Monday, 22 June 2009

Day 48

When Jesus ate, he usually broke all the rules of etiquette.

Back in his day eating together was a big thing.

First off, you only ate with your kind of people. Like if you were a Jew, you never shared a meal with a Roman, Greek, Arab, Samaritan or an African.

If you were a religious Jew, you never ate with anyone who had the label “sinner” around his or her neck. The list included drunkards, divorced women, gays, prostitutes, murderers, tax collectors, Romans, Greeks and especially Samaritans.

If you were a religious, educated, high profile Jew, like a Rabbi for instance, you never shared a meal with people from a lower social standard. The list included woman in general, children, fisherman, farm workers, servants, slaves and everyone who will fall under the category of being poor and vulnerable.

What you ate and with whom you ate determent almost everything about you as a religious human being.

But like I said earlier, Jesus was not your everyday religious type.

He loved a good party. All he needed was bread and wine and if he could not find any wine, water would have been just fine.

The guest list usually got him into a lot of trouble with his fellow Rabbis and other co-workers. Once he had a huge party with the local Mafia boss and his friends. Another time he stayed for days in a Samaritan village, called Sigar, having a ball of a time. There is also the story of a woman with dodgy sexual reputation crashing a very boring party Jesus was attending, just to have a dance or two with Big J.

But just when you think that Jesus was just another party animal, you’ll find a golden thread running through every party and every meal Jesus shared with people.

Wherever he ate, the lives of the people who ate with him, changed for good.
The Mafia boss turned his life around with a promise to pay back double, even triple to everyone he ever stole from. After Jesus left Sigar, the whole town became part of the Jesus revolution. And it is told of the party crasher, that she was one of the few people who stayed at foot of the cross until the end.

No wonder Jesus told one of the townspeople of Sigar that if she drank the Living Water he usually brings to a party, she’ll never go thirsty again...


Anonymous said...

One thing that bugs me when talking about Jesus' practice of sharing a meal is that Jesus was poor (see Crossan). So I find it more weird that the rich ate with Jesus than that Jesus ate with them. Also, he wasn't a rabbi, at least not from the point of view of the rabbinic guilds, he was a rabbi made one by the common folk who considered him as such, so why did the Pharisees actually eat with him I find more strange than Jesus eating with them.

Fourie Rossouw said...

Cobus, thanx for your comment. Great angle with question why the rich invited a poor man over for dinner.

You are correct when you say that Jesus was not a Rabbi like the Rabbis of modern day Judaism. But it is safe to say that in terms of ancient Hebrew understanding, Jesus was indeed a rabbi. Check out the links below for further reading.