“The Son of Man came eating & drinking, & they say, ‘Look, a glutton & a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors & sinners!’ Yet wisdom is proven right by her works. ~ Jesus in Matthew 11:19
The Jesus of Scripture sat at the table of fellowship with thieves and whores, the broken and poor, the widowed and divorced, the orphan and abhorred. The truth of his statement in Matthew 11:19 is that this kind of culturally odd behavior (especially for a Rabbi) would prove itself to be a wise move. A wise move to hang out with “those people?”
Well, when you read the Gospel accounts you get to see this wisdom “proven right” by the outcome. Matthew and Zacchaeus, both despicable traitors and tax collectors, came to know God through Jesus and joined Him in mission. More than one “whore” came to find dignity and inner beauty through Jesus, and joined Him in mission. The poor found a different kind of wealth in Jesus and joined Him in mission. A divorced woman found wholeness in Jesus and joined Him in mission. More than one widow found security in Jesus and joined Him in mission. Those broken by disease and disability, some of whom were regarded as being a curse or punishment due to their own sin, found healing in Jesus and joined Him in mission. A thief on the cross had his eternity changed never once joining Him in mission. He simply joined Him in paradise.
Yes, the truth of Scripture is that Jesus ate, drank, laughed with, and loved the worst of society at the table. The truth of Scripture is that He still does. In Jesus we are reminded that it is an embracing-love that prepares the heart for conviction, not accusation; an embracing-love stirs a desire for change, not judgment.
In Jesus we are reminded that we do not have the right to choose who sits at the table with Him, only He can do that. And I think He made Himself clear: anyone can have a seat.
Q.) With your lips, how are you describing the table of Jesus to others?
Q.) With your life, are you living in such a way that those you meet would know they have a seat at His table?