Fruit Of The Vine
Grapes, along with the wine and raisins that are made from them, are mentioned throughout The Bible, all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Along with The Olive Tree and The Fig Tree, grape vines were often used as symbols of the fertility of the Promised Land of Israel.
- Noah (see The Flood) is the first recorded human to grow grapes (Genesis 9:20). In a temporary lapse of his otherwise highly righteous character (Genesis 6:9), he is also the first recorded human to become drunk (some believe that it was not intentional, but that he had simply misjudged the alcohol content), from the wine that he made from his vineyard (Genesis 9:21).
- Existing vineyards awaited the Israelites when they crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land. The scouts sent out by Moses returned from the Valley of Eshcol with huge clusters of grapes (Numbers 13:23).
- Raisins, which are simply dried grapes, were widely used, often stored or carried as pressed cakes e.g. 1 Samuel 25:18 and 30:12, 2 Samuel 16:1, 1 Chronicles 12:40.
- A drink offering of wine was presented (see Levites) with the daily sacrifice (Exodus 29:40-41), with the offering of the firstfruits (Leviticus 23:13), and with various other sacrifices (Numbers 15:5,7,10). Wine was used at the Passover, and Jesus Christ used it with unleavened bread at "The Last Supper" as symbols of His body and blood. (Matthew 26:26-29). He then said that, "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father's Kingdom." (Matthew 26:29) (see The Kingdom of God)
- The first recorded miracle of Jesus Christ (see Miracles Of Jesus Christ), as encouraged by His mother Mary, was the turning of water into wine at a wedding in Cana in Galilee. (John 2:1-11)
- Jesus Christ used the grape vine in His teachings about the church:
"I Am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I Am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples." (John 15:1-8)
Fact Finder: While the apostles did not prohibit very modest alcohol consumption for those to whom it was not a problem (1 Timothy 5:23), are Christians to refrain from drunkenness?
Luke 21:34, Romans 13:13, Ephesians 5:18, 1 Timothy 3:8, Titus 1:7