Apropos Richard’s Parable of of the Couple of Beers (see below), students of the gospels will be aware of the the accusation that Jesus was a “drunk” (oinopotes) (Matthew 11:19, par. Luke 7:34). The word can mean simply “drinker”, but it is coupled with the word phagos, which means “glutton”, not just “eater”, so the Greek definitely refers to over-indulgence. It is Jesus himself who speaks of the accusation, which comes not just from his enemies but, according to Luke, from “all the people” (pas ho laos) (Luke 7:29), represented by the crowd he is addressing.
Of course the accusation could be a slander. But isn’t that special pleading? Even if habitual inebriation is an exaggeration, well, what’s the saying - “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”? After all, also included in the accusation is that Jesus was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” - and ain’t it the truth?
Here’s my question: Would it trouble you if the accusation had a basis in fact, if our Lord might on occasion - let’s just say - have had “one too many”? Or is that just too scandalous to consider?
Personally, while I would have a problem with an alcoholic Jesus, I would have no problem at all with a Jesus who liked a couple of those beers that Richard mentions (which in the UK would make him over the legal limit, such that he’d have to get a taxi home). After all, I’d happily have Jesus around to Thanksgiving dinner, and, with Angie baking, fully expect him to join me as I loosen the belt and tuck into that second slice of pumpkin pie (and have an Alka-Seltzer with me before falling asleep in front of the telly). And if occasional over-eating, why not occasional over-drinking? Or is your Jesus the Commissioner of the food-and-drink police?