In his book, A Meal With Jesus, Tim Chester points out the many times Jesus is pictured eating with people in Luke’s Gospel,
- In Luke 5 Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners at the home of Levi.
- In Luke 7 Jesus is anointed at the home of Simon the Pharisee during a meal.
- In Luke 9 Jesus feeds the five thousand.
- In Luke 10 Jesus eats in the home of Martha and Mary.
- In Luke 11 Jesus condemns the Pharisees and teachers of the law at a meal.
- In Luke 14 Jesus is at a meal when he urges people to invite the poor to their meals rather than their friends.
- In Luke 19 Jesus invites himself to dinner with Zacchaeus.
- In Luke 22 we have the account of the Last Supper.
- In Luke 24 the risen Christ has a meal with the two disciples in Emmaus, and then later eats fish with the disciples in Jerusalem (p.10)
To top it all, Luke emphasizes that Jesus came into the world “eating and drinking” (Luke 7:34)
Considering this blatant purpose statement, it would appear that sharing meals with people was an important aspect to the Lord’s mission.
How many outsiders have you eaten with recently? Got any stories or experiences?
A Meal With Jesus is a book written by British pastor Tim Chester, and is a short theology of food. That’s right…food. The punchline of the book is that “Jesus came eating and drinking.” The premise? Jesus’ basic missional strategy was to eat with people, from the religious astute, to the marginalized, meals were a powerful means that the Son of God used to give people a taste of the kingdom (pun intended). While Chester gets a bit poetic with food (it’s charming), his main point is maintained with elegance and compassion: The single best way to bring your neighbors to the possibility of savoring Christ is through your hospitality. There is no better way, nor is there a more enjoyable way to be on mission, and in community than to eat a meal with someone. I’ve read a lot of books, but few of them will have such a meaningful and practical effect on mission as this one.
Here is a quick excerpt on the book by Tim Chester…
I highly recommend this book, especially to those who earnestly desire to be on mission in their community but are not sure how to do so. This book is for you.
Amazon: A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table (paperback)