10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews (John 7:10–13, NKJV).
Jesus went to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles privately, without the fanfare his unbelieving brothers advocated (John 7:2-5, 10). He entered the temple and taught during the feast, challenging the people to judge righteously about Him and His work (John 7:14-24). Disagreement over Jesus permeated the city. The Jewish leaders (“the Jews”) looked for Jesus to seize Him (John 7:32, 45). Meanwhile, the general public debated His goodness quietly out of fear of offending their religious leaders (John 7:13). To this day, some say Jesus was a good moral teacher, but not the Son of God. Others say He was a deceiver, a con artist. Some say Jesus was a prophet but not deity. Jesus claimed to be sent from God, teaching God’s will (John 7:17). When one desires to obey God, they will know He and His teaching are from God (John 7:17; 10:37-38). We do not follow Jesus because of who others say He is, but because His words and works declare Him to be the Christ, the Son of the living God (John 7:25-31; 4:41-42; 5:36-39; Matt. 16:16-17).
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place (Acts 2:1, NKJV).
The second chapter of Acts records a transformative moment, a pivotal point in the Scriptures. The Day of Pentecost was also known as the Feast of Weeks (Num. 28:26; Deut. 16:10), the Feast of Harvest (Exod. 23:16), and the day of the first fruits (Num. 28:26). This Pentecost would be a day of harvesting souls, the first fruits of the gospel. Many “first” things happened that day. (1) It was the first day of the week (Lev. 23:15-16). The first day of each week continues to call saints to assembled worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Heb. 10:25). (2) The apostles preached the first gospel sermon opening the way to salvation. They used the keys of the kingdom, opening the door to salvation for sinners (Matt. 16:19; 18:18; Acts 2:40). (3) Sinners heard the plan of salvation for the first time. The apostles told those who believed the gospel to repent and be baptized to be forgiven of their sins (Acts 2:36-38). (4) The first gospel conversions took place. About three thousand did so and were saved (Acts 2:40-41). Christ still saves souls this way. (5) The first church came into existence that day. The church of Christ came into being. The Jerusalem church increased daily as the Lord added saved ones to His church (Acts 2:47). After Pentecost, Acts 2 records the first kingdom worship of the church (Acts 2:42) and the first acts of church benevolence (Acts 2:44-45). Acts 2 records the fulfillment of kingdom prophecies from Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, Joel 2, Daniel 2, and many more. Acts 2 has been called the hub of the Bible. Indeed.
16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’” (Luke 14:16–20, NKJV)
We are masters at making excuses. The great supper and the invitation to come to the prepared feast is figurative of the kingdom of God and God’s invitation to come to His feast of salvation and “eat” in His kingdom (Lk. 14:15; cf. Isa. 55:1-4). God’s invitation to salvation from sin is sent to every soul, yet few come. Many still say, “I have other, more pressing things to do.” “Necessary” things. “Important” things. “Valid” concerns. Yet, every excuse belies the greater value we place on ourselves instead of on the kingdom of God. (Gaining the whole world is not worth losing your soul, Matthew 16:26.) The host told his servant, “none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper” as a result of their excuse-making rejection of his invitation (Lk. 14:24). God has prepared everything for your salvation in His Son (Matt. 11:28-30). Do not refuse His invitation. Believe and obey the gospel, and enter the kingdom of God (Mk. 16:15-16; Col. 1:13-14).
9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (John 2:9–10, NKJV)
Did Jesus turn water into alcoholic beverage? That is not the conclusion one must draw, but it is the one those who wish to drink alcohol rush to make. “Wine” (oinos) in the Scriptures is generic, and does not inherently include alcohol. If alcoholic wine, then Jesus produced 120-180 gallons of intoxicating drink for consumption after the wedding guests had drunk large amounts (v. 10). Yet, the Bible condemns drunkenness and the process leading to it (Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35; Eph. 5:18; 1 Pet. 4:3). If Jesus miraculously made fermented wine, then (1) Jesus approved drinking large quantities of alcohol, (2) The Son of God was a bartender, and we can tend bar, too, (3) The Son of God ignored the Scriptures (see above), and (4) The Son of God was a stumbling block to the self-control and soberness of others (Matt. 18:6-7). It is fairer to Christ, in harmony with His character, His power, and in agreement with the Scriptures to understand that Jesus made unfermented wine (grape juice) from water.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. (Psalm 23:5, NKJV)
David sees the Lord as his Shepherd who leads, feeds and protects him through life’s dangers and delights. He also sees God as his Sovereign who hosts a banquet at which David is a guest. The Lord prepares a bountiful feast of hopeful, peaceful repose even as David’s enemies surround him. This host perfectly protects His guests. David is refreshed and filled by the good and constant blessings that come from the hand of the Lord. When you and I are tempted to yield to the enemies of faith, let us remember the One who guards us, sustaining and supplying us with a spiritual feast like none other. Abundant spiritual nourishment and sure hope sustains those who trust the Lord.