Here is a quote that I like from my favorite of the several textbooks we use in my Jesus in History class:
Willi Marksen liked to remind us that not everyone who heard Jesus and experienced him first hand had the same reaction. Some said, "This guy is a nut!" Others said, "This is good teaching. Admirable. Interesting." But others said, "In this person's words and deeds I have experience God's very own presence in my life." Some people gathered around Jesus' open table and said, "Whoa! I'm never going to do that again. Eating with the unclean- that's just not what God-fearing people do." Others said, "Now that was interesting. Perhaps I'll try it again sometime." But others said, "Around that table I experienced something I would claim as nothing less than the very love and acceptance of God. It is God who calls us to such tables. The words I heard from Jesus were the Word of God." Is this good teaching, or does this activity unveil the fundamental principle of the universe? At such tables do we discover the very ground of all being?
Stephen J. Patterson, The God of Jesus: The Historical Jesus & the Search for Meaning