It means so much more than what’s simply on our plate. And not because Gillian McKeith says so.
From the Garden of Eden to the Final Wedding Feast, the Bible mentions food more often than Jamie, Nigella and Gordon combined. So why is it so important?
God has created us with needs which He wants to supply. Food is a symbol of our dependence upon God – and this is actually a really good thing.
Food is meant to be enjoyable and much more than fuel. The Garden of Eden was packed full of food that was good and pleasing to the eye (Gen 2:9). Adam and Eve could eat from ANY tree but one – but by eating the forbidden fruit – they chose not to depend on the Father’s provision.
It was through FOOD that Adam and Eve expressed their mistrust of God – This was the ultimate and original eating disorder.
And long before Jamie’s Ministry of Food, we are introduced to Jesus’ Ministry of Food.
Throughout the Bible the LORD comes to show His trustworthiness by providing food – the Bread of Heaven – manna.
When Jesus comes He is ALWAYS eating and drinking with people. His enemies accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard! He even says “I came eating and drinking” (Luke 7:34). On every page of the Gospels Jesus is either AT a dinner party, or speaking of how to throw dinner parties, or describing His future Kingdom as a giant Feast.
The night before Jesus dies He says He’s been eagerly awaiting the Passover meal with His friends. He takes Bread and Wine and says they proclaim His death. He would be torn apart like Bread on the cross. His blood would be poured out like Wine. (Luke 22:19)
This is how Jesus truly satisfies us. Not with earthly food, but with Himself. He is the One who is provided for us. He says “my flesh is real food, my body is real drink” (John 6:55). When we depend on HIM our deepest hungers are met.
Jesus invites us to a table where we meet with Him and with each other as needy, broken people. He restores our true humanity around a dinner where we are nourished by Him and where we encounter each other and look each other in the eye. We know we are not worthy of this honour, but we are all welcome.
And it’s around the dinner table, that Jesus puts His people back together.
Because of Jesus, food can just be food again – something that can even be enjoyed. We don’t need to sculpt our own image and meaning out of food and our bodies. Jesus takes care of that. Instead we can start to enjoy God’s good gift of food and receive it as dependent children. We can eat and drink and finally be satisfied.