The term, “Christians” has its roots in an insult. People called his followers, “little Christs” and they meant it sarcastically.
To my knowledge, nobody ever resisted the insult though. I find myself wondering if the first Christ-followers to hear this might have thought, “yeah, that’s about right: a little Christ. That’s what I want to be.”
Regardless of how they felt at the time, speaking for my own self, I can say that I don’t think it’s too far from what the goal is: to be a little Christ.
And so it stands to reason: if Jesus is metaphorically turned to wine, so too are we.
In fact, there are ways in which the metaphor works better for us than it does for him… The most obvious of these ways is the mere fact that making wine out of a single grape is possible, but a little bit goofy. The idea of a bunch of people serving as a bunch of grapes, and b eing turned together to wine, this idea works a little better.
Jesus of course promised us struggles. He called us to take up our crosses– an instrument of death and torture. He promised us persecution. He told us to die to ourselves.
And a grape does have to die to itself to become wine. There is something within it that can not be unleashed with out it’s destruction. And in this destruction, it becomes joined with all the others who have similarly submit themselves, just as the community of Christ followers is joined together.
But it is not only what is within us. It is also something outside of us. Because it’d only be grape juice if it finished with the same ingedients it started with. The transformation to wine is one that is begun by the destruction of the grapes… But it takes processes outside the grape to finish it, much as we require the holy spirit.