When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. Luke 7:36
Read: Luke 7:36-50
Listen: Luke 7
The dinner invitations couldn’t have been more different. The first invitation we saw Jesus accept was with “sinners” at a despised tax collector’s house. Jesus shows at Matthew’s house that there is room at the table for the “down and out.” Next, he accepts an invitation to a religious leader’s home to show there is also room at his table for the “up and out.” No one would have argued that the tax collectors and sinners were spiritually lost. But by sharing a meal with Simon, Jesus shows that those who thought they were righteous were equally as lost.
As Jesus arrives as the invited guest, he is publicly shamed and insulted by what was withheld. Instead of being welcomed with a kiss on the cheek and being offered water and oil (for anointing)—Jesus was ignored and moved from the public courtyard directly to the low table (triclinium). This insult certainly was noteworthy in their shame-based culture. It would be as if you invited a guest to your home but did not greet them upon arriving. You refused to take their coat or direct them to a closet. You had drinks prepared but didn’t offer them. You ignored them when they asked to use the restroom.
It’s easy to look at a Jesus teaching and immediately think of someone we know who needs to hear it. We send them a link and, as graciously as possible, invite them to listen. This week the challenges are for us. As Jesus reclines at the table, we’ll consider both our ability to forgive and our potential for devastating sin. We’ll also see him as a walking, talking temple who shockingly claimed to be able to forgive sin.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
As you invite God into your week, pray this prayer of openness. “Father, use your Holy Spirit to convict me in those areas where I need to change. Help me to forgive those who’ve hurt me and show me my capacity to do those very things for which I harshly judge others. May I see Jesus as the One who forgives all sin, including my own.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.