Jesus’ Mission and Your Dining Room Table

I’m really looking forward to reading Tim Chester’s new book A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission Around the Table. This a great biblical theology of why and how meals display the gospel to each other. I hope these quotes from a recent interview with Tim whet your appetite too!

What does food have to do with grace, church, and mission?

Everything! Just think about how often food figures in the Bible story or how much of church life involves meals. I don’t think this is incidental. Food expresses our dependence on God and on other people. Meals embody friendship and welcome.

So food is a powerful way of doing mission and community. The Son of Man, Jesus says in Luke 7, came eating and drinking—this was the way Jesus did mission….

You say that our meals actually express our doctrine of justification. Can you explain that?

Paul’s great exposition of the doctrine of justification in the letter to the Galatians is sparked by a meal; by Peter’s refusal to eat with Gentiles. This is where a false doctrine of justification led: to broken table fellowship. Why? Because meals are such a central and powerful expression of community (and the withdrawal of community).

It was the same with the meals of the Pharisees. Their sense of how we are made right with God was reflected in their meals; their meals expressed who were insiders and outsiders on the basis of moral and religious respectability. The ladder of self-righteousness was represented in the positions of honor around the table….

A meal in the presence of God is the goal of salvation.

Read the whole thing, here.

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