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Communion Meditations: Eating With Jesus

Communion Meditation…

June 5, 2011

The Feast in the Kingdom of God

When one of those who reclined at table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” – Luke 14:15

Jesus had just spoken of inviting those who could not repay you – “the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” – when you give a feast. “For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

What would it have been to be able to be with Jesus and to recline at table with Him? What would our table-fellowship with Him be like?

Luke has many stories of Jesus eating with various ones while He was on earth. Each of these stories has significance for how we come to the Lord’s Table for our Supper with Him.

In Luke 14 Jesus is the Sabbath guest of a ruler of the Pharisees for a meal. At the meal He said:

When you are invited by someone…do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, “Give your place to this person,” and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. (vv. 8-9)

He also told the parable of the great banquet where those invited made excuses not to be present. The host then sent His servants to “bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.” When there was still room, he sent the servants “out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that My house may be filled.”

These parables say much about the Kingdom of God and how we are to eat within it as the guests of our King.

We are to come with humility, not seeking to be above any other guest. Then the Lord Himself will exalt us!

We are to come eagerly, not making excuses to avoid the banquet to which He invites us.

Should we apply these lessons to how we eat the Lord’s Supper?


Communion Meditation…

June 12, 2011

Levi’s Party for Jesus

And Levi made Him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” – Luke 5:29-30

If you eat with Jesus, you will eat with sinners. That is where He went, and that is who flocked to Him.

Instead of worrying that some “unworthy” person may eat with us (and contaminate us?), we should be thankful that Jesus eats with sinners. Otherwise, we would not be able to eat with Him.

The Pharisees were much like many of us. We begin our journey with Jesus, but then we look at others who are coming to Him. It is easy for us to look down at them with disdain and think that they should not be in the company with Jesus.

We try to elevate ourselves by lowering others.

God reverses that. He exalts those who humble themselves.

Jesus humbled Himself – actually emptied Himself of all His heavenly glory! He became a servant and obeyed in all things – even to the point of dying on a cross.

He set the example for us. We also are to humble ourselves and carry the cross to our crucifixion of self. That is the real meaning of this Supper of Jesus.

When we come to His Table, let’s lay aside the ways of the Pharisees who grumbled about who was at the table.

Let’s honor all who come to the Table as fellow-servants. In that way, we honor Him who is our Host!

Otherwise, we will fall into the Corinthian heresy where some despised “the church of God and humiliate[d] those who have nothing” (1 Corinthians 11:22).

Paul rebuked them soundly and charged them to eat and drink “discerning the body” (v. 29). In context, “the body” is the church. Don’t look down on fellow Christians and expect God to bless you.


Communion Meditation…

June 19, 2011

The Merciful Father

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. – Luke 15:20

Today is Father’s Day. It is a good day for us to think about Our Father, Which Art in Heaven.

Jesus told of God’s loving kindness to those who waste the inheritance they receive from Him in the story we call The Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:10-32.

This boy insulted his father and let him know he wished the father were dead. Why else would he demand his inheritance?

What his father gave him, he squandered with harlots and reckless living. When his money ran out, the only job he could find was feeding pigs – the most ignoble job a Jewish boy could have! Even that did not keep him from being so hungry he would have gladly eaten hog food.

Finally, he remembered that in his Father’s House even the hired servants had more than enough to eat. So, he decided to eat some humble pie (a very nutritious, but bitter food). He returned home to beg, not to be the son, but to be a hired laborer.

But when the Father saw him coming, He ran to meet him, called for the best robe, a ring for his hand, and shoes for his feet – and ordered servants to prepare the fat calf for a feast.

Who is this young man? We all are. We have all gone astray. We have all wasted the good gifts of our Father. We have all ended up in the pig-pens of this sinful world.

But God never gave up on us. He loved us, even in our sinfulness. No matter how depraved or indifferent we became to Him, He still cared for us. When we became His enemies, He gave Jesus to die for us.

Where is Jesus in this story? How about as the calf that was slaughtered for the feast, whose body we eat at this Table? He also stands in contrast to the older brother. In the story, the older brother refused to join the celebration. In contrast, Jesus left the Father’s house to go to the far country to rescue the prodigal and bring him home.

The Lord’s Supper is the present form of the celebration of our rescue from the far country of sin. The final form of it will be the marriage feast of the Lamb in Revelation 19:9.


Communion Meditation…

June 26, 2011

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

One of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him, and He went into the Pharisee’s house and took His place at the table. – Luke 7:36

When you invite Jesus to dinner, expect something to happen!

When this Pharisee, named Simon, invited Jesus, a street-woman came also just because she heard he was there.

She not only came, she made a spectacle of herself by the things she did to Him. She cried over Him. She poured ointment on His feet. She washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.

Simon was scandalized. He was certain now that Jesus was no prophet! Had He been a prophet, surely He would not put up with such conduct by such a woman!

But there is the danger of pre-suppositions. They have a nasty way of being as wrong as Simon was about Jesus.

You see, Jesus was not particular about who touched Him – or whom He touched. A bleeding woman touched His clothing – and was healed. Jesus touched a leper who begged for cleansing – and the leper was clean. Jesus touched blind men who received sight – and He touched the bier of a widow’s dead son and raised him from the dead!

The touch of this woman did not bother Jesus.

What bothered Him was Simon’s Pharisee heart. So, He asked him a question about love – and forgiveness.

A man had two debtors; one owed him 50 denari and the other 500 denari. He forgave both debts. Now, who will love him more?

Simon gave the obvious answer; then Jesus surprised him by applying this to Simon and the sinful woman. Jesus said that her sins, which were many, were forgiven because she loved much. Simon evidently loved little – and was forgiven little.

Which of these are we like as we come to this Table? Simon – or the sinful woman who loved much?


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