Our church is starting an interesting sermon series on eating with Jesus. Jesus shares many meals in the Bible. I am thinking today, that I might be missing an important ministry opportunity.
Here is what I am thinking about today, as I celebrate the Lord’s Day.
Who does Jesus eat with?
In Matthew 9:10-12, it describes Jesus asking Matthew to follow Him, and He goes to Matthew’s house to eat. Since Matthew was a tax collector, there were other tax collectors eating there too.
Jesus also ate at the home of a Pharisee, as described in Luke 11:37-41.
Jesus ate the Last Supper with His Apostles, described in Mark 14:16-26.
Jesus also ate with the Apostles after his resurrection, when they ate fish and bread on the shore. This is found in John 21:5-19.
Why does Jesus eat with other people?
Eating with people produces a bond of friendship. All those present are safe, protected by the host’s invitation. Sometimes Jesus taught, and sometimes He repaired friendships over a meal.
When eating with Matthew and the other tax collectors, Jesus was reaching out to a group that the Pharisees normally ignored, the tax collectors. Jesus wanted to save these lost sinners.
At the last supper, Jesus was teaching his Apostles about what would happen next, and preparing them for the future.
Eating with the Apostles on the shore after they were fishing, here Jesus is repairing His relationship with Peter who had denied Him three times. He is also encouraging His Apostles so they will be prepared for life without Jesus in the flesh.
Today we eat with Jesus at communion. It helps us form a bond with Jesus, and know that He loves us, for He has invited us to remember Him at communion. We remember that we are forgiven and saved by the power of Jesus and our faith.
How can I use a meal as a ministry?
Jesus shows us by example how to minister to others through having a meal together. The minister at our church challenged us to think about who we could invite to dinner to share about Jesus, or to form a bond of friendship with so we can later share about Jesus. Or maybe if we have a conflict with another Christian, we could use a meal invitation to repair our friendship.
I have not used a meal as a ministry in many years. In the past I would invite neighbors over for a cookout, or invite a church family over to share a home cooked meal with. I have thought about inviting a couple from church that I have not seen much lately, to meet at a restaurant. That is even easier, because there is no meal preparation, just good conversation.
I need to pray and ask God, “Who do I need to meet with over a meal?”. Maybe you need to ask God the same question. Do you relate to this?
Who do you need to meet with over a meal?
I have used BibleGateway for links to Bible verses.
I linked up with FFF at http://www.missionalwomen.com