Bible Question:

We are told in the following passages that Jesus drank wine on the cross: John 19:30; Matthew 27:48 and Mark 15:36. However, we also know that Jesus promised before He was crucified that He would not drink wine until He drank it with the disciples in God’s Kingdom. How should we reconcile Jesus’ promise that He will not drink wine anymore until the Kingdom of God comes and His drinking wine on the cross?

Bible Answer:

Our question is “Did Jesus lie about not drinking wine until the kingdom?” The reason this is a question is that Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25 and Luke 22:18 state Jesus told the disciples He would not drink wine with them again until they were in the kingdom. But then Jesus drank wine on the cross (Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; Luke 23:36; John 19:29-30). Therefore, did Jesus lie? Why did He drink wine on the cross after saying He would not drink wine until the kingdom? How should we reconcile Jesus’ promise that He would not drink wine until the Kingdom of God and then He drank wine on the cross?

Did Jesus lie about not drinking wine until the kingdom?

Not Drinking Wine Until The Kingdom

The three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) tell us that while Jesus and the disciples were in the upper room,  He told the disciples He would not drink from the fruit of the vine until they were in the Father’s kingdom or the kingdom of God. Matthew 26:29 and Luke 22:18 are the most explicit statements that Jesus would not drink wine again until the kingdom. Notice in Luke 22:18, Jesus said, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom shall come.”

But I say to you, I will not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. Matthew 26:29 (NASB)

Truly I say to you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. Mark 14:25 (NASB)

For I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. Luke 22:18 (NASB)

The Father’s kingdom is the millennial kingdom described in Revelation 20:4-6 and in Isaiah 65:17-25; Joel 3:17-21; Zechariah 2:3-13; 14:8-21. It is important to notice that Matthew 25:34 teaches us the millennial kingdom has been prepared by the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:23-24 tells us that Christ will reign after His second coming and hand the kingdom over to the Father. Therefore, Jesus told the disciples that He would not drink wine with them again until thousands of years into the future, since the second coming and the kingdom has not yet occurred.

Did Jesus Lie?

Therefore, did Jesus lie about drinking wine when He drank sour wine on the cross just before His death? Jesus drank sour wine on the cross. Luke 23:36 reports that a soldier offered Jesus sour wine to drink.

The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine . . . Luke 23:36 (NASB)

John 19:30 tells us that Jesus drank the sour wine.

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” John 19:30 (NASB)

The Greek for sour wine is oxos. The normal Greek word for wine is oinos. Therefore, is the difference in words mean Jesus did not drink from the fruit of the vine? Did Jesus drink wine, after all? The answer is that oxos refers to a cheap wine, often drank by the poorer class. It was a product from the vine.  Thayer’s Lexicon defines oxos as follows,

The mixture of sour wine or vinegar and water which the Roman soldiers were accustomed to drink.[1]

The Kittel lexicon defines oxos as follows,

“sour wine” and then added, “stronger content of sourness (“vinegar”) . . .[2]

Therefore, since Jesus did drink a form of wine did Jesus lie?

The answer is no! Jesus did not lie! He did not lie because Matthew 26:29 reports that Jesus promised He would “. . . drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Notice the italics that we added. He was referring to speaking with His disciples in the kingdom and not simply drinking from the fruit the vine—oxos or oinos. Jesus did not drink with the disciples on the cross. He was hanging on the cross by Himself and two thieves. All of the disciples had fled from Him (Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50), except for the disciple whom Jesus loved, the apostle John, who was standing near the cross (John 19:26-27).

Therefore, Jesus did not lie!

Conclusion:

Scripture teaches us that God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2). Christ never sinned (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5). Every apparent conflict or contradiction can be explained with a careful examination of the Greek text and serious study of the passages of the Bible. The Bible is called the Word of Truth (Psalm 119:43; 2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18) because God the Holy wrote it through the prophets and apsotles (2 Pter 1:20-21). Praise the Lord the Scriptures are true altogether!

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. (NASB)

 

References:

1. Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Christian Copyrights. 1983, p. 449.
2. Kittel. Theological Dictionary of the new Testament. Eerdmans. 1968. vol. v., p. 288-289.

Suggested Links:

What does the Bible say about consuming red wine?
Why was wine vinegar or sour wine given to Christ on the cross?
Wedding In Cana of Galilee