Soul Food: When a Meal with Jesus was more than Food | Week 2
Week 2- Day 1
“If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Luke 7:39
“The grace of God turns out to be uncomfortable and embarrassing.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 40.
The religious leaders, the Pharisees, made it a point in their life to avoid anyone who was openly and actively engaged in sinful behavior so that they, the Pharisees, would remain “clean.” By doing so it created a social class system where you were either in the acceptable crowd or the marginalized crowd. Those who were marginalized carried with them society’s shame and avoidance, but then Jesus arrives. He eats with them; He talks with them, and He even allows them to wash His feet and to converse with Him. He does not condone or support their behaviors but rather speaks directly into their lives and offers them forgiveness.
Who are you actively avoiding because of their decisions or lifestyle? If we are honest, we all do this for various reasons. But, when we come face to face with the reality of God’s grace for us, and for these people, how should we respond? To live in our world with an embrace of God’s forgiveness of us should compel us to recognize that His grace is sufficient for that person.
Jesus, remind me of the grace you have for me. Show me how to extend that same grace towards _______. Help me to be known as a friend of sinners so that through me, they may hear and see you Lord Jesus. Amen
For Further Reading
A Meal with Jesus, pg. 38-41
Week 2- Day 2
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house… Luke 7:37
“But the woman has a strong sense of her brokenness. She knows her life is a mess.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 45
Jesus once said that He has come not for the healthy but for the sick.
For this woman, a woman of the city, her first instinct after hearing that Jesus was close by was not to run and hide in her shame but it was to go to Jesus. To seek Him out, to find out what He would say and perhaps to even find forgiveness.
As you consider your walk with Jesus and the sin(s) that so easily entangle you…seek Him out. Jesus knows that you are not okay, and He knows exactly what you need to hear. He invites you to come to Him, He invites you to seek Him out and when you do, He will not cast you aside.
And after you have gone to Jesus and have found the forgiveness He offers you, recognize that through you He wants to do the same for others. Those who are truly broken, whose lives are messy, usually know it to be true. Perhaps through you Jesus wants to offer them grace.
Jesus, I need of you. Show me the brokenness in my life and restore it. Help me today to live in your mercy and forgiveness. Help me to embrace the grace you have for me. And Father, give me the words to say to that one person you bring my way to tell them that You see them and that You can forgive them. Amen.
For Further Reading
A Meal with Jesus, pg. 41-43
Week 2- Day 3
Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Luke 7:44
“Meals express inclusion. But this meal has been warped by legalism.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 44
Tim Chester says that “Problem people, difficult people, different people have a habit of exposing our hearts.” At this dinner Simon’s heart was revealed as unforgiving and graceless. He focused more on the condition of this woman than realizing who it was that he had reclining at his table.
Jesus was always clear to point out the hypocrisy in religious people and their lack of forgiveness and grace. Rather than seeing opportunities to extend grace they chose so often to extend judgement.
In our social media world and in our competitive culture what would it look like if we truly considered others more than ourselves? What if we were willing to embrace our heart checks rather than ignore them and become cold and hardened? Our world truly would change if we began to purposely see people the way that Jesus sees people.
Jesus, I confess my own judgement and condemnation that I place on people. I confess the times when difficult people create bitterness and anger in me rather than grace and forgiveness. Help me as I interact with my family, my neighbors, and my co-workers. Help me to see them as you see them. Amen.
For Further Reading
A Meal with Jesus, pg. 37-39
Week 2- Day 4
You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Luke 7:45-46
“Hospitality involves welcoming, creating space, listening, paying attention, and providing.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 47
Whether you are the host or the attendee, we all find fulfillment in sharing meals with other people. Paying attention to the details, creating the right atmosphere, and choosing the right food is all done from the motivation to honor our guests and to ensure they have a fabulous time. But if all we do is focus on external things, we miss the true blessing of hosting that meal.
To sit with others and to truly connect with them over conversation, laughter and even disagreements is what makes the moment all the more special. How many times have you left a dinner function and thought to yourself, “The food was just okay, but the company was fantastic?” Likewise, I do not think any host would want to hear, “The food was amazing, but the company was terrible.”
Recognize that through you, Jesus can make an impact on the lives of people you bring around the table. Sure, make it a great environment and serve quality food, but more importantly give honor and value to the person you have sitting at the table with you.
Jesus thank you for the opportunity to extend hospitality towards others. Help me to know how to honor my guests and how to glorify you in my preparation and in my hosting. Use these times Lord for your purposes and be present with us. Amen.
For Further Reading
A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 47-50
Week 2- Day 5
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48
“Involvement with people, especially the marginalized, begins with a profound grasp of God’s grace.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 40
Often in church we talk about “living on mission”. What does this mean practically for us?
The basic answer here is simply to go out and live. Go to your job, engage in your relationships, and do your grocery shopping. As you go, pray, “Lord, who do you want me to simply say ‘Hi’ to and who do you want me to extend an invitation to talk further.”
Recognize that the environments you find yourself in and the relationships you have with people are all known by God. He places you there, He brings those people into your life and all of it has a purpose. You might be part of His plan, perhaps, in the life of someone else. Even if that person is someone who society, or religious people, would deem as marginalized.
He will give you every word to say, every action to take and He will make it clear to you who He wants you to engage.
Heavenly Father, help me to live on mission with you today. Show me the person you want me to love the way you have loved me. Help me to not be afraid to speak of you with my co-workers or neighbors. Help me to be an ambassador of your love and mercy today. Amen.
For Further Reading
A Meal with Jesus, pg. 50-54