A Fly on the Wall at a First-Century Dinner Party

Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee. Luke 14:1 (NIV)

The Pharisees were among the most respected people in the community, and this man was a prominent Pharisee, so this was likely a pretty lavish dinner party.

The fact that Jesus accepted this personal invitation tells us a great deal about him. Jesus ministered to large crowds, some as great as  5,000 people, so it wasn’t easy for him to find private space.

It would not have been surprising if Jesus had said, “Well, I have a very large public ministry, and my schedule does not allow me to accept private invitations into people’s homes.” But he didn’t say that, he accepted the invitation.

There are some people who suggest that Jesus had a bias toward the poor, that he was on the side of the poor, and that he was therefore against those who were rich and successful. But this simply was not the case.

Jesus is at home in any social circle. He made himself as much at home in the company of the rich as he did in the company of the poor. The rich and the poor, the distinguished and the destitute, stand in exactly the same position before God.

Being poor or destitute does not move you one inch closer to God. Being rich and successful does not move you further away. We all stand in the same need before God, and the same Jesus Christ offers himself freely to us all.

Respond to the comment: “Being poor or destitute does not move you one inch closer to God. Being rich and successful does not move you further away.”

Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: Jun 1st, 2017