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.


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. Sarah Whyte says:

    “broken things aren’t the end of the story.” Yes and amen.

    1. Erica Askren says:

      That line struck me too.

  2. E Hong says:

    it’s amazing how we can experience our lows and even when that happens we should still give thanks to God because He will provide a great ending ! -ellie

    1. E Hong says:

      It’s reassuring to know that God is still working in us when we feel like he is not there. What a Great friend, father, God!

  3. Churchmouse says:

    From brokenness to blessing. I’ve learned I just have to trust in Jesus through it all.

  4. Amanda says:

    At the last supper, Jesus KNEW what was coming next, and yet He gave thanks. Only through the breaking of His human body could we be made whole. Thanks be to God.

  5. Sharon Ide says:

    Thank you for reminding us that the Lord Jesus Christ gave thanks most in His Father’s will being done. May we also do the same.

  6. Courtney Gibson says:

    Communion is so special ever since I was young and started taking communion it has always been a special and emotional time. The sacrifices Jesus made for us there’s no words to describe how thankful and blessed I feel to have a God like we do.

  7. Margaret Todd says:

    Thank you, Lore, for putting into words the reason I love taking communion. It is an affirmation of what Christ did and continues to do in my life. As I was taught to say when receiving, “Thanks be to God.”

  8. Mari V says:

    I was raised Catholic. While there are many blessings and beautiful memories of being raised this way, I’m thankful today that I can go directly to my Father God seeking forgiveness and BE FORGIVEN because HE already paid the penalty of my sin on the cross. I have to admit “sometimes” during communion thoughts go through my head such as “do I deserve this”, but I turn it around and say I might not deserve it BUT GOD loves and forgives me. After reflecting of my past week or month in my case (our church has communion service first Sunday of the month) I go up and partake in communion with my church family.

    1. Lauren Decker says:

      I was raised catholic too and for me personally communion became so ritualistic that it lost meaning for me. Now as an adult in my current church we only do it the last weekend of the month and it’s a different experience. I’m trying to connect with it more and find the meaning it is supposed to have.

      1. Brenda says:

        I was raised Catholic too and I felt the same thing. But now as an adult in another church, we hardly to have communion and I really miss it in church. But I know that we can have it at home, but it’s not the same as in church. Thanks be to the Lord for His sacrifice for us!

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