Beer with Jesus!

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and people say, ‘Look at him! He’s a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ “Yet, wisdom is proved right by its actions.” Matthew 11:19  Gods Word Translation

This verse is the quintessential picture of the “unplugged” Jesus.  We see here no pews, no stained glass, no sound or projection systems, not even any worship sets or sermons.  There are people, but they are not dressed in their Sunday best, and they are not quiet and reverent.  And yet here, in what appears to be the most non-religious of settings if not even irreligious, Jesus is not only present, but He is an active participant in engaging relationships.  In the process He is listening, being moved with compassion and dispensing as only He can, His mercy, wisdom and healing grace.

There is a country music song out right now that has hit the charts entitled “If I Could Have a Beer with Jesus.”  I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it.  Some people might be surprised to hear that, knowing I am a believer in Jesus and a pastor besides.  But I did and here’s whyAnd it is related directly with this verse out of Matthew 11:19.  For me the lyrics capture in a disarming way the genuine heart cry resonating deeply within the soul of both believer and unbeliever, to relate to a Jesus free from religious and judgmental stereotypes.

I was not surprised to hear Thomas Rhett, who wrote and performs the song, quoted as saying “Every time I play that song live, a lot of people will cry.”  And listen to what Rhett reveals next.  “I’ve had a preacher come up to me saying, ‘Man, I would love to get you up to Wisconsin and sing that song at our church service.’”  My sentiments exactly!  Except Thomas, why not just skip the Cheesehead state and come directly to Viking Land?

Why are people crying when they hear a song about a guy wishing he could sit down with Jesus in a quiet corner of a bar, “order up a couple of tall ones,” ask Him about some of life’s persistent questions and “be sure to let Him do the talkin”? 

There are a number of possible reasons.  Rhett asks Jesus in the song, How’d you turn the other cheek, to save a sorry soul like me?  Have you been there from the start?  How’d you change a sinner’s heart?”  For one, encountering Jesus’ love, acceptance and forgiveness so free from judgment, is always overwhelming to the common awareness most of us have of our own sin and shortcomings.  Jesus never had difficulty in relating to sinners.  His problem was generally with those, particularly religious people, who had difficulty relating to sinners. 

Another thing about the song that could make some people cry is imagining the opportunity to seek solace from Jesus about our concerns with end-of-life issues and eternity.  While Rhett is hoping and praying Jesus will stay “til we shut the whole place down” he continues his questions.  “Do you hear the prayers I send?  What happens when life ends?  And when you think you’re comin’ back again?”  “And is heaven really just beyond the stars? . . .What’s on the other side?  Is mom and daddy alright? And if it ain’t no trouble tell them I said hi.” 

All in all, this song is another example of good ole country music theology which I’ve written about before.  In my opinion it reveals a Biblical view of Jesus that is critical right now for our increasingly secularized world.  It is spiritual salve to the alienated sin-sick soul.  And it is an inspiration to those of us who know Him in this way, to convey that same “beer with Jesus” simpatico and rapport with those God brings into our lives.

To check out Thomas Rhett singing “If I Could Have a Beer with Jesus” click here.

What are your thoughts pro or con about this topic?

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7 thoughts on “Beer with Jesus!”

  1. i remember ths days, when unsaved, I related secular songs as if singing to God instead of to a friend.
    Yeah, along with the drink I have let me come to Him; open my heartfelt words to share with Him. the song is a very personal talk with my Father, in a simple, heartfelt way. No religious taboos attached. Even as His child today, I must come to Him as I am; let Him make me what He and the way He wants me . Let His Love take away what does not suite His status in my life.
    He has paid for me, more than enough. Let Him be on the Throne of my heart and me on the cross to the world– willing to be mocked by the world, He says “rejoice all the more when trials come facing me; to grow in His ID is just a first step of a long journey, to sit and have a beer with Jesus !!!! .

  2. Thanks Timotheus – it is always great to have your comments and perspective. Although we are half a world apart geographically (USA – India) we always seem to be in the same place when it comes to our experience and views of God’s work in our lives. Blessings my brother. Tom

  3. Tom, This is the first time I’ve heard this song but I like it. It reminds me of a book I read in college, Robert Capon’s “The Man Who Met God in a Bar”. Really gets all the religion out of the way and hits on the central message of Jesus…’spend time with Me’. ‘Ask Me real questions’. I think Jesus appreciates sincere pursuit over shallow relationships. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the comment and the recommendation. that is the first I have heard of that book. Something I will have to check out. The whole idea is such a refreshing slice of reality and food for life changing perceptions.

  5. I passed this on to several pastors in NE Mpls. where new breweries are popping up all over and the church of NE Mpls. isn’t contained to just church buildings and functions.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement and passing it on. I just love it that Jesus is not the least bit religious and engages with each of us right where we are at. It is just another illustration of His being Immanuel, God with us, where ever we may find ourselves.

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