“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him – the people who give you their food give you their heart.” This quote by Cesar Chavez embodies what Jesus teaches about meals.
Meals are tangible experiences of grace the book of Luke is full of. And the lessons in this post are sure to guide and equip you for every meal you provide, and are part of, this holiday season.
What better Bible study for the holiday season than learning from the meals Jesus shared.
You can click on any of the below links to jump to a specific section. Grab your Bible and this PDF and lets see what we can learn from a meal with Jesus.
Table of Contents
Meals with Jesus
Little Becomes Much
This is a favorite childhood story where Jesus feeds the five thousand.
The disciples were looking at things through their eyes though and not looking at The Provider. They’d just returned from curing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the Good News and yet they forgot about the power they’d been given to do these things – the Power of God Most High.
The same Holy Spirit power that allowed Jesus to do what He did.
The same power you’re filled with as a child of God.
As you’re thinking about the holiday season and how you’ll be able to share a meal with loved ones, think about this story.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore.
Don’t go into debt trying to feed people beyond your means.
Instead, give your hearts desires, holiday dreams, and the plans you wish could happen to your Provider.
Ask Him to show you how the impossible can become possible.
If you’re wondering how you’re going to provide food for loved ones through the holiday season, will you ask God to make your “little” into “much”?
If you’re anything like me, you’re a Martha. If Jesus showed up at my house I’d be in the kitchen trying to put together the most elaborate meal ever.
My sister, she’d be the one at Jesus’ feet. Not because she’s not all about making her guests the most amazing meals, but because she’s more laid back than I am. She’s gifted at recognizing what truly matters.
Quality time with Jesus always takes priority over housework and meal prep.
This is super hard over the holidays when to-do lists are 16 miles long, friends and family are coming and going, and there’s a never ending pile of dishes and laundry.
Make sitting at Jesus’ feet your first priority (more on this next week).
Before your feet hit the floor in the morning,
- ask the Holy Spirit what needs done that day and then only do what the Lord lays on your heart.
Focus on what truly matters and will have a lasting impact.
It’s okay to leave things undone.
- How would time with Jesus help prepare you for whatever today holds?
- What will you do to ensure time with the Lord becomes your first priority?
Servants Come First
This is part of a conversation Jesus had with His disciples during the Passover meal before He died.
He’d just explained about His broken body and spilled blood, as He passed the bread and wine.
What did the disciples start doing? Arguing about who was the greatest.
The first lesson we find in these Bible verses is about arguing and the second, about serving.
I’ve seldom met a family who can make it through a stressful period of time without arguing. Jesus’ disciples were arguing about petty stuff that they already knew the answer to.
Jesus’ response to them and His response to us, is the same.
If you’re family is known for getting into arguments, write Jesus’ reply on your hand.
Either that or meditate on this verse the day before y’all get together.
The only thing that matters is what God thinks and wants.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you follow in Jesus’ footsteps by putting others first and helping others succeed.
Then you’ll be a person who’s great in God’s eyes.
Instead of clamoring for position, power, or entitlement God’s children are to humbly serve.
This might mean serving by doing things you shouldn’t have to, humbling yourself when others are determined they’re right, or being purposeful about willingly doing the clean-up.
- Who can you serve over the next couple of months?
- How can you take the position of humble servant at any of the gatherings you attend?
- Is there a get together that often includes disputes?
- What will you ask the Holy Spirit to do so you can attend as a humble servant?
Opportunities to Disciple
After rising from the dead Jesus met two men on the road who were talking about recent events. Jesus joined in and asked what they were discussing. Then, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27
Conversations with people should always include Jesus.
No, a conversation about your favorite Instagram feed (check out ours) doesn’t need to be a sermon but…
- Do you weave Jesus and God’s Word into even the most mundane of conversations?
- Does everyone know you’re a Christian because of the words you say?
- If not, how could your conversations change so they’re recognized as different?
These two men then invited Jesus to stay with them and over their meal the men realized who’d been discipling them.
There’s something powerful about breaking bread with people and having them open up.
Breaking bread caused these men to recognize their Redeemer.
- What could you do over the holiday season to incorporate discipling others into your interactions with friends and family?
- Who could you disciple over a meal?
One of the best ways to disciple people is by asking them great questions. Discipling doesn’t have to mean you’re telling people what to do.
When you ask the right questions, they’ll often disciple themselves.
At the very least, asking good questions will show people how much you care and that will open the door for future discipling.
Meals are important aren’t they!
Alan Wolfelt said “Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” and we just learned that meals are more than that.
Meals should always include Jesus and us following in His footsteps. I believe that’s the idea behind praying before eating – getting your mind right and inviting Jesus to guide your conversations.
In light of the things we learned in this meals with Jesus Bible study,
- would you pray about how God wants you to include some of these lessons at your meals?
There isn’t a single second of your life that God doesn’t want used to bring Him glory.
- How can you ensure proper preparations (aka time with Jesus) are made and that serving others comes first?
There’s so much to be gleaned from these meals with Jesus.
Share them with your family and friends.
Make reading one of the sections part of your dinner meals. It’s a wonderful way to disciple others while eating.
Read the scripture together and then ask what everyone thinks is being taught. There’s so much more to each of these Bible verses than what I’ve shared.
Ask the questions I’ve included and then challenge each other to put the different lessons into practice.
If you have any questions about what you’ve read, please share this with your pastor.
If you don’t have a pastor, we’d be happy to help. We can be reached here.
Until next time…
My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. John 4:34