In the Gospel according to Luke, Jesus makes numerous references to food.  Explain the significance of such references.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The references to food in the Gospel of Luke can be seen as significant moments of communion.  Food operates as the way for people to come together in the Biblical tradition as emphasized in the Gospel of Luke.  This notion of convergence through food is seen in several instances in the Gospel.  Consider Luke 9:10 as one such example, in which Jesus is able to stress how the sharing of food can bring community together and provide for those who lack it.  When Jesus says, "You give them something to eat," it speaks to how food is a form of communion and nourishment that creates solidarity from the isolating pangs of hunger and isolation.

Another instance in the Gospel of Luke where food serves as form of communion would be in Luke 22:14 where the Passover dinner, the Last Supper, is the ultimate act of convergence.  When Jesus offers the food and wine as his body and blood to his followers, it represents how food is symbolic of a sense of unity.  Food becomes the metaphor through which Jesus is able to spiritually feed his followers and through how his message will be disseminated.  Very similar to the breaking of the loaves in Luke 9:10, food is used to convey a sense of continuation and permanence in a world of contingency and impermanence.

In Luke 13:18, the parable of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast are symbols of food that represent how fruition is an integral part of physical and spiritual nourishment.  Continuing the convergence and communion that signifies the role of food, Jesus speaks of the Mustard seed as growing into a tree that houses the animals, representative of the Kingdom of Heaven.  The yeast that the woman makes which is so plentiful is another symbol of God's love and spiritual protection offered to those who believe.  In these verses, the role of food as communal and one in which bonds are strengthened is intrinsic to its meaning and use.

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