Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meditations on the Lord's Supper (Luke 9:10-17)

In this wonderful event from the ministry of Jesus we read of Him feeding a multitude of people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. Before we consider specifically this beautiful story let's think about some old testament idea's first. Think of the Hebrew feast celebrations, the old testament is filled with them. When covenants were made a meal took place, even at mt. Sinai, Moses along with Aaron and two of his sons and seventy of Israel's elders went up and "saw God", under his feet was "something like a pavement made of sapphire clear as the sky itself", then in this interesting encounter God did not "raise his hand against them", instead they "saw God, and they ate and drank". They ate and drank in God's presence. At many other covenant agreements people shared a meal together. When covenants were "renewed" they shared meals. When Solomon's temple was built there was table fellowship, at so many other places we could consider, the "table" was a central piece. The sacrificial offerings of the old testament worshipers is another to briefly consider, the "fellowship offering", also translated the "peace" or "well being" offering, was one where the idea behind it was one of covenant fellowship and some of the animal was offered to God at the altar and the rest was to be eaten by the people, enjoying table fellowship with God.
  This concept of "table fellowship" weaves right into the ministry of Jesus, read the gospels and you see that Jesus was often with people at a table. Even his first miracle was at a "wedding feast" (John 2). His table was about forgiveness, reconciliation, inclusion, joy, they are a foretaste of the banquet that will happen when He comes again. In Luke 9 where Jesus feeds the multitude, read also the parallel accounts in (Matthew 14, Mark 6, and John 6), Jesus is host of the feast.
  We read that the people "follow him", he has "compassion on them", they are like "sheep with no shepherd". But Jesus "welcomes them", speaks to them about "God's kingdom" about how Yahweh is king and what this "kingdom" looks like when lived in their lives. Then the "Messiah" takes the small amount of food for so many, "gives thanks" for it and "breaks it" then distributes it to the people feeding them abundantly.
  Jesus still has a "table", it is in his kingdom, he welcomes us to it, he is the host of it, that feast is the "Lord's Supper", we commune with each other and with him at that table. I hope you enjoy that sacred time today in worship to him.


  1. Very thoughtful, thank you Brian. You make me want to 'dig deeper.'

    1. Thank you Denise, Rogers's series of lessons on the sacrificial system are still fresh in my mind today, and have gone a long way in helping me to grasp the similarities in the old and new covenants.