This is Totally Something Jesus Would Do

bible wine

I taught at a church this past weekend and the passage I was given was John 15. That's the text where Jesus explains that to find our life in Him we need to think of Him as a grapevine. This was an obvious chance for me to talk about what I get to do with Communion Wine Co and how those experiences have shaped how I understand what Jesus teaches in this illustration.

I showed pictures of vineyards I've been to in Oregon and France and explained a bit about the winemaking process. I explained that pruning only begins the process of what will happen to the grapes. They eventually are harvested, then crushed, drained, and pressed into juice. Then that juice is fermented (when yeasts in the juice transform sugar into alcohol). This illustration culminates when Jesus offers His disciples a glass of wine to drink and says it represents the blood He will give for them on the cross.

I figured this would likely be a different perspective than some people had heard before since most of us aren't familiar with vineyards (I certainly wasn't when I first started preaching this passage years ago).

But what happened after the first service absolutely blew me away. I met a guy attending church for the first time. That's partly because he's an atheist and doesn't believe in God. To be more specific, he'd never even been to a church service in America. And that's primarily because he's European.

But here's the part where my jaw dropped. He's an expert Vinedresser in France. He was headed back to France the next day and would be back working with vines that week.

I talked with him after the service as he told me a bit of his story. He was stunned to hear Jesus explained in terms that completely made sense to him. His eyes welled up with tears as I sensed Jesus had just opened a door in his life for the first time ever. He was struggling to put the morning's experience into words. I was beginning to think this entire morning was designed for him. 

What are the chances? That this guy happens to be in the country for this weekend, that a friend happens to invite him to church, that he happens to say yes, that I happen to be a guest speaker that day, that the text happens to be John 15, and that my last few years happen to dramatically shape how I now teach that passage?

It felt like God really wanted to get his attention and went to some absurdly specific lengths to make it obvious. This is totally something Jesus would do.

For all that discourages me in Christianity these days, it is seeing Jesus work in moments like these that breathes life back into me.

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