God the great and powerful (and warm and wonderful)
Thu Dec 05, 2013
by Marsha Michaelis
The top 5 posts of November
Wed Dec 04, 2013
5 reasons to open your blinds
Tue Dec 03, 2013
by Andrew Lisi
6 simple ways to write better blog posts
Mon Dec 02, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Joy in service
Sat Nov 30, 2013
by Andrew Weiseth
How Did the Son of Man Come?
Luke 19:10 and Mark 10:45 tell us why Jesus came: to seek and save the lost and to give his life as a ransom for many.
But how did he come?
What was his modus operandi? Preaching? Healing? Teaching? He certainly did those things for sure. But Jesus himself says ‘the Son of Man came eating and drinking’ (Luke 7:34). Eating and drinking. A lot. New Testament scholar Robert Karris says: ‘In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.’ So much so that his enemies accuse him of being ‘a glutton and a drunkard’ – someone who eats too much and drinks too much. ‘The Son of Man’ is a reference to the representative of God’s people who comes in glory before the Ancient of Days to receive authority over all nations (Daniel 7). What is the Son of Man doing when he comes to earth? The Jews expected him to come with a bang, defeating God’s enemies and vindicating his people. Instead he shares a meal.
Grace & Mission
Meals are a powerful of expression of welcome and friendship in every culture. This is why Jesus’ meals are so significant. They embody God’s grace and enact God’s mission. Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. Tax collectors were traitors not only to the nation, but also traitors towards God for they were collaborators with the Gentile occupiers who had defiled God’s holy land. So the table companions of Jesus lead the Pharisees to conclude that he cannot be from God (Luke 5:30; 7:39; 15:1-2).
A reasonable conclusion. Unless God’s grace is so amazing that he eats with his enemies. Unless God’s grace explodes all our expectations (Luke 5:27-39). Meals are central to the mission of Jesus because they embody and enact the grace of God.
The Jews expected him to come with a bang, defeating God’s enemies and vindicating his people. Instead he shares a meal.
What happens when you eat together?
In every culture, meals are an expression of welcome and friendship. What was true in the culture of first-century Palestine is still true in the West today. In Luke 14 Jesus is eating at the home of a Pharisee. He suggests we shouldn’t invite our friends to our parties. Instead we should invite ‘the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind’ (13). Why? Because God himself invites ‘the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame’ (21) to his great banquet. Our experience of God’s grace is to shape our mission. Often we do things for the needy. That’s good. But it puts us in a position of superiority. We are able; they are unable. We may proclaim grace, but it’s readily interpreted as ‘you should be like me.' But what happens when you eat together? We share food as friends. We sit at the same level around the table. Then we can talk about our shared need of God’s grace. We love to run projects, but nobody wants to be someone’s ‘project’. They want friendship.
This post is an introduction to Tim Chester's upcoming Re:Lit book, A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table