A similar event is related in all four gospels. In the other three, it is said to have occurred in Bethany and, in Matthew and Mark, it is said to have occurred at the home of Simon the leper. It is frequently presumed that this was the same event, but Scripture does not tell us that. It is sufficient to understand that it happened in the house of a Pharisee.
There were Pharisees who accepted Christ as the Messiah but, for the most part, they vigorously opposed Him. We know (v. 39) that this particularly Pharisee was one who did not even accept Him as a prophet. Why did this Pharisee invite Jesus to his home for a meal? Perhaps he was interested in learning more. Perhaps he simply thought Jesus would be an entertaining guest who would stimulate a lively and thought-provoking discussion around the dinner table.
We don't know the reason Jesus accepted the invitation, but it certainly provided a contrast to the Pharisees' accusations that He ate with tax collectors and sinners. It was certainly true, but this passage shows that He also ate with Pharisees. Scripture gives many examples of Jesus accepting invitations to homes for meals, but we do not see Him refusing anyone. When someone invited Him into their home, He went. Rich or poor, believer or unbeliever, Jesus made no distinction. He was always ready for an opportunity to share the gospel.
Are we as ready to share Christ with anyone who is willing to hear? Are we a friend to those who are different from us, or do we spend time only with "church people" or those whose skin color, financial resources, and lifestyle preferences are the same as ours? If we want to be like Jesus, we must also be willing to spend time with those with whom Christ spent time.
Since Christ spent time with everyone, that should be our guiding rule. No one excluded. All welcomed.
Pray today that we would be welcoming and open to all those God brings our way. Pray, too, that they and our loved ones would feel warmly received, despite their questions, their uncertainty, and their doubts.
Link to last night's post is here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-missing-nigerian-girls.html