Mar 1, 2010

WWJD: What would Jesus DRINK?

I was standing today with some kids out in the 40 degree rain, under the eaves of the Scientology building. It was an unlikely place for a deep discussion to develop about Jesus, but I've learned that you just never know about such things.

A couple of the kids had gotten a gift care for doing a research interview and had sent someone to the nearest grocery store for "cigarettes and such." I said, "It's OK. You can say alcohol around me!" They smiled, "OK, then. We send him for beer and cigarettes!"

Then a familiar discussion started. A street girl said, “Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. That's Proverbs 31:6." "Yes, I said. The Bible has no absolute issue with drinking. And neither do I. I drink."

Many were listening, now. Another young man joined in, "If Jesus were here right not, he'd sit down and drink with us." I thought and said, "Perhaps. I think it might depend."

Yet another youth said, "His first miracle was making wine. And it was for a party. If Jesus were here, he'd party with us!" Again, I said, "Maybe. It would definitely depend."

I continued, "Jesus helped people. So his drinking with you and partying with you would only be if it helped you and didn't hurt you. We all know people who hurt themselves with drink. Jesus wouldn't want to be part of that by drinking with them. He wouldn't want to help you hurt yourself, but I bet he would be here. He would hang out with you. I just don't know if he would drink or not. He and you are the ones who would be able to decide if drink hurts you or not."

I was about to say something else, when"Adam," another "street youth" came up. Adam is saved, but he's addicted and trapped in street life. He's been on the street since his late teens. He was told he'd never live to 20. Then 30.

Adam had listened to our conversation and had this to add: "I don't know about  Jesus drinking with us or not. I do know that Jesus wouldn't get drunk. I do know that Jesus wouldn't get out of control. Jesus wouldn't go too far and let alcohol control Him. And I do know that Jesus wouldn't use alcohol to cover up pain or avoid what he's supposed to do. Jesus refused wine on the cross that would have taken away some of his pain. And he bore that pain to save us. So I don't know if he would turn around and be part of us hurting ourselves with alcohol."

I could only add, "Bring it, Adam! I don't have to preach more. You've said it just right."

If Jesus walked into a part of your life today, what would Jesus "drink with you?" You can substitute anything that tempts you for the "WWJ drink with you" question.  The point is that Jesus could navigate our world today without sin. We are unable to do so. This is no surprise to Jesus since he saw each of our individual sins from his vantage point on the cross on Good Friday some 2000 years ago. BUT--"Adam" is right-- Jesus chose to feel the pain of our separation from God long ago. He paid for it. So we can choose to return to God through Jesus Christ. Let us live so that when Jesus walks into Austin he finds us busy doing His work, loving His people and one another, and praising His Father! I bet he'd want to have a glass of wine and throw a party at that point! Amen.