The Power Of The Table

Three phrases people love the most: I love you! You’re forgiven! Let’s eat! These phrases are all about relationship. Everybody needs love, forgiveness and connection to be healthy. Interestingly this is discovered first in Christ. John 3 and Revelation 3 communicate how God loved the world (I love you) that he gave his only Son (You’re forgiven) and Jesus stands at the door of our hearts knocking and if we open the door he comes in to eat with us and us with him (Let’s eat). We were created in the image of God who is a community within himself as The Trinity. God created us with a design of community giving us a deep sense of desire for community.

Jesus came and bypassed all order of religion that neglected relationship. Suddenly he’s having meals with sinners. The Last Supper is a famous meal Jesus had with his disciples. Obviously this was very common for Jesus to eat with his friends. After Jesus rose from the grave one of the first things he did was ate a meal with his friends. It is interesting that in the very beginning we see a meal that was eaten without God ruining everything. Then in the concluding chapters of the book of Revelation we find another meal, The Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Jesus is all about inviting the world to the Table of the Lord where we all become friends with God. Only through Jesus does the altar give access to the table.

Mal 1:7 “{You} are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, ‘The table of the LORD is to be despised.’ NAS

Notice how the altar and the table are eternally connected. The sacrifices on the altar are unacceptable when the table is defiled. The sacrifice on the altar is only pleasing if the table is in proper order. If you’re disconnected from fellowship with God your offering is not acceptable. The table of the Lord also involves His family. Jesus said in Matt 5:23-24 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. NIV

Obviously we all need to make room for relationships as our highest priority! Expressing our love, our forgiveness and our time to connect over a meal all produce a demonstration of hospitality we find clearly revealed in Christ as our ultimate example. Jesus invited us to his table so we would invite others to our table.

Rom 12:9-13 Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them…get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner (NLT)

We live in a day where people live isolated and lonely lives. True Christianity introduces Jesus as the relational answer to this painful deficiency that exists in the lives of so many people. The pursuit of great influence in big platforms can cause us to miss the power of meaningful impact on personal levels.

God loved the world in big ways but it wasn’t until He embraced humanity in his smallest posture of intimate existence that the world could forever be changed. We tend to express grand statements of big love in the songs we sing and the sermons we celebrate. It’s not until we take a small posture of intimate connection with people on a personal level that lives will be changed. People ministering to people on a personal level will truly change the world.

Jesus spoke to masses of people very rarely and these large groups were remarkably fickle. The same crowd who wanted to celebrate him was the same crowd who later wanted to crucify him. It was the very few who he spent his most intimate time with who turned their world upside down… (This is a portion of Chapter 7 from my book Religious Confusion)

You can order Religious Confusion here

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