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Soul Food: When a Meal with Jesus was more than Food | Week 4

Week 4- Day 1

“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.  Luke 14:12

“Our parties are to be a reflection—albeit a pale reflection—of God’s great banquet.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 79.

How do you think your co-workers, neighbors or even extended family members view Christians? Do you think they think Christians are stuffy, no fun, mundane or out of touch?

Throughout Luke’s gospel we see Jesus interact with people in a multitude of settings; we often see Him at parties! Forget the majestic and solemn depictions of Him that you may have seen in older televised versions. Rather, consider Him to have the type of demeanor portrayed in the streaming series of The Chosen. He’s relatable, engaging, yet at the same time carries great authority with Him

If we’re called to be like Jesus, how are we doing in this arena? Imagine the impact you could have on those co-workers, neighbors or even extended family members by living your life like Jesus and simply inviting people over for a meal. Not to deliver a sermonette but simply to show honor and value to those you invite.

Pray

Jesus, thank you that you show us what it can look like to engage well with people. Help me to see ways that I can be like you and be an invitational person who brings value and dignity to others. Help me to see ways to have fun while being on mission with you. Amen

For Further Reading

Luke 14: 12-15

A Meal with Jesus, pg. 75-79

 

 

Week 4- Day 2

 

Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’  Luke 14:21

“But the invited guests (like the religious leaders) reject the banquet and reject the host.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 80

Have you ever tried to host a party and every person keeps declining the invitation? It’s not a feeling that one enjoys nor is it motivating when you consider hosting another party.

In Jesus’ parable of the great banquet, He illustrates how some people treat the invitation being given from God. The first ones to be invited all find themselves with excuses as to why they cannot attend. If you look closely, you see those excuses revolve around things they possess, or value more, than the opportunity being presented.

The conclusion of the parable shows us that the invitation is then shifted to bring in everyone and anyone who is willing to accept that invitation. In that day, to be a marginalized individual invited to a wealthy person’s home would have been shocking.

God’s invitation to you to know His son Jesus is shocking. That the Creator of the universe would extend this offer to us, His created. This is what love is, this is what grace is and this is the God we serve.

Pray

God, thank you for the invitation to know and follow Jesus. You are the great host, and I am undeserving of your attention and grace. Thank you for your love, and for your grace and show me how to extend this type of love to others.  Amen.

 For Further Reading

Luke 14:17-24

A Meal with Jesus, pg. 78-81

 

Week 4- Day 3

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them…  Luke 14:7

 “If our hearts are concerned for position, honor, status, or approval, then that will be reflected in our dining etiquette.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 81

Jesus uses parables of feasts and parties to communicate many of His truths. From these we are able to learn how we’re called to live as followers of Him. In the parable of the Wedding Feast, He highlights the position we should have in our hearts, one of humility. To recognize where we are and to recognize the opportunity to be humble in the midst of others.

The humility portrayed is not so that we gain more but rather we gain more because we are humble. As we seek out ways to elevate others before ourselves and ways to give honor to them, the Lord elevates us. Maybe you get to move seats at the table, but most importantly, we get to be examples of Jesus to others. So, the next time you are invited to a feast how can you prepare your heart not to be the center of attention but rather to be a gracious and humble recipient?

Pray

Jesus, I confess my heart sometimes desires to be the center of people’s attention and praise. Help me Lord to live a life of humility by putting others before myself. Show me where I lack humility and help me to be more like you. 

For Further Reading

Luke 14:7-11

A Meal with Jesus, pg. 80-84

 

Week 4- Day 4

But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. Luke 14:4

“…most Jewish authorities said no one who was blind, crippled or lame could enter the temple.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 47

How often are you repulsed by someone who looks, sounds, lives differently than you? For the Jewish religious leaders anyone who was physically disabled was never permitted to be in the temple of God.

For Jesus to heal a person, let alone on Sabbath, was shocking and offensive. Yet, the Pharisees had no response to Him when He challenged them on why.

Jesus’ desire was to include the very people that the religious leaders sought so hard to exclude. His desire remains the same today. To include those that many would say should never be included. For you, maybe your testimony is one where you are one of the excluded people. Maybe the church or a religious leader rejected your cry for help but Jesus in His love for you still pursued you and brought you into His family.

If we’re to be like Jesus, we must have the same eyes that He has. Imagine how the world’s view of the church would change if rather than turning away from people we instead sought people out.

Pray

Jesus, I want to be like you and treat people the way that you did. Help me Lord to see others as you see them. Give me the words to say and the actions to do to be a messenger of your love and grace. Help our church Lord be a place where we people run to for healing rather than turning to the world. Amen.

 For Further Reading

Luke 14:1-4

A Meal with Jesus, pg. 89-93

 

Week 4- Day 5

…and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”  Luke 14:14

“Meals bring mission into the ordinary.” A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester, pg. 91

There is a tendency to rely on the programs or ministries of a church to provide missional opportunities. While these efforts are useful, we have to remember that ultimately, we’re called to be living on mission in our normal everyday lives.

Sure, it’s a lot easier to do the things that others put on for us but how much more fulfilling could it be if you simply invited people into the ordinary rhythms of your life? Yes, it requires planning, maybe even a financial cost, but think about how Jesus could use you as one of His messengers. Choose to take the hard road because ultimately it is not about you but rather it’s about what Jesus wants to do through you.

And in the end, there is a promise of reward from Jesus. And maybe the reward is that you get to be part of the redemptive story in someone’s life simply because you chose to invite them over for a meal.

Pray

Jesus, I want to be used by you for your purpose in the lives of others. Reveal to me the ways in which you want me to live and how my life can be a tool for bringing more people into the kingdom of God. Here am I, Lord, send me!

 For Further Reading

Romans 10:13-21

A Meal with Jesus, pg. 94-99

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