Here’s Jesus in church:
15Then they went into Jerusalem, and after they entered the temple he began to throw out those who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and up-ended those of the dove sellers. — Mark 11:15
And here’s Jesus at parties:
13And he went out again by the sea, and the whole crowd kept coming out to him, and he was teaching them. 14As he was going along he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s station and he said to him, “Follow me!” And he rose up and followed him. 15And he was reclining to dine in his house and many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were lots of them following him. 16But when the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17And Jesus heard and said to them, “Those who are strong don’t need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners.” 18And John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, and they came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisee’s disciples fast, but your disciples don’t fast?” 19And Jesus said to them, “The sons of the bridegroom can’t fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? No, while the bridegroom is with them they cannot fast. — Mark 2:13-19
Do you enjoy your life? No, I’m not asking whether after long consideration you have decided to accept your miserable call and thus are forcing yourself to look satisfied. Do you enjoy life? Is it fun? Ever?
Jesus had easily the most miserable calling. God had called him to give up everything, go to this annoying planet, filled with people who didn’t appreciate him, and eventually to allow those people to torture him to death. Downer, no?
But Jesus was a joyful person. Jesus had fun. How do I know? Well, I can tell you that a person who is miserable when he goes to a dinner or some other social event, will not be surrounded by people who just want to be in his presence. It’s unlikely such a person would ever be accused of being a â€œa glutton and a drinkerâ€ (Luke 7:34).
The place where Jesus was a wet blanket, where he really put the damper on what people were doing, was at church. Now I wonder why that was!
Sometimes we take the Christian religion as a means of making us miserable here on earth, but then finally getting us into heaven. We pay for joy in the next world through our sorrow and misery here. But it’s not necessary at all. We were created good, for a purpose, in God’s image, and â€œa little lower than God (Psalm 8:5, see REB, NASB). We have an exciting destiny!
Is it possible that you have a call that looks more difficult than the one Jesus had? I personally doubt any of us would trade lives with him. Yet he was joyful. Sometimes we think solemnity and seriousness is more holy. But the holiest one of all had so much fun that he was accused of gluttony and drunkenness. (Please remember the difference between accusation and reality!)
What about you?