Luke's Last Meal

A reading for Friday, December 12, 2014: Luke 22:14-30.

The gospel of Luke has an unusual emphasis on food, more so than any of the other accounts of Jesus' life and ministry. In all, Jesus is present at 19 meals in Luke's gospel. Over and over he is criticized for eating and drinking with the wrong people. He is even criticized for eating too much. There is proper table etiquette, and banquets thrown for special guests. Luke has a penchant for gathering around the table with Jesus for a meal.

Then there is the story of the Passover meal, the last supper as it becomes known. Something is very different in this story. Maybe we wouldn't have noticed if Luke wasn't so obsessed with food. Even though Jesus has eaten with everyone, on this special occasion he doesn't eat anything at all. He refuses to eat "until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." He will not drink "until the kingdom of God comes." For this last meal, among his closest friends and fellow travelers in ministry, Jesus will not share in the meal. He will only serve them...

Perhaps there comes a time for all of us when we simply have enough, and in that moment our greatest desire is simply to see that others enjoy the blessings that God has provided.

The greatest joy is found in giving and service to others. Jesus has offered us all a place at his table.

"For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?"


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