Gospel Meals

Here’s an interview with Tim Chester, the author of a new, good-looking book on eating and the Gospel, A Meal with Jesus:

How do the meals of Jesus image the gospel?

Let’s take one example. Jesus ate with tax collectors. Tax collectors were collaborators with the Romans, the people who were occupying God’s promised land. This meant they were not only betraying the nation, but they were enemies of God. God sits and eats with his enemies. That’s what happening in the meals of Jesus. It’s an amazing expression of gospel grace.

You would not believe it if it were not in the Scriptures. The Pharisees certainly could not believe it. And that is without considering how the feeding of the 5,000 points to the messianic banquet of the future or how the last supper points to the cross.

Later, Chester explains how and why Christians ought to associate with the “outcasts” of our society:

How would you practically encourage readers to begin associating with the marginalized?

No doubt there are lots of ways to begin, but in the book I highlight the importance of eating with people.

There is a danger that if we only “do” things “for” people then we communicate by our actions “I am able and you are unable.” Then the message we convey is not the welcome of God, but the message “become like me.” We may talk of grace with our words, but our actions communicate the need for social or moral improvement. But when we sit and eat with one another then we are together round the table. Then we can speak of grace as fellow sinners.

I’ve been encouraged to eat with my neighbors, coworkers, and people I formerly only “ministered to.” May God give us the grace to go, take, and eat together.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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