“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?”
“…as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.”
A couple weeks ago I had wanted to sit down and just read through the Gospel according to Matthew in one or two sittings…fat chance. I am in chapter 9 this morning. But there is a reason why.
I have always seen the practical aspects of the life and teaching of Christ in the Gospels, but not like I am seeing it now. I have been literally overwhelmed at the profound practical application of the teachings and examples of Jesus in his instruction to His disciples, in word and in deed.
Matthew’s account of Jesus calling him to follow Him has been standing out to me the last couple of days. Jesus calls Matthew to follow Him, and where does Jesus go? To Matthew’s house. And what does Jesus do? He eats dinner there with all of His disciples and with Matthew. And what is the result of Jesus and His disciples having dinner with Matthew in his home? A bunch of other tax collectors and “sinners” end up coming over to hang out with Matthew…but this wasn’t new…it was Jesus and the disciples of Jesus that they wanted to see. This was new.
And it bothered the religious establishment. The question came, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
One of the thoughts I have been having is, “Do I do this?” or am I just inviting those to my house who can repay me by doing the same?
“When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:12-14
Jesus then tells the parable about the Great Supper. The religious make excuses as to why they cannot attend and the result is that they are left outside. Another thing we see is that there is plenty of room at the King’s Table. “Do I believe this?” Is my life showing that I know there to be more than enough room for others to find their seat at the Master’s table? “Am I doing this?” if I believe it, my actions (my life) prove it. Not my sermons or my expositions or philosophies or my ideologies or my vision or my exhortations…but my very actions will show if I know His word to be true.
And following Jesus to “sup” with “sinners” will lead to an opportunity to be real, approachable, available and then afford us a believable and tangible platform to share the truth that God desires to fellowship with them and also the open invitation to find the seat that has been prepared for them at the King’s table.
“But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Josh, good & honest post… likin’ it!
As my sphere of influence has narrowed/ constricted, it’s caused me to seek the Lord about His direction (when I return from the Philippines at the end of Jan). I’m seriously considering a secular job in a somewhat social setting. Not just for the cash (which is needed), but also for connections to the unchurched, de-churched— the very people we see Jesus connecting with & who received Him (unlike the religious leaders). It also lines up with the new church plant we’re involved with now.
God bless you, bro!
The life of Christ in you is so rich. The lessons He has and is and will teach you and knit into the very fabric of who you are is a well that the “unchurched and de-churched” are dying to drink deeply from and “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
May the Lord use us to be those well lit wells where the lost and dying of thirst come and find their desired satisfaction in the MainSpring!
God bless you, Trip!