Exclusion to Inclusion: Who's Coming to Dinner?
And as (Jesus) sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick; I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.” ~ Mark 2:15-17
It seems like the thing that got Jesus in trouble over and over again was who he ate with. He was constantly eating with "those" people. You know...THOSE people!
Because they were the ones who needed him. They were the ones who needed to be made well.
Not because Jesus didn't think they were well. But because everyone else didn't. Because they were left out.
TIme and time again, it isn't the "right" people that Jesus hangs out with. It isn't the lawyers or doctors or politicians. It isn't even the pastors or deacons.
The religious people in fact are the ones who seem to dislike Jesus the most.
We all know what it is like to have felt like an outcast at one time or another. Maybe for you it was in school, or maybe in a new job or community.
Maybe it was from peers, or maybe it was from someone who was considered the "right" sort of person.
Who was it then that sat with you? That tried to bring you into the fold?
Who is it that you are being called to "sit" with?
- Who is it? Who is the person you are being called to sit with?
- What does it mean to you that the religious people of Jesus' day didn't seem to like him very much. Who would Jesus be sitting with today?
Holy One, lead me, push me, pull me, prompt me along this journey of faith. Keep my footsteps sure and my eyes fixed on the places you would send me. Amen