Wine in the Kingdom

Writing my last post on Papias made me think of something that is rather humorous even if it is only very tangentially related.   If you recall, Papias claimed that Jesus taught the following about the future utopian kingdom on earth:  The days are coming when vines will come forth, each with ten thousand boughs; and on a single bough will be ten thousand branches.  And indeed, on a single branch will be ten thousand shoots and on every shoot ten thousand clusters; and in every cluster will be ten thousand grapes, and every grape, when pressed, will yield twenty-five measures of wine.  When I was writing up that post, I was reminded of the story in the Gospel of John in which Jesus turns the water into wine.   Jesus appears to have enjoyed wine in great abundance. The story in John is particularly interesting, and what is humorous to me is how I’ve heard it interpreted by well-meaning conservative Christians who were certain that Jesus would not ever encourage people to partake of alcoholic beverages. [...]