WAS JESUS A GLUTTONOUS DRUNKARD?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Matthew 11:16-19: “ But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,  And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.  The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”
Luke 7:31-35: “ And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?  They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.  For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.  The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!  But wisdom is justified of all her children.”
On the basis of Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34, it has been argued Jesus was a sinner. Indeed, strangely, some “Christian” (!) people who use the Bible have gone so far as to say the Lord was actually a glutton and a drunkard! Are they correctly interpreting these passages? We have three reasons to believe the Lord Jesus Christ was neither a glutton nor a drunkard.
1. DOES THE SAVIOUR NEED A SAVIOUR?
Firstly, if we are willing to accept as factual that Christ was a glutton (one who excessively greedily eats) and a drunkard (one who is habitually intoxicated with alcoholic beverages), then the Saviour Himself had a sin problem. If the Saviour is also guilty of wrongdoing, then He Himself needs saving. Therefore, where is His Saviour? In fact, can a sinning Saviour even adequately pay for others’ sins? If Jesus Christ were a sinner, then He was really no different from the rest of us, and the entire premise for Christianity is reduced to nothing. Could we then even call ourselves “Christians?!”
2. IS THE BIBLE DISHONEST?
Secondly, if we are willing to accept as factual that Christ was a glutton and a drunkard, then the Bible record is not true in several verses when it speaks of Christ’s impeccability or faultlessness.
“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles” (Matthew 12:18). “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5). “And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). How can Jesus—a supposed glutton and drunkard—be so highly praised here? If we cannot trust these verses, then what in the Bible can we trust? Why do we use the Scriptures at all?
The Bible speaks of drunkenness and gluttony (greediness of food) in a negative light. For instance, Deuteronomy 21:18-23: “ If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:  Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;  And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.  And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.  And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God; ) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”
“For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags” (Proverbs 23:21). “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying” (Romans 13:13). “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10). “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these:… Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19,21). “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;…” (Ephesians 5:18).
How could Father God endorse a “gluttonous, drunkard” Jesus? Evidently, Jesus was neither a glutton nor a drunkard, for the Scriptures report: “For he [Father God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). First Peter 2:22 alleges Jesus “did no sin.” Also, Hebrews 7:26: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;….” The only way Christ could be “separate from sinners” is if He Himself were not a sinner! Of course, that is if we believe the Bible and apply a bit of common sense. If we do not believe the Bible, then we need to say it instead of pretending like we do.
3. WAS JOHN THE BAPTIST DEVIL-POSSESSED?
Thirdly, if we are willing to accept as factual that Christ was a glutton and a drunkard, then we are also forced to conclude John the Baptist was devil-possessed. After all, the same parties who accused Jesus of evildoing similarly faulted John for being under Satan’s control!
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners” (Matthew 11:18-19). “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!” (Luke 7:33-34).
Read from Luke chapter 1: “ But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” This is hardly the description of a man possessed with a devil! As opposed to John the Baptist being filled with an unclean spirit, he was controlled by the Holy Spirit. He was devil-possessed to the extent Jesus was a gluttonous drunkard. Both instances are a resounding to no extent whatsoever.
Re-read Matthew 11:16-19 and Luke 7:31-35. John and Jesus’ critics cannot be pleased. They are mocking both John and Jesus, exaggerating and slandering to scorn. No matter the preacher, Israel is totally unresponsive, refusing to convert to JEHOVAH God. The Jews do not want John’s ministry, and they do not want Jesus’ ministry. John lived out in the wilderness and had a meager or simple diet of locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1-4; Mark 1:4-6), but they falsely accused him of devil possession. This is an extreme charge. Now, look at the contrast, the other extreme. Jesus ate and drank with the public, but they erroneously charged Him with gluttony and drunkenness. Both allegations are patently false. John and Jesus are both misrepresented, distorted, and defamed. These are unsubstantiated or baseless charges. To say it more bluntly, they are flat-out lies!
It is not that the Lord Jesus condoned sin, or joined people in their commission of sin. Rather, He understood these were the very souls He had come to save (cf. Matthew 9:10-13 and Mark 2:15-17). Moreover, they were willing to acknowledge their sin problem and value Him as Saviour, whereas the religious snobs (Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes) believed they were “good enough” and had no need for a Saviour. Religious elitists belittled Jesus simply to alienate people from Him, that they (the leaders) keep their position in the nation. The Bible is indeed true. However, it does quote sinners when they lie. The Scriptures are a factual representation of what was said, whether or not the statement itself was true. People made fun of the Lord then, and they do it now. They lied about Him then, just like people do today. These passages are a case-in-point that we should be very careful before grabbing verses out of context and distorting them unto our own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).
By contending this point, people may very well be sneakily attempting to justify their own sin. Namely, “If Jesus was a glutton and drunkard, I can be those things too!” Whatever their reason for appealing to Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34, they falsely malign Him, and we would hate to be in their position if they die as lost people and face Father God. They are guilty of blasphemy, and we remember those solemn words of Christ as found in Matthew chapter 12: “ O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Friends, let us choose our words wisely—especially when speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ!
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