Saturday, 25 April 2009

Jesus as a Party Animal

Sometimes I think we need to rethink what Jesus as a man was actually like. Just because he lived a perfect sinless life doesn't mean, as I think we often assume, he led a bland and boring one.

I was thinking of these verses from Matthew 18
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." (18-19a)
His enemies saw him eating and drinking with those they considered lower than themselves, and made the accusation that Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard. But they must have had some basis for their accusations. And I think the accusations were probably correct inasfar as Jesus did indeed eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners. I imagine they ate well and that the wine they drank was of the alcoholic variety. Otherwise there would have been no basis for the 'drunkard' accusation. (I am not saying that Jesus got drunk, only that I believe he probably consumed wine with alcoholic content.)
And I think people of all stripes would have enjoyed being around him, not because he was always pious and preachy, but because he was probably fun to be with. He was probably the life of the party, clever and witty and engaging.
But as much as he was willing to associate with outcasts and sinners, he did not do so to share in their lifestyles, or to affirm them in their choices, or even to be satisfied with leaving them there. Those today who emphasize this aspect of Jesus' ministry seem to forget that his message was a call to repent or perish. When we read the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery we need to remember that Jesus did not stop at, "...neither do I condemn you," but continued, "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Take Care

No comments: