Jesus and his disciples enjoy a dinner with a house full of tax collectors and sinners. It’s a shocking action you may have boxed in your journal. The religious elites don’t share meals with just anyone because sharing meals means you’re sharing life. The intimate action of dipping bread in the same bowl of olive oil with someone who lived an unclean life was scandalous. The Pharisees placed massive emphasis on who “is us” and who “is them.” Who is worthy of God’s love, and thereby theirs too, and who is not.
Jesus shares a meal and demonstrates there’s room at the table for everyone. Everyone is “them.” Everyone is a sinner. All are welcome and worthy through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We qualify for his company not by having it all together, but by admitting how much we need him.
We may want to hide, fearing people wouldn’t love or accept us if they knew the real us. We’ve done too much. Said too much. Seen too much. Been hurt too much. So we stand on the outskirts looking in, fearing to share our story and our lives. Jesus looks at us and says he knows us. He wants us. Jesus sees those deemed unworthy and calls them worthy to be his.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Praise God that through Jesus there is room at his table for you. Take a moment to listen to the Ada Bible Worship Team’s song, All are Welcome at Your Table. Let the words wash over you: “No matter what I’ve done, no matter where I’ve been, your mercy’s new again. No matter the shame I feel, no matter the pain inside, your grace is new again.” Write a prayer of gratitude in response on pages 29-30 in your journal.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.