Extra Plates for Messiah
Do you ever eat alone as a family? Do you ever find yourself eating alone?
I’d have to have a very good reason to plan on it, but I’m not afraid to. If I wanted to shut everybody out and just have people with my last name in the room, I would have to have a good reason to do that and it could happen. I’m not afraid to do that. But the thing is… “Who are my mothers, brothers, and sisters?” Who was Jesus talking about when He asked that? His mother, Mary! You know she was only a little older than Him. She was probably fifteen or so when she had Him. So she was a peer almost in terms of age. And He loved His mother. But He still made the point, “This isn’t about our biology, Mom.” This is about something bigger and more important.
So we set that plate for the Messiah every time whether it’s morning, noon, or night. And not just for meals. People just walk through the door any time of day; they don’t even have to ring or knock. They know that everybody’s house is everybody’s house. It’s just different bedrooms in the same house, the Father’s house.
We respect and honor people’s so-called “privacy” to the extent that I wouldn’t even walk in my son’s room without rapping on the door and making sure it’s okay. I’m not going to push myself in with, “We have all things in common so give me your car keys.” That’s bogus. That’s presumptuous, arrogant, and selfish. But at the same time no one counts any of their possessions as their own, so their hearts are open to offering the car keys before they are even asked.
We also make sure that everyone always feels welcome. No one should ever feel weird, if there is food in your house or mine, for stopping by at a mealtime and just sitting down and eating without some formal invitation being required. If it’s my food it is by definition their food too. They’re not presumptuous about it. But we have possessions without being possessed by them. So we assume that whatever God wants to do that’s fine. It’s not our stuff. We’re doulos. We’re slaves. How many things does a slave own? None. So I’ve positioned myself as a doulos, a bond slave. It’s a volunteer position. I decided to be a slave. Voluntary. So for that reason I volunteered to not have any possessions that I claim as my own.
Now I don’t appreciate presumption. Many years ago I had a young person who claimed to be a Christian come up and say, “Mike, give me your keys to the van. I need to pick up my dad at the airport and after all, we have all things in common. So give me the keys to the van.”
I said, “No! You’re presuming.” You don’t do that. It’s similar to the so-called “pastor” who says, “Touch not God’s anointed.”
We know that…
That’s disgusting! That isn’t the way it was meant. That was David when he said, “I will not touch God’s anointed.” That wasn’t Saul saying, “Touch not God’s anointed.” That’s got it backwards because we don’t make claims for ourselves. We give away Truth. We don’t demand Truth. It’s a very different heart and spirit.
So I’m very free to give away the car keys, but when someone demands it I know they have a spiritual problem, and I’m not going to feed their problem. I’m going to say, “No” and I have the right to.
Peter said to Ananias, “That was your land before you sold it. That was your money after you sold it. You could do with it as you please.” Even in an environment where they counted none of their possessions as their own, Peter made sure to say, “It was still your money. It was still your land. You didn’t have to give this. Lying is your sin here. You’re trying to act like you are somebody. You’re trying to presume or present yourself as being spiritual and for that hypocrisy you’ll be drug out by your feet.” But it was his land. It was his money. “He could do with it as he pleased,” saith the Lord.
It’s a volunteer slavery, which means we all bring according to our faith into the Life of God. We don’t take it. We bring it according to our faith and that’s a very different world.