Sitting at the Table With Jesus
Published November 13, 2023
Table of Contents
2. An Invite to Jesus
3. Would Jesus Eat With You?
– Eating with sinners
4. Sitting at the Table With Jesus
– A sinner comes to Jesus
– Counseled by Jesus
– Compassion at the table
5. Don’t Waste Your Opportunity
Watch & Listen
Could you imagine being in the same room with Jesus? Could you imagine being at the table with Jesus? What would you do? What would you talk about?
An Invite to Jesus
In Luke 7, we see where a Pharisee, named Simon, had such an opportunity. In Luke 7:36, we see where this Pharisee invited Jesus to eat with him.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with scripture, then nothing would seem too odd about this Pharisee asking Jesus to eat with him. However, if you’re familiar with scripture, then you may think something was a bit odd about a Pharisee asking Jesus to eat with him. You see, the Pharisees and Jesus did not share a lovely relationship; the Pharisees certainly looked at Jesus as both a threat and an enemy.
Throughout the gospels, the Pharisees constantly harassed and antagonized Jesus where He went, and in return, Jesus would speak against them. In Matthew 23:2-3, Jesus is recorded saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you ]to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” Then, in Matthew 23:13, Jesus called the religious leaders hypocrites due to their actions.
So, for this Pharisee to be asking Jesus to eat with him, there are red flags as we would have to wonder why the man wanted to eat with Jesus? The next question that likely comes to mind is if Jesus and the Pharisees shared such a rocky relationship, would Jesus go and eat with the man?
Would Jesus Eat With You?
This might make some of us wonder if Jesus would eat with us? Maybe you share a rocky relationship with Christ and don’t think that Jesus would sit at the table with you to eat. Before we move any further in my scripture for today, I want to answer the question as to whether or not Jesus would eat with you.
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus said to the church of the Laodiceans, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Now, if you have learned anything from my teaching and studies on the Laodicean church, then you know if Jesus said this to the church that would make Him vomit, then He would very much desire to eat with most people.
Eating with sinners
Throughout the gospels, scripture shows us that Jesus had no problem sitting at the table with sinners; we see Him often talk to sinners, eat with sinners, and of course, healing sinners. There is one such occasion recorded in the synoptic gospels that I want to share with you of Jesus sitting at the table with sinners to the chagrin of the religious leaders.
In Mark 2:13-17 (Matt. 9:9-13; Luke 5:27-32), we read about Matthew (also known as Levi), a tax collector turned disciple, being called by Jesus to follow Him. For Matthew, this was a very joyous occasion as he had a great feast for Jesus in his house. Mark 2:15 tells us that many came over to Matthew’s house to eat with him and Jesus; it was a crowd of people that was made up of other tax collectors and sinners.
Now, the scribes and Pharisees saw Jesus sitting and eating with sinners, and we are told that they grumbled and complained. They asked, “How is it that He (Jesus) eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:16)?” Jesus, in their minds, were supposed to be like them and they, as religious leaders, wouldn’t be caught eating with sinners.
When Jesus overheard what they were talking about, Jesus said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Mark 2:17).” This statement speaks a great deal of the difference between man and the Lord. What do I mean by that?
Jesus, the one that is holy and righteous, was dining with sinners while those who believed themselves to be perfect complained. Do you understand that to be perfect means that one is completely without sin? Let’s be clear, there was nobody in Matthew’s house that was so well that they did not need the great physician named Jesus.
Every single person in Matthew’s house – tax collectors, Jesus’ disciples, the religious leaders – were all sinners that were in need of Jesus! As I have said before, and will say again to you, don’t you ever think that you are not worthy to be sitting at the table with Jesus because all of us have been found to be worthy of the love of God.
Sitting at the Table With Jesus
Now, let’s set up the scene with Jesus entering into the Pharisees house to eat with him. Again, in Luke 7:36, we see that Jesus did go with the Pharisee and sat down to eat in the Pharisee’s house.
You and I would think of Jesus sitting down to eat in a manner that we are familiar with where we sit down in chairs at a table to eat; we might think of the Leonardo da Vinci painting of the Last Supper. However, it was more common at that time for people to gather around a table and recline on couches to eat together. So, this was a very relaxed environment for Jesus to be in as He sat across from the Pharisee.
A sinner comes to Jesus
Now, while Jesus was at the Pharisee’s house to eat, as we saw happen when Matthew ate with Jesus, guests began to pour in. Again, another thing that was common at that time was that if you had a guest over to eat with you, your neighbors might show up to stand along the walls and watch.
In my key verse, Luke 7:37, we are told that there was a certain woman in the city, who was a sinner, that knew Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisees house. So, she went to the Pharisees house and brought with her an alabaster flask of fragrant oil. According to their customs, we are told that she took her place at the wall behind where Jesus was reclined to eat (Luke 7:38).
While standing behind Jesus, Luke 7:38 tells us that she began weeping and started to wash Jesus’ feet which were behind Him due to the position that He was reclined in on the couch. We are told in this verse that the woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, and she wiped His feet with the hair of her head. After she finished cleaning Jesus’ feet, we are told that she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.
The Pharisee, reclined across the table from Jesus, saw the woman’s actions and Luke 7:39 tells us that he spoke to himself. The Pharisee said, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
Now, I would suggest to you that this Pharisee’s thoughts and words to himself betrayed his true intentions. Nicodemus was a Pharisee that sought Jesus out, at night, because he desired to speak with and learn from Jesus (John 3:1-2). However, this Pharisee had no intention of learning from Jesus; he likely desired to spy on Jesus, gain some intel on Jesus, and report back to the other Pharisees. Imagine wasting this opportunity to learn and grow in your wisdom for some ulterior motive.
Counseled by Jesus
Luke 7:40 tells us that Jesus answered the Pharisee even though the man had spoken to himself. Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” Let me say this to you: if you are ever sitting at the table with Jesus, you better be ready to be counseled by Him.
In Luke 7:41-42, we will see Jesus share a very brief parable with the Pharisee. Jesus said to the Pharisee in this parable, “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both.” Jesus then asked the Pharisee, “which of them (the two debtors) will love him more?”
The Pharisee, we will see, responded, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more (Luke 7:43).” So, this parable that Jesus shared with the Pharisee, was a parable of forgiveness. I want you to understand that this parable speaks to the compassion of the Lord. You see, this was a very important lesson that this Pharisee, and those that may have been standing along the wall, needed to hear and learn as well.
Jesus, for the first time in this recorded event, turns to see the woman behind Him (Luke 7:44). Jesus then said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head (Luke 7:44).”
With this statement, Jesus was speaking to what was custom for one to do when having guests over to their home. You see, it was custom at that time for you to wash the feet of your guests when they would have traveled to visit you at your house; it was a common courtesy. If you remember the story of Jesus turning water into wine, you will recall that Jesus used the pots for washing the feet of guests (John 2:6-7).
Now, when the Pharisee looked at the woman, he saw nothing but a sinner. However, Jesus didn’t have to look at the woman to know that the one that took the time to wash His feet at least had common decency! I want you to understand that before Jesus had even turned around to see the woman, He knew the kind of heart she had because of her actions.
Jesus said to Simon in Luke 7:45, “You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.” Jesus, again, pointing out the stark difference between the woman and the Pharisee. Jesus was pointing out to the Pharisee that the woman was being meek, lowly, and humble!
Jesus then said to Simon in Luke 7:46, “You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.” While the woman was meek, lowly, and humble – pure and sincere in her actions, the Pharisee was the complete opposite. As Jesus had learned everything about the woman’s heart through her actions, Jesus learned everything about this Pharisee’s heart according to what he did not do; the woman loved Jesus but the Pharisee had little to no love for Jesus as he didn’t even bother with the customs.
Compassion at the table
If you open the door for the Lord to enter into your home to eat with you, I encourage you today to not sit with Him in the manner that this Pharisee did. As I said earlier, Jesus truly desires to come into your home and to sit at your table and eat with you.
We will see that Jesus said to Simon, “her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little (Luke 7:47).” You see, there is love and compassion at the table with Jesus! The woman was merely in the room and was forgiven of her sins because of what was in her heart! Not only is there compassion at the table with Jesus, but His compassion fills the entire house as well.
There the Pharisee sat, reclined across from Jesus, in a house filled with God’s love and compassion, thinking himself to be above the woman because of her sins. You see, this Pharisee likely had all the works of being a religious leader and was proud of that. The woman had no works she would be proud to tout of as she was a woman of the city and had many sins, but she was the one that gained the reward!
Jesus, while turned to the woman, said to her, “Your sins are forgiven (Luke 7:48) … Your faith has saved you. Go in peace (Luke 7:50).” When you’re sitting at the table with Jesus, there is a reward to be received to all who humbly desire to receive it. Do you desire to invite Jesus into your home, to your table, to receive such a reward from Him?
Don’t Waste Your Opportunity
The Pharisee was reclined across the table from Jesus as an unforgiven sinner. To be frank, the Pharisee wasted his time sitting at the table with Jesus. The last thing you want to do while sitting at the table with Jesus is waste that opportunity.
So, I want you to know today that every single person walking this world can invite Jesus into their home and should invite Him into their table to dine with Him; you should desire to eat with Jesus and be in fellowship with Him. Jesus, as He we have seen, will come in and will certainly dine with you and you with Him. Will you invite Him into your home? If you do, what will you do? What will you say?
Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Matt. 7:7).” If you are sitting at the table with Jesus, don’t be afraid to ask Him questions but make sure your intentions are pure. If you have questions, Jesus will certainly have answers. If you desire to gain wisdom and understanding, I encourage you to be open to receiving His wisdom and understanding.
Again, some of us might be nervous when we are sitting at the table with Jesus. Like the woman, our eyes may be filled with tears as we are sitting at the table with Jesus, but do not be afraid. When you’re at the table with Jesus, He will feed your soul and uplift you, just as He did for the woman.
Don’t choose to be like Simon, the Pharisee, who completely wasted such a great opportunity to sit with Jesus. You see, some of us are perfect, in our own mind, yet we are very far from being perfect. Those that think they are perfect are those that will go down as just the Pharisee did— an unforgiven sinner. As I have said before, the self righteous mindset is a mindset of one who is truly foolish.
You still have time today to invite Jesus to sit and eat with you— take advantage of the time. This means that you still have time to be counseled by Jesus! Don’t waste your time, invite Jesus over to your house, and receive all that Jesus has to bring to the table.