Jesus the Party Animal

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 understandthis 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:


  1. says

    It amazes me how I myself will cling to the present status simply because change frightens me. But I am in this process of letting go of everything so that I might receive anything He brings me. Even in the form of a party animal…

  2. says

    I tend to think of Jesus as the “man of sorrows”, but wasn’t he also full of great joy, to be so close to the Father? I bet he did laugh a lot.

    About Jesus and John and what people thought of them, and your question– I realize my own notions and ideas and definitions come in the way, so that I don’t “see” because of my own perceptions. How I don’t wish to be this way, but I know that I am guilty of it, just as in Jesus’ day. I too long for what Jesus and John had.

  3. says

    Your questions are so good and challenging. It is simple, and obvious, and yet we often make it so difficult.
    Jesus had feelings just like we do. He laughed and he cried.
    I love the fact that he understands my heart questions. I imagine he had them too.

  4. says

    I can picture Jesus laughing, because I know he smiles at me. Like a parent when their child does something cute, funny or even makes a mistake, and they say with a big smile, “That’s my child.”

  5. says

    I love this, Laura, your reflections on these relationships and personalities.

    I love that one day we’ll be in His presence and no longer need to ponder. We’ll see.

  6. says

    Your thoughts also made me think about the parenting they received and how that affected how they acted. And then of course there are the circumstances of Jesus’ conception. I mean what else can people say about a kid whose parents weren’t “married” when he was conceived. His life started out in a scandal…he was destined to be a wild child. hahaha
    Great thoughts Laura. Thank you for sharing. ~Jessica

  7. says

    You know what, Laura? I need to read this, because I don’t think I’ve ever thought of Jesus this way! A rebel, yes? But a “party animal”? – not so much! And that he laughed a lot? That possibility has never even occured to me. But why not? Why can’t Jesus have been a wild lover of life? A zestful and exuberant person? I always think of him as somber and serious.

    You’ve got me thinking, girl!

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