Jesus and Food: Doorway to a Meal

Jesus and Food: Doorway to a Meal

Jesus and Food – Doorway to a Meal. 

BEHOLD! There are some individual words and short phrases in Scripture that need to be highlighted as they are read, words or phrases that are significant or point to something meaningful. Some phrases might be: Fear not. Here I am. Woe to you. One another.   And maybe some words are: AmenHallelujahBlessedAbba. Come.  The word Behold! is one of those significant words, an exclamation that is intended to get our attention. Listen, people, this is something you need to hear! Behold says to the audience, Look at this and take note! You would be wise to remember these words and think about them! Careful now, don’t be deaf to what I am about to say! Stop what you’re doing and listen up! As the Eastern Orthodox Christians say before they read the Gospel in the Liturgy… Attend! The following verse begins with Behold! So the words that follow must be important.

Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to share a meal at that person’s side. If you open the door within your heart, I will come in to you and feast with you, and you will feast with me. We will enjoy a meal together as friends.” (Rev. 3:20).

Jesus wanted to re-ignite the indifferent faith of the believers in Laodicea. He wanted to spark their spiritual dormancy. Their material life was so loudly calling to them, that they didn’t hear the Lord patiently knocking on the doors of their hearts. This door has no outside doorknob. The only means of opening the door is on the inside. And Jesus patiently stands there knocking to be welcomed in, but He won’t just barge in, He won’t break the door down, He won’t bang on it like a rude salesman. He is ever the gentleman, giving the choice to the one on the inside to let Him in to an intimate meal and fellowship. This table fellowship inside the heart no doubt refers to the messianic banquet, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Rev. 19, and it points to the intimacy of the Eucharistic table.

The Lord’s knocking on the door hearkens back to the lover of Song of Songs 5:2, and Jesus is the lover of our souls wanting to enjoy sweet communion: “O Listen! It’s the sound of my lover knocking, calling! ‘Let me in, dear companion, dearest friend, my dove, consummate lover.” (Message).

Bible translator Dr. Brian Simmons offers a fascinating glimpse of this door-knocking scene: “Jesus knocking on the door points us to the process of an ancient Jewish wedding invitation. In the days of Jesus, a bridegroom and his father would come to the door of the bride-to-be carrying the betrothal cup of wine and the bride-price. Standing outside, they would knock. If she fully opened the door, she was saying, ‘Yes, I will be your bride.’ Jesus and the Father, in the same way, are knocking on the doors of our hearts, inviting us to be the bride of Christ.” (The Passion Translation, notes).

In Jewish society, to be breaking bread with someone was a sign of unity, of solidarity. Being at the table with someone was a sign of joyful companionship, of sharing identities. When Jesus ate a meal with someone, the person He ate with was being honored and affirmed as worthy of deep fellowship. The table was sacred in the Jewish world, a sign of personal friendship. Jesus must have eaten a lot of meals with a wide variety of people, for He was known in social circles as “a glutton” (Matt. 11:19) and a friend of sinners. Being a friend of the outcasts and sinners meant practically that He often ate with them. The fact that Jesus wants to enter our hearts and eat a meal with us is significant. He wants to put His arm around our shoulders and break bread. He wants to be in solidarity with us. When He enters our lives, His first priority seems to be fellowship. Isn’t it interesting that He didn’t march through the door into our heart and start remodeling our house or rearranging our furniture? He doesn’t start everything off by bossing us around like a building contractor, telling us what to do. The first thing Jesus wants to do with us upon entering our heart is to have table fellowship. He wants to establish a friendship. That’s His priority. And where the Son is, the Father is right there with Him. They are spiritually joined at the hip. When the Son enters our heart, the Father is right behind as they walk through our door. “For truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, the Anointed One.” (1 John 1:3). “Jesus replied, My Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place.” (John 14:23).

Jesus initiates our faith by knocking on our closed door. We are not waiting at our open door. He starts all the action. We are expected to hear His voice and respond. Is our life too loud, too noisy, too busy, too preoccupied to actually hear His voice at our heart’s door? Is our lifestyle such that we invite Him in, but then ignore Him as He sits at our table alone, waiting for us to sit down next to Him in friendship? Our faith depends on Him from beginning to end. He initiates, we respond. He begins by knocking on the door of our heart. Can we hear His voice?