Articles

Jesus Came Eating and Drinking

In Perspective, Soul Food on October 14, 2011 by The Spillover

Poignant stuff from Tim Chester’s book A Meal With Jesus:

We think we’re enacting grace if we provide for poor. But we’re only halfway there. We’ve missed the social dynamics. What we communicate is that we’re able and you’re unable. “I can do something for you, but you can do nothing for me. I’m superior to you.” We cloak our superiority in compassion, but superiority cloaked in compassion is patronizing.

Think how different the dynamic is when we sit and eat with someone. We meet as equals. We share together. We affirm one another and enjoy one another. A woman once told me: “I know people do a lot to help me. But what I want is for someone to be my friend.” People don’t want to be projects. The poor need a welcome to replace their marginalization, inclusion to replace their exclusion, a place where they matter to replace their powerlessness. They need community. They need the Christian community.

If you tell someone he’s a sinner who needs God while you’re handing him a cup of soup, then he’ll hear you saying he’s a loser who should become like you. But when you eat together as friends and you tell him what a messed up person you are, then you can tell him about sin and grace. Jim Petersen writes: “I know of no more effective environment for initiating evangelism than a dinner at home or in a quiet restaurant.”

Consider Jesus. Yes, he adopted the attitude of slave when he washed the disciples’ feet. But think, too, how often he accepts service. He accepts hospitality from Levi (Luke 5). He lets the woman at Simon’s house wash his feet (Luke 7). He asks for water from the woman in Samaria ( John 4). He’s not just the helper of sinners, still less their project worker. He’s the friends of sinners, who came eating and drinking.

2 Responses to “Jesus Came Eating and Drinking”

  1. “If you tell someone he’s a sinner who needs God while you’re handing him a cup of soup, then he’ll hear you saying he’s a loser who should become like you. But when you eat together as friends and you tell him what a messed up person you are, then you can tell him about sin and grace.”

    ^^^ that hits hard ^^^

  2. This is so poignant. I am finding more and more, that God wants us to see Him act in the everyday parts of our lives. For instance – prayer – one of the most profound and powerful things we can do for another: speaking their name before an omnipotent God – yet, ironically, it is also the easiest thing to do, just turn your spiritual eyes on Jesus and start speaking. Often we are afraid to speak truth into our friends lives – but God gives us a way to relate, to meet them face to face, and then rely on the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Good stuff. Will we follow?

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