Who Do You Not Like?
Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus. Everybody was there, tax men and other disreputable characters as guests at the dinner. The Pharisees and their religion scholars came to his disciples greatly offended. “What is he doing eating and drinking with crooks and ‘sinners’?”
- Luke 5:28-29
Jesus had a habit of upsetting the religious people. I don't think he meant to do it. I think he actually just wanted to love everyone. But we're so hell-bent on excluding people that as soon as Jesus welcomes someone we've excluded, we get upset.
What kind of person would you prefer not to eat with? Are they a different culture or class, do they have a different political perspective or religion, or is it just a specific person who rubs you the wrong way? Think on that for a minute - this is important. It's those people that Jesus loves. And if you follow him long enough, you can pretty much be guaranteed that Jesus will lead you into relationship with the very people you would rather exclude.
Try this on: tell Jesus why you don't want to share a table with a certain type of people. Yes, that's awkward, but do it anyway. It'll work best if you can actually speak the words out loud. Jesus will be very glad to hear you finally say it, since he's known it's been on your heart for so long. And don't be surprised if he does not answer that prayer!