In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus eats, a lot. He eats with sinners, tax collectors, disciples, women, foreigners, Pharisees, scribes, prostitutes, and crowds. He even tells stories about people eating together.
There is no way Luke unintentionally includes all of these meal scenes with all of these types of people and all of these lessons. Who Jesus eats with (and what he says to them while eating) is one of the most important details in all of the Gospel of Luke, and it is worth our time to study.
What I can say on the front end is meals matter. How we dine and who we dine with matter. The type of people Jesus dines with should scream out how radical and inclusive his love was. He ate with everyone . . . even those who thought of him as an enemy.
The shared space he creates around the table and the topics he discusses are incredible. He challenged the sacredness of the law and the notion of hell and our propensity for pride around the table. He talked in depth about sin and love and even demonstrated God’s love through holy communion around the table. By studying these table topics in Luke, we will draw closer to some of the deepest truths in all of life as well as learn how to practice them in our own lives.
This is a sermon series you will find yourself going back to time and time again as if it’s your favorite meal. There’s a lot to chew on in this series, and we’re going to dig in together.
September 1 | Luke 14:1-6 | Table Topics: Healing a Man with Dropsy
While eating dinner at the house of a Pharisee, Jesus noticed a man with dropsy (physical ailment). He turns to the Pharisees and says, “I can heal him, but it’s the Sabbath. Is it lawful for me to do it?” What happens next is something we all need to learn.
September 8 | Luke 14:1, 7-11 | Table Topics: Humility is the Best Precept
While Jesus was eating with Pharisees, he noticed something odd. The Pharisees immediately chose the seats of honor. Jesus takes this moment to teach them all about true humility. This lesson still applies today.
September 15 | Luke 14:15-24 | Table Topics: The Eternal No (Jesus’ thoughts on Hell)
Around the same dinner table as last week, Jesus kept teaching in parables. This time, he tells the parable of a great dinner feast. For one of the few times in scripture, Jesus discloses in this story of the possibility of not everyone making it to the great banquet. Some people choose not to go. This parable is the closest we get to understanding Jesus’ thoughts on Hell.
September 22 | Larry, Lacey, and Nate are Preaching Luke 15:11-32 | Table Topics: All I Have is Yours
The Parable of the Prodigal Son has enormous implications for our lives. Pastors Larry, Lacey, and Nate will each present this story from the angle of the father, oldest son, and youngest son. Together, all three characters experience something different around the table, and we need to hear from all three.
September 29 | Luke 15.1-10 | Table Topics: Sin is Part of the Deal
Jesus continues teaching to the tax collectors and sinners. He tells two incredible parables of sheep and coins getting lost and being found. Together these parables help us see that no matter how hard we try to avoid it, sin is part of the deal. We will lose our way. We must learn to see when we were (or are) lost, to admit we are sinners, and to repent so we can be found.
October 6 - World Communion | Luke 22.14-20 | Table Topics: This is My Body Given to You
On this World Communion Day, we will focus on perhaps the most important table scene in all the Bible: Communion. Jesus, in the Upper Room, breaks bread and pours wine to demonstrate his commitment and plan for humanity.
October 13 | Luke 22:24-30 | Table Topics: Those Who Serve Are Greater
Immediately following communion, the disciples argue about who among them is the greatest. Jesus squashes the conversation by answering their debate mater-of-factly. The greatest among us are those who choose to serve and not who expect to be served.
October 20 | Luke 5.27-32 | Table Topics: Those Who Are Well Need No Physician
Jesus calls a tax collector, Levi, to be among his disciples. To show his appreciation, Levi throws a banquet feast. The Pharisees get frustrated with Jesus’ willingness to associate with tax collectors and say as much. Jesus’ response is something the church still needs to hear today.
October 27 | Luke 7.36-50 | Table Topics: Those Whom Little is Forgiven, Loves Little
Jesus is at a Pharisees house. A sinful woman comes to wash his feet with her hair. Simon, the Pharisee, rebukes Jesus for letting a sinful woman touch him. Jesus tells a quick parable, challenges Simon, and surprises the room. This moment has something to teach us even today about the nature of forgiveness.