Luke 7:34

So Jesus says that the Son of Man came “eating and drinking.” Does he mean:

  1. Men in general eat carbohydrates and drink liquids (which is too obvious)
  2. Jesus eats carbohydrates and drinks water (again, somewhat obvious).
  3. Jesus eats stuff and drinks wine.
  4. Jesus always came eating and drinking (impossible)?

Luke 7:29-35

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.) 31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
 we sang a dirge,
    and you did not cry.’

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”

Notice…

The general populace, including the tax collectors, responded favorably to Christ’s words both about John the Baptist and God (v.29). But the Pharisees and “experts” in Mosaic Law did not (v.30). It was this last group that elicits Christ’s further comments to draw a parallel (v.31), which is in a chiastic structure:

(A1) We played the pipe for you, <------------------------------------------------
   (A2)   and you did not dance;                                                 |
(B1) we sang a dirge,            <-------------------------------------------    |
   (B2)  and you did not cry.                                               |    |
                                                                            |    |
(B'1) For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine,  <---    |
   (B'2) and you say, ‘He has a demon.’                                          |
(A'1) The Son of Man came eating and drinking,   <--------------------------------
   (A'2) and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, 
             a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’

The concepts of A1 corresponds to A’1, A2 to A’2, B1 to B’1, and B2 to B’2.

For B to B’ group, these children who were making a sorrowful proclamation by singing a dirge, are not getting a mournful response from the other children, who were not crying. Likewise John the Baptist came with a mournful proclamation of “repentance for the remission of sins” (Lk 3:3), and many tax collectors and sinners were responding (Lk 3:10-14), being baptized of John (Lk 3:7; i.e. identifying with John’s message). But the Pharisees and lawyers were not remorseful, and were unrepenting (Lk 3:7; cf. Mt 3:7), rejecting John the Baptist’s message to be baptized (Lk 7:30) because they thought he was possessed of a demon, because he “came neither eating bread nor drinking wine.” That is, because he was a loner not having companionship with others, not eating at feasts and gatherings, and not wearing fancy clothes or dwelling in a house (Lk 7:25), but lived outside of town (Mt 3:1), clothed in camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey (Mt 3:4). All things opposite of the Pharisees and lawyers (Lk 20:46), and thus they deemed him demon possessed.

For A to A’ group, these children who were making a joyful proclamation by playing music, are not getting a joyful response from the other children, who were not dancing. Likewise the Son of Man came with a joyful proclamation of the “gospel [i.e. good news] of the kingdom,” and many tax collectors and sinners were responding (as Scripture testifies many places, crowds were following Him), seeking to enjoy His companionship (i.e. eating and drinking with Him; Lk 5:29). But the Pharisees and lawyers were not responding joyfully. They were rejecting Christ’s message because he was associating with this crowd (Lk 5:30), whom in their pride they looked down upon (Lk 18:10-13). They also assumed Christ was being a glutton and a drunkard along with this crowd (for such was the behavior of the tax collectors and sinners).

Conclusion on “eating and drinking”

So the phrase “eating and drinking” is not meant to reflect at all upon “what is he eating and drinking” in contrast to John the Baptist, it is that He was having companionship with a crowd the Pharisees and lawyers rejected, in contrast to John the Baptist who had companionship with no one.

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60 thoughts on “Luke 7:34

  1. Troy Day says:

    Here we go Link Hudson Phil Brown Jr. Take a hit:

    ΚΑΤΑ ΛΟΥΚΑΝ 7:34 Greek NT: Nestle 1904
    ἐλήλυθεν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων, καὶ λέγετε Ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος φάγος καὶ οἰνοπότης, φίλος τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν.

  2. I admit that I do not know Greek. I rely on English translations, the translations of Greek scholars and other helps i.e. lexicons, concordance, commentaries etc. However Titus of Bostra, who I would believe was fluent in Koine Greek, seemed to believe that Jesus drank wine “For Christ would not abstain from this food, lest He should give a handle to heretics, who say that the creatures of God are bad, and blame flesh and wine.”

    1. Troy Day I believe that Dr. Arrington makes a jump to state that there is proof in error. There is not enough evidence to prove that Jesus did in or did not in fact drink wine. Also there is not one person alive that understands and speaks Koine Greek in its direct cultural context as well as our early church fathers.

  3. Did Jesus drink wine? I don’t know, and I don’t think we can say for sure from the scriptures. The scriptures however do strongly and clearly warn from becoming drunk. The scriptures also warn to not be a stumbling block to others. This should be a clear indicator that social drinking should not be the practice of a Christian.

    1. Troy Day says:

      We have gathered sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus in fact did not drink wine at all. Furthermore, IF any wine was indeed meant in the NT it was 2 parts water 1 part wine as per Jewish tradition (Tom Steele ) which puts it way below the common Nyquil content. Additionally, we have Gospel authors on purpose saying things like
      – the cup
      – the fruit of the vine and so on
      quite intentionally excluding the word “wine”
      just like it is said that John did not drink wine
      BUT it does not say Jesus drank wine, just drank – wine is excluded

      Finally, we do have 2 cases that require further attention

      Jesus on the cross DID accept sour wine though most English translation omit that; not sure if this counts TOWARD Jesus drinking wine

      Second, we have His promise he will drink the fruit of the vine NEW with us in His Kingdom, though we neither know what the NEW fruit of vine may be in eternity nor in what shape and form Jesus will be consuming it…

    2. Troy Day I disagree. I believe most scholars that come to outcome to state that Jesus emphatically did not drink wine do not look at the scriptures objectively. The evidence is not there to make a concrete decision one way or the other.

    3. How is it that we have church fathers from the first century church that spoke fluent Koine Greek say that they believe Jesus did drink wine and scholars today, removed from cultural context, in a era in which Koine Greek is no longer fluently spoken, come to differing conclusions?

    4. Tom Steele says:

      Troy Day Yes, I am aware of the water/wine mixture used in those days.

      If you can find a copy, I recommend getting a hold of a book called The Temperance Commentary by Fredrick Lees. It was done in the 1800’s during prohibition, when this issue would have been a really hot topic. They cover just about everything you would ever want to know about the matter of wine/alcohol in the Bible. Sure, they seem like they are bias toward a no alcohol position, so you’ll probably like that too. If you cannot find a hard copy, which you likely won’t as I have been unable to at this time either, the whole thing is on Google Books. I have found it very useful in past studies.

      I haven’t looked into it, but I imagine it’s possible that they even address your concerns about Nazirites in it as well.

    5. Troy Day says:

      Phil Brown Jr. The Orthodox church and the Catholic who claim they came from Peter himself also drink strong wine and more BUT in the NT we have not been able ANY proof that Jesus drunk wine. Ricky Grimsley knows some of the church fathers and how to trust their writings

  4. Troy Day says:

    Jesus did NOT drink wine – the Bible says so
    – most Gospel writers omitted the word wine
    – instead the word CUP is used by all, Paul included
    – the better wine in Jn2 was NEW wine – Jesus made NEW wine
    – mostly water with a pinch of low grade wine was used in Passover – wine was mixed only for purification of the water not the intoxication of the receiver
    – the false accusation toward Jesus was exactly that false – He never drunk wine; actually wine is not even used in regard to Jesus in Lk. but to John. When Luke came to Jesus he did not even dare use the word wine to creat the full parallel! This alone settles it for me

    1. The omission of the word wine does not mean He did not drink it. It means they were careful to not make Jesus look to be a drunkard, as nd rightfully so. To let yourself be swayed by lack of concrete evidence only goes you are not treating the evidence that is there objectively. It appears as if you are grasping at straws to come to a predetermined conclusion. It just is not there. Until you do come up with evidence other omission of words, lack of statements and song and dance comparisons, this is open for discussion.

    2. Troy Day says:

      but it does mean there’s a purposeful redaction on part of the Gospel writers NOT to associate Jesus with wine in their writings until the sour wine reference on the cross which is connected with the sinners and a sinful act on part of Christ’s enemies. BTW your own church scholars and leading theologians say Jesus did not drink wine

    3. Troy Day says:

      So do you think you read it objectively better than Dr. French Arrington who wrote

      On one occasion Jesus contrasted Himself with John the Baptist. He said, “For John came neither eating nor drinking and they (the Pharisees) say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard’” (Matt.11:18-19). He did not offer an apology for His behavior. He had done nothing for which to apologize.

      http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/dr-french-l-arrington-the-bible-and-alcoholic-beverages-beer-wine-liquors-and-total-abstinence/

    4. However I do not agree there is sufficient biblical evidence to state that aside from vinnegar (sour wine) Jesus never drank wine. I think we view wine in the US through a prohibitionist subcultural lens. This lens causes some scholars to not view scripture objectively. The proof is not in the pudding to prove either way. You may be right, but then again so could I. I guess we will have to meet on the other side of eternity to finally lay this issue to rest.

  5. Troy Day Did you call me?
    I believe in a Pre-Wrath Rapture.
    I do not drink alcohol beverages, but we used alcohol beverages to cook with.
    I do not believe no one can say scripturally did not drink wine.
    Matthew 11:18-19 does imply that He did, as well as Jesus Christ also being a heavy eater. I can imagine Jesus Christ being a heavy muscular man, considering that Joseph was a carpenter and they can be large people and according to natural looking Jesus was probably trained to be a carpenter.
    I do not believe Apostle Paul taught total abstinence from Alcohol.
    Isn’t it amazing that Timothy couldn’t be a bishop because he was admonished to drink a little wine for the stomachs sake.
    I am obese, and have been most of my life. Recently, aftet all these years of ministering I am being told that obese people will not be in heaven.
    So maybe I shouldn’t comment about any sins they say. But i just thought I would throw that in.

    1. Link Hudson says:

      Scotty Searan Tradition says Timothy was a bishop. The Bivle uses ‘apostles’ and ‘evangelist’ in connection with his 👎 istry. But is your point that the prohobition against excessive of wine did not mean consume no wine as Timothy may have been doing? Paul may have been reacting to an early teetotaler.

    2. Troy Day says:

      Tradition is not the Bible
      The Bible never says Timothy was a bishop
      He never oversaw multiple congregations
      AND was too young for the position anyway
      Tradition also tells about Quo vadis Domine but that was more of a novel and a movie. The bishops the Bible actually talks about like Paul and John were not even married

    3. Link Hudson says:

      Troy Day Where are these men, Paul and John, called ‘bishops.’ Why would you assume John was not married?

      Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in local churches. He told Titus to appoint elders and went on to use the term interchangeably with ‘the bishop’ when describing the qualifications. He calls elders of the church in Ephesus ‘bishops’ in Acts 20:28 and exhorts them to pastor the church. The elders of the church were ‘bishops’. Peter told the elders of the flock to take the oversight (c.f. bishop) thereof and to pastor the flock.

    4. Troy Day says:

      Link you are playing with terms without knowing their proper application neither their Biblical meaning – what do you mean when you say elders? presbyter (an old man) OR episkopos OR apostles or what exactly? Also, per OP which qualifications do you claim women do not have to fulfill those offices?

    5. Link Hudson says:

      Troy Day ask Scotty about wine. As for terms, I realize presbuteros can be translated older men, but there seems to be an idiomatic sense even in first century Greek. Were the elders referred to along with the chief priests and scribes all the old men in the whole nation of Israel? Thst is unlikely.

      I pointed out where Paul calls eldersbishops and used the terms interchangeably.

      Women cannot fulfill the qualification of being a man as in one woman man.

    6. A bishop should not be given to wine. That is a qualification of the Bishop.
      But Paul also instructed Timothy. “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”
      But according to our dietary standards in this country, a person should drink 6 to 8 8 oz. glasses of water a day. A physical therapist who was treating my mother in law said she was not drinking enough water and he told her the same thing and more water if you drank coffee, tea or sodas with caffeine, because they are diuretics.
      I am not picking on Timothy, because I believe he was a great Christian.. Be realistic analyze it.
      No water.
      1/2 gallon of wine per day maybe more if was sicker on an given day.
      Why?
      For His stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.
      Could this be evidence of the Gifts Of The Spirit, Word of Knowledge and Wisdom? How about Gifts of Healing?
      Either way that was a lot of wine to drink in one day.
      Now this might have been an instruction just for a particular period of time. Yet, It appears that these instances of sickness had gone on over a long period of time.
      Like you know me I think outside the paradigm..

    7. Link Hudson Another thing is Alcohol is also a diuretic which will also make your body give off more liquid than it takes in.
      Some doctors have told people to drink a beer to flush out the kidneys because of the diuretic effect of alcohol
      If you don’t drink beer or wine, Cranberry juice will flush out your kidneys. 100% juice not cocktail which is 10% juice.

  6. As I can remember. When they had communion. It always said they took the cup. They took a sup or sip , but the Bible Calls it a sup , and passed it around. When they made wine in that day. They mixed so much water it couldn’t be called wine that was called Alcoholic. But they did drink strong drinks. Because Noah got drunk. Noah crushed Canaan. His grandson. Lots daughters made him drunk. His grandchildren was by incest. Their land was never in the line of Jesus except Ruth. Getting drunk , never brought good. Always curses. So no I don’t believe Jesus , drank or made strong drink.

  7. Not the same as today’s wines with Alcohol added by volume…Night Train, Mad Dog, and Thunderbird are cheap wines with High Alcohol content and sold to the poor. I heard one old preacher say that in the N.T. days it was a fermented grape juice and he went on to say it was thick like a Jelly, which makes kinda sense that they were winebibbers, sucking on the jelly.

    1. How much alcohol does it take to get drunk?
      For someone about 150 pounds, two drinks in two hours would probably make you legally drunk (.08 blood alcohol level). It doesn’t take much alcohol at all to make you legally drunk, and alcohol stays in your system for hours before it is all gone. From google…

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