May 14th, '18
rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
HAVE A PICNIC
Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a glutton and
winebibber..." (Matthew 11:19)
Jesus was obviously in better shape than the
other religious icons, Buddha with his bare belly or the Krishnas, walking
around airports skinny as rails. One thing we know, He liked to eat, or at
least liked to spread dinners for starved guests. It may be that a pastor can
win more souls wearing a barbecue apron than a suit and tie with a big King
James Bible under his arm. Jesus had two audiences sit down on the grass for a picnic,
feeding 5,000 men with five loaves and 4,000 with seven. And that didn't count
the women or children. He held a prayer meeting the night before going to the
Cross but not until the disciples first shared a banquet, the Last Supper. I
don't know why they call it that because Easter evening He ate fish and
honeycomb with them again (Luke 24:42) and a few days later after a poor night
fishing, He had breakfast prepared for Peter and the boys on the Galilee shore.
Discipleship meant follow-ship but also fellowship.
They were to follow Him but that following, though costly, was never
burdensome. He said, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light". John added that
"his commandments are not grievous". They scouted out shade trees for midday
and sat around campfires at night. Twelve guys together; that's a bunch of
joke-telling. Lots of people invited Jesus and the disciples over for meals.
Martha did much of the cooking. It was as He reclined at dinner that one shady
lady poured spikenard on His feet. The religious leaders had a cow because the
Pharisees and John's disciples had to fast regularly while Jesus and His crew
seemed to be on a perpetual picnic. Even his stories were festive, a fatted
calf butchered for a prodigal son or a rich king throwing a banquet for the
poor, maimed, halt and blind (Luke 14:21).
There is a time to fast and a time to feast. A
glimpse into Jesus' inside world shows a serious man who didn't take things
over-seriously. It shows a "man of sorrows" that could laugh as easily as cry.
Sure, He carried a whip when He cleaned house at the Temple but those same
hands blessed and broke the brownies that fed the five-thousand. Some well
meaning wet blanket insists that "life is not a picnic". I disagree but to not
argue we can at least agree that life is a banquet. Jesus offers "life more
abundantly". The post-Pentecost church carried on the potluck tradition,
"Breaking bread from house to house..." (Acts 2:46) At Troas Paul and the church
pulled an all-nighter. "He...had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while,
even till daybreak..." (Acts 20:11) I'd assume someone brought strawberry
shortcake. Jesus' ministry began at Cana turning water into wine. It closed at
a table with Him passing around a testamental cup. But there will be a reunion.
"I will not drink of this fruit of the vine...until that day when I will drink it
new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29). He said He will drink it
new "with you". There is a seat prepared for each of us. Until then Paul says,
"Let us keep the feast..." (1 Corinthians 5:8) Anoint your head with oil. Leap
for joy. Bring some confetti, or cookies. It's not a sin to smile! Like the old
song says, "It's my party I can...laugh if I want to". (I make up my own lyrics.
We all can).