Room at the Table | Winter 2023 

It can be said that Jesus ate his way through the Gospels. Throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we see Jesus going from table to table sharing meals, so much so he is accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (Matt. 11:19). He turns water into wine as his first miracle and feeds thousands of people with a boy’s small lunch. He eats and drinks with all kinds of people – from Pharisees to tax collectors and “sinners”.

Sharing a meal in Jesus’ day was a big deal. It’s part of how people separated themselves into their tribes. The Pharisees ate with other Pharisees. Sadducees at with Sadducees. Essenes ate with Essenes. Zealots ate with Zealots. And no one who was Jewish would eat with Gentiles.

So when Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, he was doing something that upset the entire political and social order of His day. He was erasing the lines that society had drawn to keep people apart.

Among those who Jesus called to be His disciples were three Zealots who were militant nationalists, a tax collector, six fishermen who were exploited by said tax collector, a member of the violent Sicarii party and a wealthy nobleman linked to the Pharisees. In his book Love Over Fear, Dan White Jr. writes: "It's like organizing a home church with a few Black Lives Matters protesters, blue-collar workers who believe Donald Trump will fix the country, a couple on public assistance, a wealthy Republican gentleman, and a member of Antifa."

In his table fellowship, Jesus practiced radical hospitality and inclusivity. As followers of Jesus, we are called to do likewise. Join us at Delaware City Vineyard this January and February as we look at how there is always room at Jesus’ table.

The Power of Eating Together


Jesus Showing Hospitality

  • Jesus at a Pharisee's house — Luke 14:1-24
  • Zacchaeus, the tax collector — Luke 19:1-10
  • Jesus dines with "sinners" — Matthew 9:9-13
  • Jesus feeds the multitudes — Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:31–44; Luke 9:12–17; John 6:1–14
  • "whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me" — Matthew 25:31-46
  • Jesus washes feet and the last supper — John 13
  • On the road to Emmaus — Luke 24:13-35