I love to eat. I love to eat out. Particularly, I enjoy eating at places I truly love as well as trying new places. Eating at places that have ok food for the sake of eating, not my thing. I’d rather eat PB&J at the house. Right? So this week, Mindy and I were in Birmingham and we got to do the former of all of those, eat at a great place I love. Chuy’s. It’s so good. For the record, if you’re ever in a spot with a Chuy’s, do yourself a favor and eat there. It’s wonderful. Love the salsa. Queso is amazing. Enchiladas with creamy jalapeño sauce… Ah, so good.
Anyway, why all this talk about food? Well, I’m convinced Jesus loved to eat. He invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house for lunch. He ate with his disciples and his friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Some of his most famous miracles involved feeding people. In fact, one of the primary accusations the haters [see Pharisees] brought against Jesus concerned his eating! Not only what He ate, but who He ate with.
I believe Jesus found Himself in some questionable restaurants with some even more questionable people. Loving them. Talking with them. Spending time with them. Why? It’s simple, He wanted them to believe. He was willing to get crazy looks and have awful things said about Him in order to eat with people who needed to believe in Him. He was willing to die before He’d stop eating in dirty restaurants with people who needed Him. People who needed hope. People who needed grace.
So, when’s the last time you were in a dirty restaurant? Better yet, when’s the last time you ate with someone simply to love them, spend time with them, and care for them as a person so that they might believe? If it’s been a while, or maybe it’s been never, you oughta get out more. Try a new place, or hit up a favorite. Either way, just remember the way Jesus saw it... the restaurant might be dirty, the religious people might call Him dirty, but He never saw those He ate with as dirty. He saw them as people who needed to belong so they could believe. So He ate, and maybe even stayed for dessert.