We are focusing in this series of posts on our failure to truly follow Jesus in one specific area. We read about that area in Matthew 11:
17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 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 deeds.”
Jesus’ contemporary culture was acting like a bunch of children. Both He and John the Baptist were being mocked for not dancing to their music. Neither in joy nor sorrow did these two religious leaders measure up, conform to, what was appropriate and expected.
John the Baptist’s frugality was met with the charge that he was demon-possessed! That’s an incredibly serious accusation for someone living an abnormal lifestyle. John did not calibrate his life around his appetites. And he was thought to be ruled by the devil!
But Jesus goes on and speaks about how He was criticized. He says, “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.'” Jesus’ indulgence seems to be the focus here. He speaks of Himself as coming “eating and drinking.” Jesus fully participated in His social surroundings. He did not stand off to the side or on a holy hill condemning His contemporaries. He joined them!
And that opened Him up to the double charge that He was a glutton and a drunkard! Whereas the criticism of John the Baptist was about what he gave up, the criticism of Jesus was about what He enjoyed! John’s lifestyle was extreme, counter-cultural. Jesus’ lifestyle was normal, but exposed Him to the charge of excess. (to be continued)