The Kindness Habit: The Fifth Wednesday in Lent
Dinner with Sinners
After Jesus called Levi (Matthew) to follow Him, He went to Matthew’s house for dinner. Some of Matthew’s friends showed up to have dinner with both of them. I like the fact Scripture says “tax collectors & sinners.” The tax collectors sins were so great they were listed separately yet the other guests did not have their sins specifically listed. We have no idea what they had done wrong. No idea at all.
What we did know is Jesus took the time to eat with them. We think nothing of eating with strangers. We go to fast food places all the time where we sit near strangers, sharing meals. Sharing a meal is a very intimate act. We only invite those close to us to eat in our homes. We only sit down at a table with people we know. Whether we think of it or not, we know how much people care for us, like us when they share a meal with us.
The men at the table with Jesus that day were outcasts. Safe to assume no one had invited them to share a meal in a long time, if ever. In fact, the Pharissees criticize Jesus for associating with these men. The Pharissees would never dirty themselves by associating with those men. Jesus never hesitated. And by sharing one simple meal, I know the lives of those men were changed that day. The impact of one simple meal with a good man. Someone showed compassion to those men & it changed them.
We never know the impact a simple act of kindness might have on someone else. Never know how we might change their lives. It was just a simple meal & nothing was ever the same.