Monday, June 25, 2012

Food and Jesus ... do they go together?

So I’ve been thinking about food.  I love to eat …  and I’m always starved.  I have a friend that says all I think about is eating!  There is something about food that just satisfies the body, soul and mind.
    When you are hungry, there’s nothing like a good meal.

                 When you are discouraged, there’s chocolate                             cake to comfort the soul.

                         And Fuel Your Body with Eggs for Breakfast To Improve Memory Recall & Energy!                                                   

The other night Ken, Theresa and I watched a movie called, “The Encounter.”   Pretty simple plot but unbelievable, yet I can’t stop thinking about it.   Here is the summary;

“When five strangers with nothing in common come together at a remote roadside eatery, they place their orders with the diner's omniscient owner, who seems to know everything about them ... and is eerily reminiscent of Jesus Christ.”

Sounds really interesting huh?  I thought so too, that is why we rented it … but when they are arrived at the diner, there was no mystery to whom owned the diner.  His name tag read, “Jesus” … That was disappointing, so obvious, but we watched it any way and the power in God’s Word did not disappoint us.  During the scenes in the diner, Jesus prepared each of the five their favorite meal and then placed it in front of them while telling them all about themselves.  All ate but one guy.  In fact after he walked away Jesus gave his meal to the runaway.  (there’s a message in that action too but I’m leaving it to your own thoughts)
When the movie was over we all talked about the actors and who were the better ones.  Of course the one that played satan was the best, I think because it is so easy for us to be evil since it is our nature. 
Then we went to bed ….  I had the usual thoughts like, Jesus is the bread of life and so on but … something kept eating at me … Pardon the pun!

So today Ken and I read daily bread … here’s the story ….

“James was diagnosed with heart problems, and his wife, Becky, was no longer able to care for him or herself very well. They started looking for an assisted living home. One of Becky’s first questions as she visited each home was, “Do you puree your food?” She was concerned that James have the kind of food he needed for his swallowing difficulty. Several places answered “no,” so she kept searching. Finally she heard “yes” at a Christian assisted living home.
Even though they weren’t believers in Jesus and had often argued with a Christian neighbor about Him, James and Becky chose the Christian home because of the pureed food. They began attending chapel services, heard the gospel, and felt well cared for by the workers there. One day James surrendered his life to Christ. He believes that God was pursuing him (John 6:44), and He used pureed food to bring them to the Christian home where he received the care of God’s people and heard of Christ’s forgiveness.”

Now I was really thinking … how many times did Jesus use food or prepare food for his followers?  How often do we read about him reclining at the table sharing a meal with friends or even antagonizers?  Well, many times ... first look at the word ... eat, phago in the Greek, is used 90 times in the New Testament.  It means to eat, to take food, eat a meal.  Another word is Aristao which means to dine.  This is used only three times in the New Testament, only with Jesus and twice after the resurrection, on the beach when he prepared the breakfast for some of the disciples.  These are just two of the words that I found it the short time it took me to write this. I’m sure I could find more incidents in the Bible that would support eating and the gospel.  One more story for you, a personal one ...

One year during a holiday dinner at my church, we were seated with all the young pastors.  I marveled as I felt important and loved.  For once in my life, I thought I was finally fitting in with the crowd.  I noticed that the only couple missing was the young senior pastor and his wife.  They were no where to be found.  I asked the associate pastor’s wife where they were, knowing they were good friends.  She responded with, “I don’t know.”   Then her husband stood up to say the grace and the first course of the meal began being served.  I noticed my server and much to my surprise it was our senior pastor.   I was humbled by his service and have never forgotten that blessed evening.  I felt special and     loved.  When I asked him, why he wasn’t sitting, he responded with, “well, it was my turn to serve.”  Times and people change but that was a lesson I will never forget. I pray for that pastor often and know that God continues to use him. I’m not sure if he will ever know how God used him in my life that night. I knew from that point on, that to be a great leader you must serve greatly. 

Jesus fed the multitudes, he prepared meals for his disciples, even on his last night on this earth he was breaking bread and serving his followers.  What does this all mean?   And why do you think Jesus used food to serve others?  He even called himself the bread of life and in saying that, claimed that all who eat from his table will not hunger. 

Food makes us feel at home, loved, and fulfilled.  It is almost as necessary as oxygen, without oxygen we die in a matter of minutes, first passing out, only suffering a few minutes but without food we can live for days but miserably.

If you allow Jesus, he will enable you to feel at home, loved, and satisfied.  You can live you life at peace and not in a miserable state. 

I don’t always lean on Jesus for my satisfaction, I’m human and life is a struggle. It is just life in this fallen world, if I don’t eat everyday I would die a horrible death.  And so it is with Jesus I must eat of his bread everyday so that I do not allow this world to lore me away to empty satisfaction then live miserably. 

Humm ...I can the hear the Rolling Stones ... without the bread of life, “I can’t  get no satisfaction.”