Tea with Jesus

Guest blogger Rachel is a student about to graduate, who had an interesting chat with a friend that is worth sharing and debating... what do you think about this?

“If Jesus was here today, he’d want a cup of tea with me; I don’t doubt that. Be more like Jesus dudes”.

This is what my gay non-Christian friend from uni, a pastor’s daughter, says about Jesus and gay people.  Amen to that.


Sometimes I think Jesus must be laughing in our faces in the context of the gay marriage debate.  I recently ‘sped-read’ the book of Luke to get a better overall picture of who Jesus is and what he was about when he was on earth, and I found myself absolutely baffled with this guy who hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors – the 0 AD scum of the earth.  After a thorough exploration of this book, the question “What Would Jesus Do?” - in any context - seems somewhat ludicrous.

The thing that sticks with me, however, is Jesus’ recurrent harshness towards religious people, because… that’s me.

Much as I try to convince myself otherwise, the default me is closer to the self-righteous religious people that Jesus consistently berated for their legalism than the people who knew that they were broken, but were real and honest in their relationships with him.  “A broken and contrite heart, O Lord, you will not despise”.

As a body of believers, we’ve been skirting around “the gay issue” for too long, and sadly I have many friends who simply can’t follow Jesus because they think that he is more like us than the guy who wants to have tea with them.  This breaks my heart.  My stance is, you can belong to our community before you believe.  As Mother Teresa tells people who ask about her community, “come and see”.  I hope it will be a place where you will experience acceptance and grace from us, irrespective of our varying theological views on the matter, and if you don’t, I sincerely apologise.

And maybe we can learn from you about who Jesus really is.

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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