Some religious scholars have been trying to discover the “historical Jesus” — the real guy, Jesus of Nazareth, before he got buried under centuries of mythology and became “Jesus Christ the Son of God.” A lot of the stories about Jesus are debatable. For example, did Jesus really feed 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish? Or did this story get embellished over the years as it was told and retold by people who weren’t even there? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Or was he sort of an ancient version of Elvis whose death inspired many “sightings” among his grieving, loyal fans?
There are lots of Jesus stories that we could argue about, but one thing is for sure: whether we’re talking about Jesus the man or Jesus the God — Jesus liked to party.
From his first miracle of turning water into wine to the last supper when he broke bread and poured wine for his disciples, the stories of Jesus show him eating and drinking—plenty and often. In fact, Jesus ate and drank so frequently that he was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7.33–34).
But this eating and drinking Jesus has pretty much been lost to (or ignored by) modern Christians, particularly the teetotalling, conservative evangelicals. Ever since the late nineteenth century when Thomas Welch, a Methodist, started making his “unfermented wine” (aka, Welch’s Grape Juice) to replace the real stuff that was being used for church communion services, Christians have replaced the real eating-and-drinking Jesus with a “safer” non-alchoholic version.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should go out and get drunk off your ass during the upcoming Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day festivities. I’m not saying that’s what Jesus would have done. So don’t go out to the bars, drink until you can’t stand up anymore and say you’re just following in the footsteps of Jesus.
You’ve got to drink responsibly, kids.
So, with that in mind, I will write here just a few suggestions on how you can party like Jesus.
First and foremost, don’t drink and drive. Jesus never, ever did this. Sure, he rode a colt and an ass and maybe a camel or two, but he never did this, when he was drunk, so far as we know. If you’re going to the bars, use your feet, or have a designated driver.
Second, watch your weight. You can get the same buzz a lot faster with a little whiskey than with a lot of beer. Think about all the pictures of Jesus you’ve ever seen. Did he ever have a beer belly? Of course not. He watched his calories even when drinking (some people have suggested that he simply turned the wine back into water after he swallowed it so it wouldn’t have any calories, but again, this is debatable).
Third, don’t drink on an empty stomach. Remember, Jesus was accused of being both a drunkard and a glutton. Eat something with your booze.
Fourth, if you’re taking medication, read the label and make sure it doesn’t say something like “DO NOT TAKE WITH ALCOHOL.” And if it does, then don’t. Also, don’t be drinking if you’re pregnant. Jesus never did that either.
Fifth, don’t drink alone. Jesus always partied with his friends, which is just common sense. If you pass out and choke on your own vomit, then someone will be there to help you.
Well folks, that’s about it. As you enter this party season, please drink responsibly.
Drink like Jesus.