. – Xeno Apr 24 at 3:11
  • I understand all of that, but I still don't understand why He said that He wouldn't drink of the fruit of the wine until the kingdom of God shall come, in Luke 22:18. – brilliant Apr 24 at 4:43
  • @brilliant - Oh, sorry. Well, Christ was about to allow Himself to be murdered by torture as The Sacrifice for all humanity. In other words, He hadn't yet died and communion is a memorial of the Lord's Sacrifice: His death. Naturally, that had not yet occurred, but He had instituted the Lord's Supper for us all in that moment. Christ's Kingdom was inaugurated on Pentecost in the first century. In Luke, He states: "But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God" (Lk. 9:27). He is now the King of all the earth. – Xeno Apr 24 at 5:34
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What did Jesus Christ mean when he said, "I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom"?

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  • Welcome to BHSE! Please make sure you take our tour. Also, please post this as a question and include Biblical text we can analyze. Thanks. – John Martin Mar 17 '20 at 19:04
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This appears to me to be intended as the fulfillment of this prophecy of the post-harvest celebration that was to occur for the laborers:

[Isaiah 62:8-9 NASB20] (8) The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His mighty arm: "I will never again give your grain [as] food for your enemies, Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored." (9) But those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD; And those who gather it will drink it in the courtyards of My sanctuary.

And all of these:

[Genesis 27:28 NLT] (28) "From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine.

[Numbers 18:12 NLT] (12) "I also give you the harvest gifts brought by the people as offerings to the LORD--the best of the olive oil, new wine, and grain.

[Deuteronomy 7:13 NLT] (13) He will love you and bless you, and he will give you many children. He will give fertility to your land and your animals. When you arrive in the land he swore to give your ancestors, you will have large harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and great herds of cattle, sheep, and goats.

[Deuteronomy 11:14 NLT] (14) then he will send the rains in their proper seasons--the early and late rains--so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil.

[Deuteronomy 14:23 NLT] (23) Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship--the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored--and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the LORD your God.

[Deuteronomy 33:28 NLT] (28) So Israel will live in safety, prosperous Jacob in security, in a land of grain and new wine, while the heavens drop down dew.

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