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.” But wisdom is proved right by her actions. (Matt. 11:18-19)
“They thought Jesus was a party animal,” she said, after reading the scripture. “And John was a prude.”
My pastor painted a word picture of a modern day party animal pastor—one who drove a sports car, had “long flowing hair”, and pierced ears. And she said, you have to understand—this is how the religious leaders of his day saw Jesus.
And then she described John as the stodgy old pastor up the way who was a bit consumed by the following of rules. Well, he was a Nazirite, right? No wine could touch his lips and no razor used on his head.
She was speaking in extremes, of course, to make a point, but her illustration sparked my imagination. I drew a picture of the “party animal Jesus” in the margin of my bulletin. Complete with flowing hair and convertible. Jeffrey peeked over my Bible at my artwork and he added an illustrated version of Fingerface in the backseat– glamourized with lipstick and hair that whipped around in the breeze.
The poor will always be with you, he once said. And he shattered their delicate sensibilities. (Matt. 26:10-13). He changed the way the law was perceived (he did not come to abolish it, he said, but to fulfill it.—Matt. 5:17)
He changed everything.
I can’t help but to think that he must have been a lot fun to be around. I bet he laughed a lot.
I thought about this party animal Jesus as I added earrings to my convertible-driving savior. His coming ushered in the new covenant, yes. And even John did not understand. Are you the one? He sent his disciples to ask Jesus while he waited in Herod’s prison.
The stodgy old pastor is made a bit nervous by the sweeping changes that Jesus ushered in. But he accepted them. Even gave his life.
And Jesus? He loved John. So much so, that when he learned of his cousin’s death he withdrew to a solitary place. I imagine no shortage of tears were shed during that time of grieving, shortened as it was by the needs of the people. (Matt. 14:13)
I think about these two men and their love for one another. A love demonstrated by action, sacrifice. And I wonder at the example they have given us. And I wonder why, in the face of change, we have such difficulty following it.
Linking up with Michelle today:
And Jen and the sisters: