What is the significance of the frequency of Jesus eating meals with “those” kind of people? Two incidents in Matthew chapter 8 confirm Jesus’ life fulfilling the project of the Triune God – winning vitory over sin and death for all types of people. Religious leaders in Jesus’ day valued control more than people. It was an easy move to create an understanding of the law which kept them from encountering “those” type of people by labeling them and thereby excluding them from entrance into the Kingdom of God (as if they could really keep people out of the Kingdom of God). A leper touched and a Gentile expressing faith finds summation in Jesus’ words that people will come from the east and west and sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob enjoying a feast. There it is “those” people will be included.
Today, the creation of a Christian Sub-Culture, a.k.a. Christian Ghetto, results in a first century “us” and “them” where we keep people far from the Kingdom because we fail to offer them a place at the table where we can share the life Jesus gives in hopes a seat at our table will paint a picture of what it may be like to sit at the table with Jesus.
Once again, there is no anagram or outline – simply share life and create a picture of what it looks like to enjoy fellowship at the table with the Creator.
Why not spend as much time eating with people as finding ways to succintly propostion them?