“The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners’” (Luke 5:30)?
In Jesus’ day, dining customs, and those around your table, factored into how you were known. An Ancient Near Eastern proverb says, “I saw them eating and I knew who they were.” The Pharisees were a distinctive group, based partly upon the exclusiveness of their associations. In contrast, the distinctive identity of Christ’s church is evident in her inclusiveness; that whosoever will may come. When sitting at the Lord’s table you can never be just a spectator. You come as one who has either answered the call, “Follow Me,” a tax collector, a sinner, or a critic. Which are you?