guess who's coming to dinner?
"Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and non-observers of the law?" —Luke 5:30
Jesus spent much of His public ministry eating good meals with sinful people. We can learn a great deal about Jesus by simply observing the people with whom He ate. Jesus' eating was "catholic," that is, universal. He ate with:
- sinners (Mt 9:10),
- the lost (Lk 19:5-10),
- crowds (Jn 6:10ff),
- the poor (see Lk 14:13),
- the rich (Lk 14:1),
- those who loved Him (Jn 12:1-2),
- those who disagreed with Him (Lk 14:1-5),
- those who denied Him and doubted Him (Jn 21:12ff), and
- His betrayer (Lk 22:21).
Eating a meal means more than sharing food. It also means sharing fellowship and sharing lives. Jesus stands knocking at your door, wanting to eat with you, and ardently waiting for you to open the door and invite Him in (Rv 3:20).
Jesus wants to eat with you. However, there's company at His table. In Lent, the Lord is teaching about His kind of fasting, which involves abstaining from food (Mt 4:2), "sharing your bread with the hungry" (Is 58:7, 10), and not separating yourself from Jesus' body as you eat and drink (1 Cor 11:20-22, 29, 33-34).
With whom would you rather not eat? Jesus wants to eat with them. Do you still want to eat with Jesus?
Prayer: Jesus, may I be ever more catholic this Lent.
Promise: "I have not come to invite the self-righteous to a change of heart, but sinners." —Lk 5:32
Praise: Ellen shares her home by opening it up one night a week for dinner and a Bible teaching for local teens.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007
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