When it was evening, Jesus and the twelve disciples sat down to eat. During the meal Jesus said, ‘I tell you, one of you will betray me.’
The disciples were very upset and began to ask him, one after the other, ‘Surely, Lord you don’t mean me?’
Jesus answered, ‘One who dips his bread in the dish with me will betray me.’
Read Matthew 26:17-25
Take a stroll through any school at lunchtime and you are bound to see groups of students sitting together eating their lunch. The groups aren’t random; students choose to sit and eat with particular friends. To eat with another person says a lot about mutual acceptance.
If Jesus had gone to school today, his report card probably would have read, ‘Jesus is a well-mannered and very bright boy who hangs out with the wrong crowd which constantly gets him into trouble’. Jesus obviously still hasn’t learnt, because he doesn’t just sit with the man who intends to betray him but even eats from the same bowl. It’s not out of ignorance but out of love that Jesus chooses to eat with Judas Iscariot. Jesus never turns his back on Judas, but Judas decides to leave the table.
Jesus also invites you to eat with him. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, he wants your company at his dinner table in heaven. Now, if Jesus is gracious enough to invite you for dinner at his place, how can you pass on to others the love he has shown you? Whom could you invite to share dinner with at your place?
Dear Jesus, thank you for inviting me to sit at your table. May I show the same kindness to those around me. Amen.
by Jörg Ernst, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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