Read: “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me and be my disciple,’ Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with such scum?’ When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.’ Then he added, ‘Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: “I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.” For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.'” Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT)
Reflect: When I was a kid we had large family gatherings for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. With so many of us gathered we had separate tables for adults and kids. It was expected that we use proper table manners like saying please, thank you, please pass the rolls, etc. As my cousins and I aged we still kept a “kids table” because it was simply fun, and we weren’t subject to sitting with the rule keepers over at the adult table.
Those days are long past, but this weekend’s message reminded me of something. Jesus was always invited to our table. Each gathering my grandfather would pray and invite the Lord to be with us, guide us, protect us. He would thank Jesus for coming to save us, thank him for extending us grace, and pray for our family to have purpose and love to the world.
Jesus was there when we were young and acting silly. He was there when we became adolescents and discussed things that were immature. He was there when we became young adults and began disagreeing about things. And he will be there when I’m the grandfather leading my family in prayer. The great thing about this legacy is that we don’t even have to ask Jesus to pass the grace. He’s already full of it for us and offers us as much as we need. All the time, he is there. We just need to welcome him to our table.
Respond: Do you need to invite Jesus to your table this week? He will gladly be with you, and you don’t even have to ask him to pass the grace. He’ll already have it ready for you.
Pray: Jesus, thank you for your immeasurable grace and forgiveness. Would you like to come to my table and sit with me today?