Our Savior Restores
Open Your Bible
John 21:1-19, 2 Peter 1:3-15
I get hungry every time I read the Gospels. So much eating! So much cooking and drinking—the clanking of plates and the clinking of cups veritably rings off the pages! Remember when Jesus departed from the disciples to face the cross? He did so with a parting meal. When He came to them again, resurrected, He served them breakfast on the beach. It’s hard to imagine literally anything better than breakfast on the beach—two of the best things in life all at once.
At other meals, both metaphorically and with real bread, Jesus is continually feeding His sheep, because He is the Good Shepherd. He reminds us that He is the bread of life and no other food will ultimately satisfy. And when He feeds us, He is teaching us what the kingdom of heaven looks like.
His kingdom is not of this world, and man does not live by bread alone. But Christ is also the Christ of feasts. He feeds every part of us, body and soul. And when He asks Peter, “Do you love me?” He follows with this: “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17).
He asks us the same question: “Do you love me?” If so, then you also will have a heart for the flock. Others will know we are His disciples in this way, that we love one another, we feed one another, and we share with one another the true and living bread of life—as well as the bread broken together at our own dining room tables.
The beckoning call of the kingdom says, “Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the water; and you without silver, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without silver and without cost!” (Isaiah 55:1). The beckoning call of Christ is this: “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:12). Both are invitations to come to Him and to His table.
Robert Farrar Capon, writer and cook, understood this. In his book, The Supper of the Lamb, he says:
“To be sure, food keeps us alive, but that is only its smallest and most temporary work. Its eternal purpose is to furnish our sensibilities against the day when we shall sit down at the heavenly banquet and see how gracious the Lord is. Nourishment is necessary only for a while; what we shall need forever is taste.”
Since the very beginning, God has fed us, calling us to feed from Christ, from the tree of life, rather than lean upon our own understanding or depend upon the bread of Egypt (Genesis 2–3; Exodus 16:3–8). He is using food to give us a taste for the eternal. He is using food to teach us that He is good and faithful. He is using food to teach us to feed one another. At every turn, we are called to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).