Honoring Christ In The Meal


Meals as a Model for Ministry

Theologians have noted in Luke’s Gospel that there is not a moment where Jesus is not going to, at a, or coming from a meal. The sinners who knew Jesus, met Him as a “friend of sinners” at meals, and Jesus’ enemies were always at odds over the fact that He kept eating with sinners. The famous historian and doctor Luke keeps alive the rhythm of meals and their symbol as blessing or curse. Jesus used meals as a visual display to demonstrate His desire to invite all men, women, and children to His table. However, through each individual’s acceptance or rejection of the eating-fellowship-invitation, we also see a remaining sign in the meal that there were those who were inside and those who chose to remain on the outside of God’s kingdom.

The following diagram shows a bit of Luke’s outline and demonstrates that Jesus’ method of church planting, kingdom building, and his model for sovereign ministry, replication, maturing, and edification not only remains consistent with Genesis’ beginnings but only grows deeper in meaning in Jesus’ work:


5:27–39         Banquet at       Tax Collectors          Evangelism             "Jesus came to call

                       Levi's House     Sinners                                                          sinners."

7:36–50        Dinner at           Pharisees, Guests   Reconciliation        "Your sins are

                      Simon's the       & the Sinful Woman                                 forgiven."


9:10–17          Break bread      5000 Males             Mission/Service      "You give them

                       at Bethsaida                                                                            something to eat."

10:38–42      Hospitality at    Disciples                 Discipleship            "Mary chose what is

                      Martha's                                                                                     better."

11:37–54       Noon meal         Pharisees/Friends  All Invited               "Clean the inside

                                                                                                                          not the outside."

14:1–24         Sabbath at    Pharisees & Friends    All Invited               "When you give a                                                             

                     a Pharisees                                                                              banquet, invite the                                                                                                                        

                     House                                                                                       poor, crippled, lame                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                         and blind."

19:1–10          Zacchaeus     Tax Collectors             Salvation for All      "Son of Man came to

                                                                                                                          seek and save the


 24:36–53     Lord's Supper Disciples                      Missional                 "You are witnesses."