Did you ever notice how many times it is recorded in the four Gospels that Jesus ate a meal? He fed and ate with the 4,000 (Mark 8:1-9) and the 5,000. (Luke 9:10-17) He ate a meal with Matthew in his house. (Matthew 9:9-19) He called Zacchaeus down from a tree to share a meal in his place of residence. (Luke 19:1-10) He ate at Mary and Martha’s place. (Luke 10:38-42) Of course, we all know about the Last Supper. (Matthew 26:26-29)
I think Jesus was setting a good example here. Fellowship and hospitality were on continual display. Some people, the religious of the day, did not always think these meals were a good thing. However, Jesus fellow-shipped with those who would have Him and lives were changed. People were impacted through His ministry over a meal.
I think one of the most powerful meals Jesus shared, was when He cooked breakfast for the disciples, encouraged them to eat, and then later spoke to Peter. (John 21)
After Jesus was taken back up into Heaven, we see the church growing and in Acts 2:40-47 there is specific mention of how the early church broke bread from house to house. People were happy, sold items to share with those who were needy and people were getting saved!
What is it about a meal?
A meal helps people to relax. They feel comfortable and will open up more. When people open up, they will share their heart and if we are effective listeners, we can hear how God would have us respond. Maybe it’s to provide for the need. It might be just to walk with them during a time of crisis. We or they just may need some encouragement. Whatever the issue, a meal can break down walls.
I think a meal together can also draw us closer to the Father. Look how many teaching moments came when Jesus was eating with someone. The Bible says where two or more are gathered, He is in the midst. (Matthew 18:20) What better way to gather than over a meal?
When a church family eats together, God can take them deeper than they have ever been before. Lives can be touched and people can be impacted for eternity.
So fire up the BBQ, grab a few friends and LIVE!