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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Christ, creator, long after Adam

This is the first miracle attributed to Jesus Christ:
John 2:6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (ESV)

This must have been a creation event, or a transformational event. The alcohol in wine contains Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, whereas water contains only Hydrogen and Oxygen. (There were probably some impurities in the water in those jars, but surely there was not enough Carbon to make enough molecules of ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, to make the difference.) So, somehow, Jesus made alcohol from nothing, and added it to the water, or transformed some of the Oxygen or Hydrogen atoms into atoms of Carbon, to say nothing of joining them with the needed Oxygen and Hydrogen, into molecules of ethyl alcohol.

It must have been more complicated than that. The Wikipedia article on wine indicates that good wine has other flavors, meaning other chemicals, and, no doubt, other elements.

Colossians 1:15-17 tells us that, in the first place, Jesus Christ was the person of the Trinity most involved in creation. It also tells us that He is, somehow, presently involved in sustaining and maintaining the material world. So Christ's action, in making wine, good wine, where there had only been water, should not be a surprise to us. It must have been a great surprise to the servants who filled those jars, though!

I noticed this passage as a consequence of following the ESV on-line Bible reading for a day in May.

Thanks for reading.


benjiovercash said...

Interesting. I always enjoy reading your perspective as a scientist on these sorts of things.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, benjiovercash. I look at your blog, too, and sometimes wish that I had put forth the effort to learn Greek.