Jesus' Faith in God and Coffee
There is a fable based in the 9th century, about an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi. The fable claims that at one point, after his goats ate a shrub of coffee cherries, they began to jump around and become frisky. Due to this phenomenon, Kaldi began to experiment with coffee cherries and VWALLLLA!!, coffee was invented. It is easy to see the affects of coffee through this story and possibly why I might love it so much. Of course, this is a fable, but as I began researching the origins of coffee, I started to think about whether or not Jesus, during his time on earth, had enjoyed coffee. Although, not because He would jump around and become frisky, but maybe because it gave him the needed energy to continue his mission.
There is an article on Bible.org titled, Coffee As A Means Of Grace: A Sip of Theological Humor, that suggests that after Jesus fed the thousands with fish and bread, the disciples took up twelve cups of coffee as a means of grace. The article shares that it was tradition, after a large meal, for people to take up coffee as a means of fellowship. But there are some people who don’t quite agree with the Greek translations that cause this insinuation in the article. The word that is argued over is in the gospel of Matthew which is the Greek word, kovfino, in which we may get our English word, coffee. I read the article over several times in the hopes of understanding, without doubt, that the disciples and Jesus drank coffee. Oh, how it was my hope. But I can’t say that I am convinced especially because I am not a theologian, nor an expert on the Greek language. I do, though, love that idea that it could be possible.
So, did Jesus have faith in the awakening affects of coffee? Another scripture that could be debated is Isaiah 51:17, which says, “Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.” Some argue that this means God does not want us to be groggy and weary and that coffee makes us tremble when we drink to the dregs of the cup. I think this is a little far-fetched and don’t think I will go along with this interpretation of the scripture, but it is an interesting view.
It is really uncertain if Jesus did drink coffee or if it was even around at that time, but Jesus did have a great faith, just not in something as obvious as coffee.
It’s interesting to look at Jesus’ faith as a basis or start of our own faith. Jesus’ faith was solely in God alone. If we go back to Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”, we remember that our faith is a complete trust in a God we cannot see. Jesus being completely man, human, also had to trust and have faith in a God not seen. This is a tough one because Jesus IS God, so how could he not see Him, or trust in Him unseen? At the time Jesus walked on earth, though, he was man. He needed to have complete faith in his Father God, that His plan was great, even though he knew the outcome. Jesus new his fate, he knew what he would be doing for you and me on the cross and he continued to have faith in his Father’s plan knowing how terrible it would be.
In Hebrews 2:13 Jesus is quoted as saying, “And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” One commentary on this verse suggests that Jesus was showing to his disciples that he, too, had faith and a dependency on God the Father. It shows that Jesus was truly man and needed to have faith just like the people he was hanging out with. And, right now, we are the people He is hanging out with. We are the people He is hoping will have faith in God, just as He had to. At the point of this scripture, Jesus was in such a situation that he needed to fully depend on a God that could save him. The only God that could save him.
That is the situation we are all in to this very day. None of us are in such a perfect situation that we do not need to have faith in God Almighty. This may be a time of great peace and happiness for you. Yet, you still need to have faith in God. As I sit on the golf course writing, I feel so very happy and full of peace. My husband and I have been traveling this summer and have felt so blessed by everything that God has placed in front of us. But I was sharing with some friends that I feel like I am waiting for the shoe to drop. I feel as if there is no way that I can be this happy, it just doesn’t seem fair. But because I have such a great faith in God, I can be this happy. I can have peace. It is what my faith has brought me and if something were to change today, I would still have a peace because of my faith in God.
Jesus was able to be at peace with the situations he was needing to face because he knew what the outcome would be. He was happy and at peace with the blessings he had and with the struggles. He knew that God would use the outcome for only good. I think that sometimes our faith wavers because we don’t trust that the outcome God has for our situation will be what we want. Notice I didn’t say that we don’t trust it will be good, it’s that we don’t trust it will be what we want. Our faith should depend on the knowledge that God will make any situation for His good. He will take our happiness and use it for good and he will take our struggles and use them the same way. Whatever situation you might be going through right now, God has a plan for it and will see it come to fruition with or without you. The outcome may take longer because we try to insert ourselves into helping God, but His outcome will happen.
Jesus’ faith also brought him hope. We have talked about that before in past blogs. Without a faith in a God that can do all things, we cannot have hope. But because scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13), we can have a hope in what will happen next. Without a true faith, we cannot have hope. I am currently watching a friend go through a situation and she has lost hope because the same thing keeps happening over and over again. My prayer for her is to remain in her faith in God and the hope that he will take care of things.
I have another friend who is working on her faith. She is working on letting God take care of all her situations. She is working on having a hope that all things will work out for good. She is working on giving her fears and anxieties to God for him to control, because she cannot be in control of everything. As she continually tries to be in control she makes herself physically sick. To watch her work through her faith and become closer to God is a true miracle in itself. But watching her be filled with hope in things to come is worth it all. She has hope in her new marriage. She has hope in her new home. She has hope in her new job. All these things she had to have faith in God for, In order for them to come together and for her to continue to have hope. I love this quote from Mark Jones who wrote an article for Crossway.org titled, Did Jesus Possess Faith and Hope; it says “He never lost hope that his temporal sufferings would pale in comparison to the glory that would be given to him.” Our earthly sufferings will never compare to what we will have in eternity when we finally meet Christ. The glory that we will receive because we had faith will be amazing. (although that is not nearly a strong enough word to explain it!) The glory that my two friends will have will outweigh any struggle they are going through, whether that glory will be here on earth or in heaven.
I’m sure you could be thinking, “well, you don’t know the situation I am in”, or “you have never been through what I have been through”. We certainly could compare stories if you would like, but the bottom line is no matter how tough it has been, how many times you have been through it, how awful it was or continues to be, Christ can, and will redeem it. He can and will make it good, in his time.
Have you ever tried faith? Have you ever looked for grace through faith? How would you know if any of this will work if you have never given Christ a try? I tell you what, if Jesus had faith that his suffering on a cross, which is unimaginable, would be glorified, it is worth it for me to give faith a try. Nothing I have suffered has compared to Christ's suffering. Nothing you have suffered has compared to the death he took, for people who haven’t, won’t, don’t believe, who continue to sin and look away.
This is what faith is based on. Faith is based on knowing that you will be forgiven and redeemed because of Christ’s blood on the cross. Faith is a true hope that the God you cannot see will be with you every step of the way, working all things out.
Now, I have never tried caramel macchiato creamer in my coffee, never looked for a different type of creamer to add to my steaming cup, but today I did. I had a hope that this might give me a different, new delicacy to enjoy in the afternoon. This is so much like giving faith a try. You may find such a delicacy in the peace and hope you have through faith that it you wonder why you took so long.
Sit down with your new found delicacy, your new found faith, and talk with the God who loves you more than anything describable. Let him know how you are suffering or how at peace you are. Thank Him for being involved in all thing. Ask Him to help you with your faith and to pass on that hope that only he can provide. See how sweet it can be, just like my new caramel macchiato creamer, only better.