Monday, January 15

Who are you eating with?

Scripture: Genesis 29-30, Psalm 7, Luke 15

Luke 15:1–2 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

Observation

“This man receives sinners.” The word “receive” is also translated “welcome” or “accept.” What a contrast between the religious leaders who rejected sinners and Jesus who received them.

“…and eats with them.” “In the world of Jesus, to eat with another person implied far more than that two people needed nourishment. Meeting around a common table symbolized friendship, intimacy, and unity.” People usually ate only with their social, religious and economic equals. Violating this brought shame on one’s social group and family. Jesus not only ignored these customs, but deliberately challenged them. The Pharisees practiced an extreme exclusiveness; Jesus practiced radical inclusiveness that reflected the heart of God and the nature of His Kingdom. 

Application

Who are you eating with?

It’s too easy for me to surround myself, like the Pharisees, with “my people”—my social, religious and economic equals (or betters). I can easily live in a comfortable and safe Christian bubble. 

Jesus challenges me to get out of comfort zone and build deep and true relationships with people far from God. I used to do a weekly MAD meeting (Make A Disciple) with someone who doesn’t know Jesus. It’s been awhile, and I need to get back to that practice of sharing a meal, time and attention with someone outside my circle. 

Who are you eating with?

Prayer: Lord, I confess that on this score, I’m more like the Pharisees than I am like Jesus. I’d like to change that. Help me spend more true friendship time with people who are far from God. Show me who to eat with!