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How did Jesus relate to food in the Bible?
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High School Teacher
Christ grew up in what was predominantly an agrarian society and the Jewish faith which centered around feasts and feast days. Clearly, the growing of food, and celebrations of worship centered around food, were at the very core of a Jew's every day experience. Christ then can be seen as relating to food in at least four ways:
First, a number of Christ's miracles were associated with food such as the turning of the water into wine, the feeding of the 5000 and the miraculous catch of fish. In the working of these miracles Christ demonstrated, by using food, that he was not just a man, but both God and man. He demonstrated power over nature which a Jew would believe belonged only to God. John 20:30, 31 says,
"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God..."
The term "Son of God"(see John 1:14) was not used in the sense of being created or born, but in the sense of being a "one of a kind" unique Son who is exactly like his Father God in all ways or attributes (John 1:3).
Second, Jesus often used food in his teaching to make a point. For example, Jesus used the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves of bread to demonstrate that he was "the bread of life". (John 6) Not only could he meet the crowds temporal physical needs, but he could nourish the people spiritually and satisfy the deepest spiritual longings of their souls - to know God. In Matthew 13 he uses the Parable of the Sower to illustrate that there were four kinds of listeners in the audience whenever the "seed" of the gospel is sown or preached. Some will have hard hearts, some will have shallow belief, others will be choked and weighed down with the cares of the world, and still others will have prepared hearts that will receive the gospel and bear its fruit. He uses the mustard seed to illustrate that just as the smallest seed they knew of grew into a large tree, so would his church grow from a group of 12 disciples to what is around 2 billion today.
Third, Jesus simply supplied the food that was needed at the moment. He demonstrated his love for people. Whether it was food for a hungry crowd after listening to his teaching for hours, or fish for his disciples so that they could generate an income to provide food for themselves, or turning water into wine so that the guests at the wedding feast would be filled with joy, Jesus was all about meeting needs. He clearly demonstrated that he was not just there to mesmerize people through his teaching, but to compassionately meet the most basic of their needs. If He could supply physical food for them, could he not meet their more deeper needs?
Finally, in the Last Supper just prior to his death, Jesus uses the bread and wine of the Passover feast to point to himself as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. The bread he declares to be his body which would be given as the substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the world and the blood that he would shed would be the sealing of a new covenant betweenb God and man (see Luke 22) securing the salvation of both believing Jews and Gentiles in one body, the church.
Posted by profsw on August 19, 2013 at 10:57 PM (Answer #1)
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