The Table

My brother’s special gift to humanity is his ability to cook fish.


It’s always perfectly cooked and he gets the coating thin and crispy, with just the right crunch and not even the slightest hint of greasiness ever. This is not your boxed-fish-stick fish. 


Now, I have to admit that there are a lot of factors leading up to my obvious bias in regard to my brother’s fish. 


A. I get to go fishing with him to catch said fish.
B. He lives on an absolutely gorgeous lake.
C. He cooks onion rings along with the fish.
D. My sister-in-law provides absolutely delicious baked beans as the perfect side dish, along with excellent bread-n-butter pickles.
E. We eat all of the above together.


Of all those factors, that part of coming together around the table after a day out on the lake surrounded by God’s glorious beauty and the fellowship of brotherhood –of being family– is what ties it all together. There really is nothing quite like that Opening Weekend of Fishing Season meal.


And, as I ponder that in the light of what I see in my Bible, I see God calling His people to meals like that–and even more glorious meals–over and over.


In Leviticus 23, God tells His people to celebrate certain festivals. The Passover is commemorated with a meal. The Celebration of First Harvest and The Festival of Harvest bring offerings of food before the LORD, and The Festival of Trumpets and the Festival of Shelters (Feast of Tabernacles) involve a feast. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is dedicated to fasting and repentance, but a feast follows it.


There are prophecies of glorious meals to come in Isaiah 25:6, Zechariah 14:16, Isaiah 55:1, and more.


When we get to the New Testament, table fellowship is a key aspect of Jesus’ ministry. He ate with “notorious sinners” so often that the Pharisees accused Him of being a “glutton and a drunkard,” (Matt 11:18–19) which is a reference to Deuteronomy 21:20 indicating they thought He should be stoned to death for associating with people of low moral character. 


His first miracle is turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. (John 2:1-11)


Immediately after being called as a disciple, Levi (Matthew) hosts a huge banquet at his house. (Matthew 5:29)


Jesus went to eat at the home of Simon the Pharisee, (Luke 7:36-50) only to have a woman Simon considered so sinful Jesus would not allow her to touch Him if He knew who she was.


Jesus miraculously fed great multitudes of people. (Luke 9:10-17)


Jesus made it clear that the fellowship and conversation at the meal were more important than the preparations and the food being served. (Luke 10:38-42)


Jesus told a Pharisee that getting one’s heart right was more important than ritual or even washing your hands before the meal. (Luke 11:37-52)


Jesus taught that one should attend banquets with humility, not seeking places of honor in the seating arrangements. (Luke 14: 7-14)


And, of course, the most famous meal of His ministry was the Last Supper where he not only told His disciples there would be meals like this in heaven (Matthew 26:29) but that all of us should commune with Him and remember Him through bread and wine until He returns. (Luke 22:19)


Even after His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus continued to involve the table in His ministry. His followers who met Him on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Him until He sat down with them and broke bread with them. (Luke 24:31)


But the one event where Jesus shared a meal that is most sticking out in my mind right now did not involve a table at all, but a shore breakfast of fish over a charcoal fire next to the Sea of Galilee. It was there that Jesus restored a crushed and broken Peter who had lost all faith in himself. (John 21)


And what He told Peter was simple: 


Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” John 21:17c (NLT)


Kinship Radio feeds Jesus’ sheep every day, all day. Please continue to keep this ministry in prayer and consider financial support if the Holy Spirit leads you to do so. Thank you.


Today’s Praise

Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” Luke 14: 12-14 (NLT)

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