LIFE VS. REGULATIONS
John came neither eating nor drinking. He behaved utterly contrary to religion and human culture, and because of this the Pharisees and scribes, the religious people, said that he had a demon. John was indeed a strange person. They could not understand him; so they said he had a demon. Then Jesus came both eating and drinking, and the religious people said, "Look, this man seems to know nothing but eating and drinking."
If any regulation is made saying that we should not eat or drink, it becomes a heavy burden. On the other hand, if any rule is made saying that we must eat and drink large amounts of food and liquid, this also becomes a heavy burden. But to us, the children of wisdom, it is not a matter of abstaining from food and drink, neither is it a matter of eating and drinking, but absolutely a matter of life. Notice the Lord’s words in verse 19 of this chapter: "Wisdom is justified of her children" (King James Version). We need to be impressed with the word "children." This is a matter of life. We are not students of wisdom, but children of wisdom. We do not care so much for the knowledge of wisdom, but we care very much for the life of wisdom. What is wisdom? Christ is wisdom. We are the children of Christ; we have the life of Christ; so we have the life of wisdom. To us it is not a matter of regulations—do this, and do that, etc. It is not a matter today of so many do’s and don’t’s, but entirely a matter of life. If I am thirsty, I may drink: I may drink little by little, or I may drink a quantity of liquid at once. There is no regulation. It all depends on life. Do not ask me why I drink—my answer is only that I am thirsty. When I am thirsty, do not give me any regulation that I should not drink. And when I am not thirsty, do not command me to drink. Do not ask me why I eat so much—it is because I am hungry. Neither ask me why I do not eat—it is because I am not hungry. What is this? This is life. This is the way to find rest. Regulations and rules are a heavy burden, and Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Hallelujah, there are no regulations! Are you hungry? Then eat! Are you thirsty? Drink! If you are not hungry or thirsty, do not eat or drink. You see, as long as we do not have any regulations, we are free, we have rest.
All the regulations of religion are just the heavy burden of verse 28. This is why the Lord Jesus exclaimed, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.." There is no need for you to labor. Forget about regulations: eating or not eating, drinking or not drinking—forget them all. When it is convenient, I will eat, and when it is not convenient, I will not eat. When I am thirsty I will drink, and when I am not thirsty, I will not drink. Hallelujah, there are no regulations! This is Christ versus religion. Jesus said, "My yoke is easy" (11:30). In the Greek the meaning of the word "easy" is "kindly" or "gentle." In other words Jesus said, "My yoke is flexible." When you are hungry you eat, and when you are not hungry you do not eat. His yoke is flexible, His yoke is gentle, His yoke is not unbending.
(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)