I read a book recently that cast a different light on not so much who Jesus was, but perhaps more “how” Jesus likely was. There was not dispute that Jesus was the Son of God and Messiah. The questioning was more to do with how little we actually know about the type of person he was, and how a great deal of society’s views about Jesus have been influenced by art, literature, drama, and entertainment.
There was a lot to all of this and I am sure it is no new subject. It is certainly can and has formed the basis of huge debate over the centuries and has divided families, communities, and nations.
All I really wanted to summarize in this post is that I looked at my own preconceptions about Jesus, and concluded that I have over the years adopted many of the cultural presumptions. Including but not limited to the presumption that Jesus was a tall, blonde, soft-spoken, Caucasian. He was gentle with everyone, and frankly somewhat drab in personality. He seldom spoke in humour or anger. Again, these were presumptions that I inadvertently picked up over the years.
To these presumptions, I have to say, “Where is the evidence of any of this, and why does it even matter”?
Jesus was as he was. And however that was, his impact has affected humanity more than any other person before or after. He was feared by the king of his own nation to the point that even before his birth, the king sought to kill him.
Throughout his life, he hung out with the undesirables of the time, and was opposed by, and eventually killed by, those who claimed to be the upright establishment of the day.
He lived during a time when one of the mightiest and most technologically-advanced empires in history, The Roman Empire, ruled over and occupied his nation. Yet hundreds of years after the collapse and disappearance of that mighty empire, Jesus teachings are still sought worldwide, and in accelerating numbers in many parts of the world.
So I am inclined to believe that Jesus was something quite a bit more than how art, literature, drama, and entertainment have portrayed him.
And to clinch it for this recovering alcoholic, it really jumped out at me that it is seldom recognized that it sounds like Jesus may have partied it up a bit too. Not to say he was unsafe or unwise about it, and yes, there is probably a cultural context to the consumption of wine in the middle east 2000 years ago, but here is a pretty plain and well-established account of Jesus topping up the wine supply well into the party. I think there is a lot more to Jesus than I have ever believed…
“1: And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3: And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4: Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5: His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6: And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7: Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8: And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9: When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10: And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”