Jesus was at a lot of parties.
This is something that has struck me over and over again this past year. It’s nothing new but for me it’s been a challenge as I think through my life, faith and art. We are consistently reading about Jesus going to feasts, banquets and parties
Luke 5:29-30 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
And apparently enough so that people tried to use it against him (not that, that probably took much)
Luke 7:34The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
And it’s not that he was there that surprises me. Jesus was very clear that he came to reach the lost. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he would go where the people who needed him were hanging out…it surprises me that he was invited.
In the church we expect to be always be rejected, we assume no one wants to hear from us Jesus followers; that no one is open to it. But maybe Jesus proves us wrong. It would seem that these people who were not living lives that lined up with God’s ideals were more than willing to hang out with Jesus; and I don’t think it was because he was “a drunkard and a glutton”.
So the question becomes why? Why did they want to hang out with Jesus? Why did they invite him into their subculture?
I think it’s at least partly because he clearly wanted to be with them.
Most groups aren’t as closed as outsiders think. For instance, did you know that every time I have ever started a mentorship program I have no problem finding youth? Most students are desperate for positive adult relationships! But yet, the vast majority of the adults are hesitant. Why are they hesitant? Because “the youth wouldn’t want to connect with an old person like me”.
A couple months ago, we hosted a metal show at our church site. There were a ton of people there that many church goers would assume wouldn’t come to something at a church. But yet there they were. They told me how “f’ing awesome” (my edit) it was, that we would host their scene. I could also give tons of examples of bands that make a huge impact because engage people honestly in all kinds of venues; but you get the idea…
Maybe people aren’t as closed as we assume. Maybe they are just assuming we are closed to them.
Maybe we would be invited to more parties if people KNEW we wanted to be there.
What has your experience been?