Day 5

When Jesus Gave Thanks

from the Give Thanks reading plan


Matthew 15:35-37, Luke 10:21-24, John 11:39-44, Luke 22:14-20

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Matthew 15:35-37, Luke 10:21-24, John 11:39-44, Luke 22:14-20

One of my pastors often quotes the Heidelberg Catechism before we receive communion: “As assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.” When the bread crumbles in my mouth and the wine washes it down, I think, This is how sure I am that Christ is who He says He is. For a chronic doubter like me, it has been a grace to view communion in this way.

I often think of the disciples at that first communion, when Jesus took the bread, gave thanks for it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying what must have been cryptic words to the disciples, who didn’t have the advantage of hindsight we do. For them, this seemed an ordinary Passover meal. They didn’t yet know that their Father had been foretelling the story of their Messiah every year for generations.

There was another meal where Jesus took bread, gave thanks before breaking it and giving it to many, with so many leftovers they filled seven basketfuls (Matthew 15:35–37). Jesus was preaching the gospel in this meal, too, a foretaste of the last supper to come. He was showing them how breaking bread would never be the same again—not because the bread was extraordinary, but because the Blesser of it was.

In both meals, Jesus was showing His disciples that broken things aren’t the end of the story. He was essentially saying: I give thanks for the breaking about to come, because I know there is a bounty to follow you can’t even imagine.

When you next take communion, I encourage you to feel the breaking of the bread in your mouth, to taste every crumb. And I encourage you to thank your Father, as Jesus did, knowing this mere meal points to a gospel more real than you can imagine, and a feast more bountiful than you could ever supply on your own.

SRT-GiveThanks-Instagram-Day5

Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

Post Comments (35)

35 thoughts on "When Jesus Gave Thanks"

  1. Carol Ann Smolka says:

    This brought me to tears, which is no easy feat. To think of my Lord in this way was quite simply, breathtaking.

  2. Rachel Brown says:

    Beautiful ❤️

  3. Shawn Parks says:

    I was also struck how Jesus gave thanks publicly—he did not keep his gratitude a private moment between him and the Father. The Father already knew his gratitude. Jesus professed his gratitude aloud to the Father as a witness to the people around him so they would see that he was indeed the savior of the world. I need to be more public with my gratitude for everything that God has done for me.

  4. Jo L says:

    “Broken things are not the end of the story.” Yes and amen! So many a times, I see broken things as they are – broken and never complete again. Yet our DaddyGod is the one who comes to restore and repair and put brokeness into whole and brand new again.

  5. Georgie RaeBass says:

    “I give thanks for the breaking about to come, because I know there is a bounty to follow you can’t even imagine.” Yes and Amen. Such a good word. I will great on these words with each communion ahead. Thank you Jesus.

  6. Rosabril Acuna says:

    I loved that line, “broken things aren’t the end of the story”

    1. Danielle Craan says:

      Amen!!

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