The Son of Man has come eating and drinking… (Luke 7:34)
Have you ever stopped to think about how much time we spend eating and drinking? On average we all need to eat three meals a day, not to mention all of those snacks and trips to the coffee maker or water cooler. I think that God created within us the need to eat, to nourish ourselves, for a couple different reasons. One is to help us realize that we are dependent on Him. We are not self sustaining in and of ourselves. It is a daily reminder that there is a God and we are not Him. I have a really bad habit of skipping meals. When I get going on a project at home or at work I find it hard to interrupt whatever I am working on and take the time to eat. Inevitably this has consequences on my body in the form of headaches, dizziness, etc. These serve as friendly reminders that I am not and never will be a self sustaining God.
Another reason I think God created us with the need to stop and eat is for fellowship. Meals create space for relationships to deepen and for good conversation to happen. If you were to take some time to look at Jesus’ eating habits throughout the gospel of Luke you would see that He was a master at creating relational space through the act of sharing a meal with others. In fact Jesus spent so much time eating and drinking that His adversaries called him a “glutton and a drunkard” (Luke 7:34). Clearly Jesus was doing His fair share of eating and drinking, so much so that his enemies accused Him of doing it in excess.
Here are some of the places in Luke where Jesus is recorded having a meal with others.
- In Luke 5 Jesus has a meal in the home of Levi with tax collectors and sinners.
- In Luke 7 a woman washes Jesus feet with her tears and anoints Him with oil while He is eating a meal in the home of Simon the Pharisee.
- In Luke 9 Jesus feeds more then five thousand people with five loaves and two fish.
- In Luke 10 Jesus eats a meal in the home of Martha and Mary.
- In Luke 11 Jesus confronts the Pharisee’s while eating a meal in one of their homes.
- In Luke 14 Jesus is eating a meal in the home of one of the rulers of the Pharisees when he challenges them to invite the poor to their meals rather than their friends who can pay them back.
- In Luke 19 Jesus invites Himself over to the home of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, for a meal.
- In Luke 22 Jesus has a Passover meal, the last supper, with His disciples.
- In Luke 24 Jesus, after His resurrection, has a meal with two disciples in Emmaus. Also in chapter 24 he eats with His disciples in Jerusalem.
To say that sharing meals with others was a significant part of Jesus life and ministry would not be an overstatement. Do you have a habit of intentionally sharing meals with others? How can you make this a reality in your own life?