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 (42)

42 thoughts on "When Jesus Gave Thanks"

  1. Ashley Sword says:

    Everything feels broken today, my heart, my body, the world.
    Thank God for what is broken and the redemption He brings.

  2. Katherine Blackford says:

    The idea of Jesus giving thanks for broken things rant struck me this morning. I so often want to only give thanks for what is new and whole but the broken things are where God works in us and for us. All these broken things work together for our good.

  3. Tree says:

    Not only a sweet reminder of communion but for me what stood out the most of the way Jesus prayed being thankful for answers that weren’t yet seen. Outside the tomb of Lazarus he gave thanks before he called him. Thanking the father for an answer that we couldn’t see yet. Sometimes I feel like I lack that kind of faith. In the chaos of today am I praying with a thankful heart even when I don’t see the answer!

  4. Molly Gilbane says:

    What a beautiful reminder that communion is so much more than the breaking of bread. Jesus gave thanks for the breaking itself because He KNEW there was a bounty to follow— an unimaginable one.

  5. Audrey Flores says:

    This was simply beautiful. A great reminder how precious of a gift communion is…thank you❤️❤️❤️

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