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The Gospel of Breaking Bread — Part III

In conclusion, let’s take a look at a few other scriptures. While I have by no means exhausted this subject by looking only at Luke’s Gospel, it’s exceedingly interesting how often Jesus and food are connected in Luke’s Gospel.

During Jesus’s 40-day temptation, He declined the devil’s enticement to “tell this stone to become bread” by responding, “Man shall not live on bread alone.” (4:1-4, NIV) One disagreement between Jesus and the Pharisees involved proper fasting. (5:33-39) Another involved Jesus’s hungry disciples picking grain for food on the Sabbath. (6:1-5) When Jesus appointed the 72 (70 according to some manuscripts) to lay groundwork for Him as He entered towns to preach, He instructed them to eat and drink whatever they were offered if they entered a house and received a hospitable response. (10:1-9) The Lord’s Prayer included: “Give us each day our daily bread.” (11:1-13) The parable of the Prodigal or Lost Son involved a celebratory feast when the son returned home. (15:11-32) The parable of the rich man and Lazarus found Lazarus barely subsisting on crumbs from the rich man’s table. (16:19-31)

Once again, Jesus used food to teach. He taught about justice, evangelism, and the kingdom of God. He used food to proclaim His counter-cultural message.

Other New Testament scripture speaks of food. For example, the sin of gluttony (Philippians 3:19); feeding the poor and hungry (James 2:15-16); avoiding anxiety about food (Matthew 5:25); and not arguing about food (Romans 14:1-4). Holy Scripture has a lot to say about eating and food. I have come to understand why the preacher’s favorite verse of scripture (mentioned in Part I) related to eating a meal — breaking bread together.

What is more important, of course, is spiritual food. Jesus said: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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