Re:Verse reading–Luke 15:1-2, 11-32 (day seven)
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
The Jewish community in Jesus’s day was taught to give alms to the poor. They knew God cared deeply for the poor, and they went out of their way to be generous. However, they never rubbed shoulders with the poor. The poor were seen as lesser people never to be invited into your home, and meals were completely off the table. They kept this same attitude toward sinners and tax collectors. You may say a prayer for them, but you never fellowship with them.
Jesus turned this thought upside down. Jesus would have lunch with anyone: a sinner, a Pharisee, the poor. Whoever wanted to come to the table was allowed, and the intimacy of a meal allowed the conversation to sizzle.
If we are going to be a witnessing church we are going to have to do likewise. We must sit down with the lost in our communities. If we will be intentional about sharing meals with non-Christians fellowship will be strengthened and the world will know who Jesus Christ is. Rarely are we accused of eating with sinners, but hopefully there’s a new day coming when our lunch will turn into witness.