‘One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.’ Luke 14.1
We often think about having fellowship with Jesus, and being so close to him that it is like having a meal together around a table. This story records one such meal that some people had with Jesus – but it was distinctly uncomfortable! We are told about three separate occurrences during the meal that probably made the assembled diners squirm! The first was when Jesus healed someone, the second when he rebuked the guests for their sense of self-importance, and the third as he challenged his host to be more caring for those in need. It sounds like a meal they would cheerfully leave early!
On other occasions, we read of Jesus going to eat with sinners. Was he equally blunt with them? If so, do we really want to be close to Jesus? Presumably he usually behaved differently or he would not have received many return invites! However, today’s verse gives us a clear insight into why Jesus acted as he did on that particular
occasion – ‘he was being carefully watched.’
It is our attitude to Jesus that sets the scene. In his ministry, he showed such kindness to the people who knew they needed him, yet was so challenging to those who disapproved of him and his actions. What made all the difference was how people regarded him.
As you spend time with Jesus now, have the humility to come to him as you are. If you hurt, let him know you are hurt; if you are joyful, then pour out your joy to him; and if you are confused, share your confusion with him. Be yourself with Jesus so he can be himself with you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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