Sunday, May 4, 2008

I'll Have Whatever He's Having...JC

My bro Chad responded to my WWJDrink blog post with some great wisdom that I knew needed to be shared. Below is the email he sent me in response to the blog. I share these nuggets of GOLD with you all with his blessing. TM

I thought I would chime in to the current discussion. I have this tendency to see scripture as being wholly about Jesus and how he fulfilled all things. I interpret everything accordingly. I believe in "fulfillment theology." For instance: Jesus fulfilled the law; therefore it's no longer necessary. He fulfilled the Sabbath; again no longer necessary. Jesus fulfilled Israel; bada bing! Jesus fulfilled the priesthood; no more need. Temple, ark of the covenant, etc, etc, etc.

Now that being said, I ask the question: Why did Jesus drink wine? And yes of course he drank fully fermented, get-you-drunk wine. And he also apparently drank it quite least enough to garner a reputation. But why did he drink wine? Because he enjoyed it? Possibly, but I don't think that's the reason. I think Jesus drank wine as another sign of fulfillment. He was proving (in yet another way) that he was the fulfillment of Moses.

Moses remember produced "water" for Israel. Jesus came producing something No wonder his first recorded miracle is turning water to wine. Also, throughout Scripture, wine was used to describe God's fulness and blessing. What better tool for Jesus to use in order to demonstrate that in him God's fulness was fully and finally revealed? So obviously Jesus didn't find his identity in being a wine drinker (or a miracle worker, or a healer, or a prophet, or a teacher, or a savior). He found his identity in being in relationship with his father.

My point is we often find our identity in our liberties or our restrictions. Unfortunately we try to find our self worth in what we are allowed to do or in what we aren't allowed to do. Whole denominations and religious institutions have been founded on that crap. Paul said he had all the liberty in the world but he didn't find his identity in it. I love liberty, but it doesn't define me. Neither do restrictions. I'm defined by my relationship with Dad. Dad loves me no matter what I do. Which is cool, cause I DO a lot. Which also causes me to hate the whole WWJD idea of godly ethics. Trying to imitate Jesus puts me back on a performance treadmill and out of focus on just "being" with Dad.

But anyway...I'm off track. Jesus found his purpose in doing the will of his father at the perfect time. He didn't do anything of his own accord. Including drink wine. He only drink it at the precise time it would do the most to glorify Dad. Other times he was so caught up doing Dad's will that when they tried to offer him something to eat (and I guess drink) he refused it saying, "my food is to do the will of him who sent me." And that, my dear brother, is where I wish we could get to as the church. Just be a group of broken people who join Dad in being what he's being and doing what he's doing.

We must must must stop finding our identities in externals. Stop living outside to inside. That's a post fall Garden of Eden mentality that says if I eat this fruit (external) I will be fulfilled (internal). Jesus made it possible to live the opposite. If I'm fulfilled (internal) it doesn't make or break me when I enjoy this fruit (external). The fruit/wine/whatever is now put in proper perspective.

So. Should I have a drink cause Jesus did? I don't think so. I CAN have a drink as long as my liberty in drinking it doesn't violate my relationship with Dad. Not simply because Jesus did it. I can eat meat sacrificed to idols (Paul said) because it doesn't violate my relationship with Dad. Some couldn't allow themselves that liberty. But relationships are very subjective aren't they? What would Jesus drink? Whatever glorifies Dad. That's what I think anyway.