Bible Society of South Africa

Everybody joins in eating together - 14 May 2024

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

42They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers.

The last thing that Jesus did with his intimate group of twelve, before the road led them to Gethsemane and later that day to Golgotha, was to share a meal with them. Jesus loved to be at the table with people. In the Gospels, we read of Zacchaeus the tax collector, at the house of a Pharisee, where a woman anointed Jesus’s feet, at the house of Martha and Mary, after the resurrection with the people at Emmaus and many times with the apostles.

At each of these meals, something interesting happened. However, this last supper with the twelve was really something very special. It was Passover, the festival to celebrate the end of their slavery in Egypt. Jesus and the twelve were not the only ones sitting at this special supper. All over Jerusalem and other cities, in small towns all over the country, families were together to mark the event of the exodus. None of the other gatherings were as important as the one taking place in that upper room in Jerusalem. It was important not only for the few gathered there, but for the church of the future.

Due to my work at Bible Society, I was very privileged to attend communion services at a variety of church denominations. At each of these occasions, I came under the impression of what Jesus really gave us at that last Passover meal. After the breaking of the bread, Jesus said, “This is my body which is given for you. This cup is God’s new covenant sealed with my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Read Luke 22:14-23)

That first group of believers realised that coming together for the “breaking of the bread” was very important. These shared meals were an opportunity to show their intimate bond with one another. Every meal was concluded with communion, as a memory of what Jesus had done for them. For us, it is still just as important to regularly share with other believers the taste of salvation, when we eat the bread and drink the wine.

Prayer: We thank you, Lord Jesus, that you gave us something tangible like bread and wine to remind us of what you have done for us. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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