When we dig deep into the teachings of Jesus, we uncover something super interesting about his time on Earth: meals! Jesus was always eating or talking about food. Meals were vital to Jesus and his work. They showed how much he valued friendship, being kind to others, and helping people. Let's explore why sharing meals with others is a big deal and how it can be an excellent way to impact the people around us positively.
JESUS AND THE POWER OF SHARING A MEAL
In the Gospels, we see Jesus having meals with different people, like sinners, tax collectors, and his disciples. These gatherings are not random; they have a deep meaning and purpose. The religious leaders got mad at Jesus in Luke 15:2 because he ate with tax collectors and sinners. But Jesus told them in Luke 5:31-32, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, sick people do. I have come to call sinners to turn away from their sins, not those who think they are already good enough." Jesus wanted to show his love, acceptance, and desire to fix broken relationships by eating with those considered outcasts.
Jesus also used meals to teach important spiritual lessons. Almost 75% of his stories were about food, wine, or drink. For example, in the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-24), Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God as a big feast to which everyone was invited. He wanted to teach us about being inclusive, showing hospitality, and giving grace to others. These examples show us how powerful sharing meals with a purpose and meaning can be.
SERVING OTHERS THROUGH MEALS
How can we use what Jesus taught in our own lives? Step one is figuring out who we should have a meal with. It could be a neighbor, a classmate, or someone we see around often. It's essential to be mindful of the individuals God may desire us to treat kindly and establish friendships with. Romans 12:13 says we should share with people who need help and be welcoming. Inviting someone to eat with us shows that we care and can cause some incredible connections.
At times, assisting others becomes challenging due to our hectic schedules. Balancing heavy workloads, managing kids' sports activities, and juggling numerous other commitments can make it difficult to extend a helping hand. It's easy to put ourselves first and forget about helping others. But we have to remember that serving others is important too. Prioritizing our personal plans over helping people is akin to prioritizing our time over fulfilling God's will. Let's be proactive and eager to lend a hand to others, avoiding hesitation and embracing the opportunity to make a positive impact. We've got a message of hope and happiness to share, and it can all start with just having a meal together.
EMBRACING THE POWER OF MEALS
In the life of Jesus, meals were more than mere physical necessities; they embodied profound opportunities for fellowship, restoration, and teaching. Emulating his example, we, too, can harness the power of meals to serve and connect with those around us. Let's rearrange our busy schedules to prioritize meaningful connections that emerge through shared meals rather than letting our calendars constrain us.
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus reminds us that when we serve others through meals, we essentially serve Him. By extending hospitality, building relationships, and sharing Christ's love, we bring a powerful transformation to the lives of those around us. Let's purposefully discern who we can invite to share a meal with this week, opening our hearts, homes, and tables to bless others, just as Jesus did during his earthly ministry. It's a compelling way to impact lives and create a positive difference in our community. Always keep in mind, the people around you don’t need you to save them, they just need you to serve them.
For more encouragement, support, and tools to equip you, we encourage you to check out these additional resources:
- MESSAGE: To watch Liquid Church's entire message on "How To Serve People Around You” from Part Three of our Series, “Through You,” Click here.
- ARTICLE: What is your prayer life like right now? If you’re ready to experience God at work, praying safe won’t cut it. It’s time to pray bold, dangerous prayers! Ready to learn how? Click here.
- MESSAGE: Do you trust Jesus with the simple faith of a child? Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus elevated the status of children & believed they had unlimited spiritual capacity. Want to learn how to Develop a Childlike Faith? Click here.