We were looking at the life of Jesus to see who he really was, and we noticed something peculiar: he spent a lot of time around the dinner table. Many of his most frequently quoted messages and standout stories happened while sharing a meal with others. As we looked closer, we noticed that his company around the table was a remarkably diverse cast. He shared meals with outcasts. He spent time with the self-righteous religious elite. He cared for people who had broken every rule and were seen as unclean. He dined at the tables of the wealthy men whose riches were won with lies and corruption. Some of those men gave up comfortable lifestyles to follow him. He crossed racial boundaries to the shock of many around him. He invited everyone to the table. When asked why he did so, he replied, “… I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
It was radical at the time. No one was that inclusive. The religious do-gooders began to whisper behind his back. They called him a friend of sinners. It was supposed to be an insult, but Jesus wore it proudly. He was a friend to everyone. And what do friends do? They eat dinner together and share in each other’s lives.
Strangers eating together and becoming friends. What a simple concept, and yet, we’re pretty sure it would turn our own modern world upside down the same way Jesus turned his around 2,000 years ago. That’s really why we made this video in the first place. We see division and broken relationships everywhere. We see judgment and hypocrisy on the rise. We see people who claim to be followers of Jesus taking his open invite and turning it into an exclusive club.
The name of Jesus has been used to harm and divide, but if you look at how he lived, you see how backward that really is. Jesus was not exclusive. He was radically inclusive. What would our world look like if that were the norm? If strangers became friends over the dinner table as they did around Jesus?