“Few acts are more expressive of companionship than the shared meal… Someone with whom we share food is likely to be our friend, or well on the way to becoming one.” - Carolyn Steel, Hungry City: How Food Shapes our Lives
Jesus came…to what? How would you complete that sentence? Many would say that Jesus came to preach the Word, to establish the Kingdom of God, to die on the cross. When you read the Gospels, you find there are three ways they answer that question.
- “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”
- “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.”
The first two are statements of purpose. Why did Jesus come?
To serve, to give His life, to seek and save the lost.
The third is a statement of method. How did Jesus come?
He came eating and drinking.
Jesus spent his time eating and drinking - a lot of his time. He was a party animal. His mission strategy was a long meal, stretching into the evening. He did evangelism and discipleship around a table with some grilled fish, a loaf of bread, and a pitcher of wine. In Jesus’ ministry, meals were never just about the food. For Jesus, meals meant something. And the same is true today. For Jesus, a shared meal is the means by which He can Offer Grace, Create Community, & Send Us Out.