“Hosting the Un-hostable” | Newsletter July21 – Ep83

“After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”” (John 13,21)

Isn’t it wonderful to go to the home of an outstanding host? We feel secure, valued and refreshed. We want to go back again.

This is also how we feel when hosted by Jesus. Fellowshipping at table with him was a life-changing experience. Just have a quick glance through one of the gospels. In what way does taking the Lord’s supper help us to remember that Jesus is our host? And what does that mean?

In the accounts of the Last Supper Jesus is acting as a host – a radical host. He not only prepares the event, but washes the feet of the disciples, leads the meal, prays, teaches, comforts the fearful and confused, speaks of the future and more.

Many of the actions of Jesus teach us about what it means to be a host. But perhaps one aspect of his hosting stands out above all others. And that’s connected with the person we might least expect to be there. He had a most surprising guest. I think you know who I mean. Judas, of course.

Why invite your betrayer? Surely at this final meal with your best friends, hosting Judas would sour of the atmosphere.

And yet, when we consider the ministry of Jesus, the inclusion of Judas is less surprising. All through his ministry years Jesus ate with the ‘wrong’ people. Women, Gentiles, sinners. Why stop now?

Perhaps his most famous saying connected to the last supper was, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22,19 NIV11) What does “do this” mean? Certainly there is something around the taking of bread and wine. But I wonder if he is also alluding to the inclusion of the unworthy. In his excellent book about the Lord’s supper, John Mark Hicks writes,

“Who sits at the table says something about the community as well as the host.” 

If Jesus welcomed Judas and hosted him, who are we to reject anyone from our table? Whether that table is in our home, or at our church gatherings. If Jesus can host a betrayer, then we can host someone with different values, background or views. We could even host people we don’t like!

What difference does it make to you knowing that Jesus hosts you alongside Judas, and that he loves you and the betrayer equally? How might that change the way you view other people this week?

Let’s review what has gone up on the site and my YouTube channel recently……

The Host and the Guest – the Lord’s Supper
“A New Thing” | Post-COVID church | Episode 1
“A New Thing” | Post-COVID church | Episode 2
“A New Thing” | Post-COVID church | Episode 3

The near future 

*A sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ this Sunday 25 July
*Recording the third class in the series “Unity to all things” – on the Lord’s Supper
*Preparations for the annual Wellington Country park service

*Continuing work on a lesson on Colossians 2 for the Tallinn conference in August

God bless, Malcolm