God is a Foodie
After the resurrection, the risen Christ appeared to various groups of people for a period of 40 days before His ascension. There’s a consistent element in all of those accounts that I think is worth marinating on. There’s food involved. God is a foodie.
You have to look for a while before you find a person who rejects the historical Jesus, but you don’t have to look very far to find someone who is skeptical about the divinity of Jesus. Even liberal bible teachers today will dismiss the resurrection accounts as legends written to convey “higher truths.” The problem is, when you examine the texts that record this risen Christ, you find things like, “you boys got any fish?” What exactly is the higher truth in that?
Having a fish fry on the beach is hardly grandiose and legendary and it also doesn’t fit the genre of ancient poetry … but it does fit the genre of eyewitnesses record history. Scholars like Richard Bauckham suggest that small details (like having 153 fish present at Jesus fish fry in John 21) are tell tale signs that scribes are recording the things they saw, because historical literary criticism teaches us that those kinds of little details do nothing to move the plot forward – they’re there simply because the eyewitnesses remember them. (1)
The reality is, feasting with Jesus is actually a massive New Testament theme.
Think about it. When you are getting together with friends or family – anyone that you love to be around – what do you do? You get food. You go out for food. You talk about food while you’re eating food.
The God of the bible is a foodie.
The bible starts out in Genesis with a wedding in a garden and ends in Revelation with a wedding in a garden city. Everything in between is God, the most gracious wedding planner in the cosmos, working through human history toward HIs gracious end: a massive feast with Him as He restores all things and raises those united to Christ by grace and through faith to enjoy it forever. Everything started in perfection, sin brought damnation and in the end, but in the end God will accomplish restoration.
Maybe you’re thoughtfully considering Christian faith, but you feel as though there is a chasm between faith and reason. Let me encourage you, the Christian faith is a reasonable faith. Faith is a gift of God, yes – but at the same time, you aren’t asked to check your brains at the door in order to believe it. Recently I taught a series at Redeemer entitled “Risen” where we explore (1) why it’s reasonable to believe in the resurrection and (2) why it’s liberating to live in light of it. Perhaps that audio series would be helpful for you in your journey as you explore faith.
When we want to celebrate, there’s always food involved. It’s not coincidence that the sign Jesus gave the church to remember His grace is a table. Bread and wine. Why?
In the Garden, our first parents rejected God in favour of being their own god by taking and eating. At the Lord’s table, Jesus breaks the bread and invites His disciples into the same actions: taking and eating. Jesus even took the very actions that led to damnation and redeemed them, turning them into actions that remind us of our redemption.
Feasting with Jesus is a massive theme. Every Sunday, Jesus invites His friends to gather, eat, drink and celebrate.
Our God is a foodie.
(1) Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Eerdmans Publishing, 2017