Have you ever noticed that eating in a corporate setting is a big thing with God? It’s all over scripture, and I don’t think it’s merely a coincidence.
When God met with Abraham…
Genesis 18:1-8 (HCSB)
Then the Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed to the ground. Then he said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please do not go on past your servant. Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant’s way. Later, you can continue on.”
“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures of fine flour and make bread.” Meanwhile, Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. Then Abraham took curds and milk, and the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served them as they ate under the tree.
When God met with Moses and the elders…
Exodus 24:1-11 (HCSB)
Then He said to Moses, “Go up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s elders, and bow in worship at a distance. Moses alone is to approach the Lord, but the others are not to approach, and the people are not to go up with him.”
Moses came and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. Then all the people responded with a single voice, “We will do everything that the Lord has commanded.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early the next morning and set up an altar and 12 pillars for the 12 tribes of Israel at the base of the mountain. Then he sent out young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses took half the blood and set it in basins; the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. He then took the covenant scroll and read it aloud to the people. They responded, “We will do and obey everything that the Lord has commanded.”
Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you concerning all these words.”
Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s elders, and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire stone, as clear as the sky itself. God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
Jesus serving breakfast to the disciples…
John 21:1-13 (HCSB)
After this, Jesus revealed Himself again to His disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, He revealed Himself in this way:
Simon Peter, Thomas (called “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of His disciples were together.
“I’m going fishing,” Simon Peter said to them.
“We’re coming with you,” they told him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
When daybreak came, Jesus stood on the shore. However, the disciples did not know it was Jesus.
“Men,” Jesus called to them, “you don’t have any fish, do you?”
“No,” they answered.
“Cast the net on the right side of the boat,” He told them, “and you’ll find some.” So they did, and they were unable to haul it in because of the large number of fish. Therefore the disciple, the one Jesus loved, said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around him (for he was stripped) and plunged into the sea. But since they were not far from land (about 100 yards, away), the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread.
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus told them. So Simon Peter got up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish — 153 of them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
“Come and have breakfast,” Jesus told them. None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish.
Jesus commanding the disciples to remember Him by having meals together…
Luke 22:14-20 (HCSB)
When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.
The interesting thing about what Luke describes, is that Jesus also foreshadows a future meal to come. John would later be given a picture of that great meal…
Revelation 19:6-9 (HCSB)
Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying:
Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty,
has begun to reign!
Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,
because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His wife has prepared herself.
She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.
For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.”
The Pinnacle Moment
“Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” The pinnacle moment in the Biblical timeline climaxes with yet another corporate meal. Jesus had said (as referenced above) that He “will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Just as we await the full coming of the Kingdom, Jesus also waits in anticipation with us. And… He looks forward to having yet another meal with us. Until then, we (Christians) are commanded by Him to have meals together. Especially, those which are in the context of remembering Him, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Luke describes how the infant church grew…
Acts 2:41-47 (HCSB)
So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers. Then fear came over everyone, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.
Our being encouraged to have meals together is an important means by which we will hold “all things in common.” A question worth pondering…
Maybe we should be eating together more?
Godspeed, to the brethren!