Share Meals

Susan Hetrick

Read: Mark 2:13-17

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples . . . (v. 15 NIV)

Jesus shared meals with many people. He had a very full social calendar. Between wedding feasts, dinners with Pharisees, impromptu lunches in the field, and cookouts on the beach, Jesus “broke bread” with thousands of people. Much of Jesus’ ministry and teaching occurred over meals. Whether he was having theological discussions or telling stories, meals with Jesus were always about more than just food. Eating with people is one way to really get to know them.

Meals can be a great equalizer. We all have to eat in order to stay alive. Much to the shock and bewilderment of the Pharisees, Jesus was indiscriminate about who he ate with. He ate with tax collectors, who worked for the Roman government. He ate with working people—fishermen, merchants, and farmers. He ate with “sinners” and women with bad reputations. He even ate with Samaritans! In eating with everyone, Jesus was simply showing what God’s kingdom looks like. It is filled with people whom we wouldn’t expect.

No matter where or what he was eating, Jesus always gave thanks to God first. By doing this, he demonstrated how to live in gratitude, always being mindful of God’s daily provision. Whether at Taco Bell or your kitchen table, who can you share a meal with today? —Susan Hetrick

Prayer: God, thank you for this food, and for those with whom we share our meals.