Judges 19-21 Luke 7:31-50
“John the Baptist came and did not eat bread or drink wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon in him.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine, and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (Luke 7:33-34 NCV)
Jesus pointed out to some of His detractors that you just can’t please some people. John had a strict diet that appeared to be carb and gluten free as well as alcohol free. The religious leaders accused him of being demon-possessed. Meanwhile, Jesus came along as the life of the party. He ate with anybody and everybody. How often do we see Him at a dinner party of some kind? In fact, the verses following this passage relate the tale of another party that Jesus went to. You’d think the Pharisees would be happy that He wasn’t a killjoy like John. Nope, they accused Him of eating and drinking too much. You just couldn’t please the Pharisees.
There’s a danger in these verses. As I read them today I wondered if the Pharisees were calling Jesus an overweight lush. Apparently, they gossiped about His “over-eating” and His propensity with the bottle, but they still wanted Him around. They kept inviting Him to eat with them. I don’t think Jesus was overweight, nor do I think He had problems with His alcohol content. What I think happened was that the Pharisees didn’t like what either John or Jesus was teaching. Since they couldn’t beat them on the content, they went to the ad hominem attacks. And you thought Facebooking was a new idea. I’m sort of a cross between Jesus and John. I eat too much but I don’t drink alcohol. Perhaps if I was more consistent in my beliefs and shared Jesus like I should, I’d get criticized for being an overweight, demon-possessed writer. I’ve assimilated into society too well. When we see church attendance shrinking, when we see people rejecting the gospel and living life in opposition to God’s word, perhaps we should realize that we’re the problem in this world. We’ve become so tolerated, and tolerable, that no one wants to kill us anymore. We should never seek to be hated or vie to be persecuted, but we should be bold and forceful in proclaiming Jesus to a world where everyone does what’s right in their own eyes. Live today like you believe that God exists, that God forgives, and that God expects you to be His hands and feet.
Lord, work in me and through me today. Let me proclaim the gospel with Your boldness, mixed with Your compassion and love for all people.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.