The room that has the most fun and chatter when my family gets together is the kitchen.
We share recipes, bake Grandma's sour cream sugar cookies, enjoy a large family meal. Even last night at Advent by Candlelight each table had their own unique dessert.
Preparing a meal for more than yourself is an act of love and service.
Remember how I spoke last week that Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us? He is also preparing a way to bring us to himself - and that's with food.
When Jesus heard that John the Baptist was beheaded he was deeply sad and looked for a place to go on his own. But instead a large multitude followed him. What did Jesus do? Ignore them? Tell them to go away? No. God's word says that Jesus had compassion on them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, healed them, gave thanks to God for the little food they had - 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Then he fed them. He fed them all. At least 5,000 of them. This miracle is hospitality at its finest and Jesus did not hold back. What brought these people together? More than food. It was Jesus. The Bread of Life.
Near the end of Jesus' life, he celebrated the Passover with the disciples in Jerusalem. And would you believe it, even when he knew he was about to die he was serving. He washed the disciples feet and ate his final meal with them. Imagine the disciples preparing the lamb as THE perfect Lamb of God was preparing to die as well. The Lamb of God saves us just as the lambs saved the Israelites in Egypt. What bought the Israelites freedom? What brought the disciples together? What makes us right again? Jesus' body. Jesus' blood.
The bread. The wine. Given for you. Given for me.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom." - Matthew 26:26-28
God still prepares food for us to enjoy now. Spiritual food and drink bring us closer to Jesus.
The food God prepares for us doesn't fade away, melt, rot, or disintegrate.
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. - John 6:35
Through Christ we are invited to a feast - a FEAST! Imagine seeing all the believers in Jesus around the table together. In heaven the food will never run out and it will be perfect.
Until then, Jesus gives our faith the nourishment it needs.
We have full access to the Bread of Life in His Word.
In baptism the Living Water washes our sins away making us new. (Acts 16:31-33)
During communion we eat the bread, Jesus' body and drink the wine, his blood. We are one with Christ and through faith in Him he joins us with others who believe. God's food brings believers together.
God is preparing the greatest banquet for us in heaven! (John 14:1-4) There we will be with him forever!
In the parable of the Great Banquet there is an important warning to us believers about keeping God as top priority over everything else. During this busy time of Advent I pray that we put nothing equal to our LORD. Jesus gets the praise. Jesus gets the honor. Jesus gets our attention.
Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. - Luke 14:15b
Click here to print off the bible study that goes along with this blog post!
1. Read Luke 14:15-24! When do I make excuses to Jesus and say, "Please excuse me" like the invited guests during the Advent season? Remember, just like our Advent plans, there are good things that can distract and lead us away from Jesus.
2. Read John 6:25-40! This bible reading comes after the famous stories of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and when he walks on water to the disciples' boat. Why did Jesus not give them a sign to see in order to believe in him? What were the motives of the crowd?
3. Discuss! What are some specific ways that you can serve those that are in need around you? Pray for them. Write their names down and share food to fill their bellies and souls!
4. Read John 6:41-59! Why was it a struggle for the crowd to believe Jesus' words? How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
5. Read John 4:31-38! How can we share in Jesus' food? Where do we find comfort in these passages?
6. Read Matthew 26:26-29! What do we have to look forward to in our Father's kingdom?
*If you use the bible study in a group or share it with another please give source credit to me and the blog. Thank you!
During the rest of the week you can find me at our private online bible study Facebook group where we dive deeper into God’s word and talk about it. If you want to be a part of the bible study I highly recommend being a part of the Facebook group where we get to know you more and be mutually encouraged! The Facebook group is private so any information that you share will be seen only by those allowed in the group.
You can join the Facebook online bible study group by clicking here.