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Invitations By Jesus

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This book I’m reading Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered (Wilhoit) has been too evangelical for me, but there were some interesting things in it. The author is trying to summarize teachings of Jesus, but he calls them invitations, which I like. It is quite a list, and most of them do NOT have Biblical references in the text, which I find annoying, but I’m wondering if any of these resonate with you or disturb you guys….At one point, I went through the New Testament, writing down all the teachings I could find from Jesus, in order to be able have a comprehensive list. Do you think this list is exhaustive? Wrong? Other?



In addition to Jesus inviting us to Love God and Love One Another, (I added numbers, so they’d be easy to reference)….


1. Jesus invites us to depend more and more on God and His grace.

2. Jesus invites us to the joy and freedom of practicing spiritual disciplines.

3. Jesus invites us to practice discernment.

4. Jesus invites us to pray for and bless others.

5. Jesus invites us to worship God and celebrate the sacraments.

6. Jesus invites us to use our bodies in prayer and worship.

7. Jesus invites us to use our money wisely.

8. Jesus invites us to repentance and to draw close to God and Jesus.

9. Jesus invites us to tell people the good news and make disciples.

10. Jesus invites us to create a space for God through solitude.

11. Jesus invites us to study and meditate on scripture.

12. Jesus invites us to a life of learning.

13. Jesus invites us to believe He is who He claims to be.

14. Jesus invites us to keep relational commitments.

15. Jesus invites us to a life of compassion for the poor and marginalized and to the elimination of prejudice.

16. Jesus invites us to weep.

17. Jesus invites us to a life of integrity.

18. Jesus invites us to use our money wisely.

19. Jesus invites us to handle conflicts well and forgive one another.

20. Jesus invites us to practice detachment.

21. Jesus invites us to extend hospitality.

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Hi Janet,


I'm not much of one for lists, and I'm not sure whether these "invitations" are in the Bible or not matters to me. But in this list of "invitations," 14, 15, 19, and 21 are pretty important to me; 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 20 I can use; 5 and 8 I accept with some reservations, and the rest aren't that important to me. Don't know what that means, really, but just had to get my reaction off my chest.



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Interesting format-- I’d agree that 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 13, 15, 19 and 21 can be inferred from Jesus’ sayings, though few are direct invitations as such. If we look at specific examples in the gospels, it seems he tailors each one to the listener or audience. Maybe the most obvious example is asking the twelve to be his friends and students…calling the fishermen to catch people instead of fish.

The sermon on the mount invites us to be blessed, to feel compassion for ourselves and others, to let our light shine.

He invited us to consider the lilies, to let go of worry. “Ask and it will be given, knock and the door will open” especially when asking God for the holy spirit.

Jesus invited the little children to come to him.

He invited the Samaritan woman at the well to ask for living water.

He invited his hungry disciples to pick grain on Sabbath.

He invited the crowd of 5,000 to stay and be filled by the loaves and fish.

He invited the weary and burdened to come to him and receive “rest unto your soul.”

He invited Peter to walk on water with him.

He invited the twelve to remember him in the communion of the last supper.

He invited the disciples to take up our cross and follow him.

He invited us to believe he has prepared places for us in heaven.


Maybe the author wanted to highlight the idea that Jesus must have had a warm and welcoming personality to attract so many followers.



btw - Grampa, thanks for the list of women authors on the Inspiration thread - I plan to check them out at the library.

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Thanks for discussing this! I thought the list format made it difficult, but I agree that the word "invites" seemed to me to be a stylistic device by the author to make Jesus not look demanding and to stress that we have a choice about whether to follow Jesus' teachings or not. Personally, I like the idea that Jesus teaches me things.


Thanks, rivanna, for taking the time to make a list of Jesus' actual invites. AND I agree that the author left out some that I would have included -- especially loving our ENEMIES, giving, and not worrying. But I'm just glad to see how others come at this idea. Of course, which of Jesus' messages resonate with a person most probably has more to do with the sum of that person's experiences than anything else.


Don, Thanks for taking time to highlight which ones rang "true" to you, and where you had reservations...14,15,17,19, and 21 are at the core for me. Actually I share your assessments of most of the others, too, as I look at it. I think both 1 and 20 are linked to not worrying. Not because God will magically provide stuff, but that God will be with me even when the worst happens. Likewise, 18 seems linked to helping God's kingdom come and taking care of others rather than selfishly focusing on myself.


8 has been very important to me at "screw up" times in my life. It is good to know that even if humans will never forgive your mistakes, God will.


Once again, I appreciate your insight, both of you!


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