Text: Matthew 11:18-19
9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
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.”
I realize that this sermon will lead some to believe that I am promoting gluttony and drunkenness, but here goes (no fool like an old fool). Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” According to our text, Jesus would agree with this quote and John the Baptist would be outraged by it.
There is a theory that all our weaknesses are over-used strengths. Being flexible in your thinking is a strength, but overuse of that and you won’t get anything done. Having an eye for detail is a strength, but overuse it and you become a picky pain. Ice cream and margaritas are wonderful inventions but overuse them and well—you know what happens.
When I was growing up, my mother refused to allow pork products (not bacon), cheese, and alcoholic drinks in the house. When I went off to college and had my first meal of dark German beer and pepperoni pizza, I knew that psychotherapy was in my future!!!
Most major religions promote the idea that the physical world is evil. This is a far cry from the Bible’s account of God creating the heavens and the earth and declaring it “good.”
Most folks associate end of the world visions with horrifying creatures, but according to Isaiah 25, the world will end with a new creation and a huge banquet for all peoples (green cards not required) of “…well-aged wines, and rich food filled with marrow…”
John the Baptist was a great guy, but if I have to take sides on this creation debate, I’ll side with Jesus.