Serving Jesus by eating

One of the parts of being a missionary that I did not fully anticipate was how much time we spend eating with people. I enjoy eating, so I am not complaining. Here’s our eating schedule for this weekend:

Friday

1. Desserts and tea after our Bible study.

Saturday

1. Eating lunch with two friends from our sign language class. 

Sunday

1. Eating lunch missionary colleagues and a deaf missionary couple that are working with the deaf on the island of Madeira.

2. Having two of our friends, Pedro and Roberta, over for dinner.

As I thought about this, it made me think of how often we find Jesus eating or preparing food in the gospels.

Jesus ate at a wedding. John 2:1-2 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 

Jesus drank water with the Samaritan woman. John 4:7-9 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?

Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners at Matthew’s house. Matthew 9:10-12 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

Jesus ate with Zacchaeus. Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 

Jesus defended His disciples’ picking grain to eat on the Sabbath.Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 

Jesus ate with Pharisees. Luke 7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.

Jesus provided food for thousands of hungry people. John 6:11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 

Jesus ate with his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. John 12:1-2 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

Jesus shared the passover feast with His disciples and instituted the Lord’s Supper. Mark 14:22-24 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Jesus ate fish and honeycomb after his resurrection. Luke 24:41-42 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

Jesus prepared breakfast for his disciples. John 21:12-13 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

From what we can see in Scripture, it appears that Jesus spent a lot of time eating with people. In many cases, he used the meal as an occasion to proclaim the gospel. Other times, he taught an important truth to His disciples. Regardless, Jesus was not afraid to spend time with all different types of people. He saw that he could teach and touch people not just in a formal setting, but also around a fish cookout, at a dinner party, or drinking water with a woman.

We want to be like Jesus was. We want to have people feel welcome in our home. We want to be welcoming to all different types of people. As God provides the opportunities, we want to speak the good news of Jesus. It will take many meals, cups of coffee, desserts, and cookouts, but it is worth it. So, let’s eat!

Good surprises

This past Friday we started the Bible study back up, and we were encouraged to see three new visitors. It is interesting how sometime the people you invite and expect to come don’t show up, while the people you forget about or you don’t expect to come end up being the ones that surprise you. It was certainly the case this week.

Regardless, we were thrilled as there were twenty of us gathered in our home singing, studying the Bible, praying, and sharing a good time of fellowship afterward. Please pray that these encouraging results would continue.

Otherwise we continue to steadily plow along in building relationships, learning Portuguese sign language, and working to get the gospel to people in our community. Some days we feel more productive than others.

Here are a few pictures from this month:

Going for a walk by the river

Happy Laura! Almost three months old.

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

I just recently discovered this beautiful hymn by a man named Henry F. Lyte. His testimony is fascinating and is worth a read.

I hope and pray that this hymn can be my my honest prayer this year.

Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou from hence my all shall be;
Perish every fond ambition, all I’ve sought, and hoped or known;
Yet how rich is my condition, God and heaven are still my own!
 
Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior too;
Human hearts and looks deceive me; Thou art not, like man, untrue;
And, while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love and might,
Foes may hate and friends may shun me; show Thy face and all is bright.
 
Go, then, earthly fame and treasure! Come, disaster, scorn and pain!
In Thy service, pain is pleasure; with Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, “Abba, Father;” I have set my heart on Thee:
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather, all must work for good to me.
 
Man may trouble and distress me, ’twill but drive me to Thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me, heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
O ’tis not in grief to harm me, while Thy love is left to me;
O ’twere not in joy to charm me, were that joy unmixed with Thee.
 
Hasten on from grace to glory, armed by faith, and winged by prayer;
Heaven’s eternal day’s before me, God’s own hand shall guide me there.
Soon shall close my earthly mission, swift shall pass my pilgrim days;
Hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.