“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, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (Matthew 11:18-19)
Jesus partied. He knew how to have a blast. He wasn’t a killjoy or a stiff.
Not everyone liked Jesus having so much fun. In fact, the religious authorities judged and condemned Him because He did.
We see their judgment in today’s lesson when they complain that Jesus has been hanging around with gluttons, drunkards, tax collectors, and sinners.
Jesus got into trouble because He reached out to those who knew they could never be good enough to deserve God’s love. Jesus didn’t accept these people with condescending sufferance or reluctant indulgence. Instead, He saw their plight and loved them, accepted them, and partied with them.
Jesus believed a party needed to be thrown every time a lost or lonely or fallen person was found and brought back to God. Jesus would have gotten into less trouble with the religious folks if He could have pretended He wasn’t having such a good time whenever someone accepted that they were a beloved child of God.
Do we remember that whenever the disciples of Jesus get together, a party needs to be thrown? Are we committed to not being a stiff? Do our faces reflect joy? Are we committed to enlarging the party because the best time in this life and in the next is to be with Jesus?
The religious folks were constantly upset with Jesus because He was having so much fun. They believed that if they attended the Jesus parties, they might be expected to have a good time. Just think about what they missed. They missed getting to know Jesus, which meant that they also missed His invitation to join the heavenly banquet, which is the party without end.
Jesus was willing to go anywhere to be with all of God’s children, and He clearly wanted to have fun along the way. He encourages us to do the same. We’ve got to wonder just how fast our churches would grow if we did.
- Do you ever party or have fun with Jesus, or is your relationship with Him a pretty somber, serious, and sober affair?
- When you said “yes” to Jesus, He threw a party for you. If you always remembered Jesus’s delight when you accepted Him, would your life be any different than it is now?
- If those who proclaim Jesus to be their Lord and Savior looked like and indeed had more joyful lives, how would our world and our communities be impacted?