In Luke 7, we read the powerful story of a woman anointing and washing Jesus’ feet with her hair, tears, and perfume. This scene is so moving that many of us gloss over a key detail: Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to his home for dinner, and Jesus went. Similarly, in Luke 14:1, Jesus went to the house of a prominent Pharisee.

Think about it. Jesus was invited to his religious opponents’ dinner parties. It was hardly going to be a fun, relaxing social time. The small talk would have been miserable. Yet Jesus went anyway. In other words, Jesus would go to their things.

Jesus also went to the dinner parties of those on the opposite end of the religious spectrum—the tax collectors and sinners (e.g., Luke 5:29; 19:5–6). In fact, he did this so much that he got criticized for it. People called him “a glutton and a drunkard” (Luke 7:34) because he was doing too much eating and drinking with unclean people.

What we can learn from Jesus is this: if a non-Christian invites us to one of their things—party, fundraiser, gig—we should make it a top priority to go. I often hear Christians lamenting that they have no non-Christian friends. One way to change this is to make a point of going to whatever meals, parties, or events they invite us to.

Chan, Sam, and Ed Stetzer. 2020. How to Talk about Jesus (without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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