Every now and then I like to “veg.” in front of the T.V. in the evening. I get comfortable, maybe have a cup of tea in hand, a blanket to curl up under. I find a movie or program that’s decent and settle in. But then they start – the food commercials. Dairy Queen blizzards, MacDonald’s toasted sandwiches, Tim Horton’s donuts! Nothing but food commercials! To someone who knows that anything through the lips after six goes right to the hips, it’s pure torture.
And then there’s the Bible - have you ever noticed how many times the Bible records that Jesus ate? It’s like watching TV. There’s food everywhere!
I hate it on television, but I love it in the Bible. Television commercials about food frustrate me because they make me hungry for all the wrong things. The stories of how Jesus ate with the people in the Bible bless me because they make me hungry for Him. In Matthew 9:10, for instance, Jesus invites Matthew the tax collector to follow him, then he goes to his home and eats with him. Then in Luke 14 and 15 we see him at the house of a well-known Pharisee, eating again. In Mark 14:3 we even see him eating in the home of a leper. Many times Jesus stops at the home of Mary and Martha, for a meal. Then there’s the famous scene with Zacchaeus in Luke 19:7 where Jesus invites himself to dinner. And there are the wonderful miracles of bread - those times when he nourished physically those who had been feeding on His words.
And there is the most famous dinner of all, the Passover meal, which has become our Communion, that incredible time, when Jesus invited his disciples to not just eat with Him, but eat of Him, in the spiritual sense. This communion is mimicked after His resurrection, in a town called Emmaus, where two of His disciples did not recognize him until He broke the bread; and again, when he prepared breakfast for the disciples on the seashore. I love that scene - there he was, waiting for them, waiting to serve them, to give them what their bodies needed and their souls longed for after a hard night’s work – His companionship.
The word companion is derived from the Latin for with – com – and bread – panis. Over and over again, Jesus demonstrated that He is our companion, the one who will eat with us, who will share his life with us. He says – “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).
Next time the television makes you hungry for junk food, think about the One standing at the door, ready to truly satisfy your hunger.
Marcia Laycock won The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her devotionals have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and on the web. Visit her website - www.vinemarc.com