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The Fellowship of Believers and the Breaking of Bread

15 Feb

Bread1

Pentecost signifies the giving of the Holy Spirit and the founding of the Church, also known as the body of Christ. The below passage records the result of the Pentecost kept after Christ’s ascension:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

–Acts 2:38-42

Did you notice what it said happened after so many were baptized? The newborn church continued to meet together, fellowship together and eat together. Why is this even important?

It is important because brethren not only worship together – they talk, they pray for each other, and they eat side by side. Growing up, brothers and sisters eat and talk together at their parents’ table. Hopefully they pray together at the same table. This is the way it should be. There is inherent equality in this. Whomever we meet in our congregation, it is implied that that person is our brother or sister. We should attempt not to treat anyone differently, or to show partiality to any.

More than just the church that was created and given the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – it is obvious that Jesus had the common practice of breaking bread with many people. When the risen Christ walked with two men he formerly knew on the road to Emmaus, there was a single thing that gave his identity away to the two men who were still in shock about recent events. This came after the two men invited Jesus to eat with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

–Luke 24: 30-35

Interesting. Perhaps Jesus did something that the Pharisees did not do. He broke bread with common people that you might meet.

You might even say that Christ’s disciples enjoyed each other’s company. They did not even need a special occasion to get together and learn about God. Paul obviously followed Christ’s example in breaking bread with many, and on a certain occasion there was a miracle performed after a mishap during a very long fellowship session. Read about it in Acts 20:7-12.

The breaking of Unleavened bread represented Christ’s sinless self and pure sacrifice. This is commemorated in the Passover observance. The leavened bread represents God’s church, not specifically for the attribute of sin, but the leavened bread represents the growth and love of the church. Passover itself is supposed to be a time of humility for the followers of Christ. Christ freely gave and served us, so are we to humble ourselves and serve each other.

“And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.” – Luke 24:30

And finally, we have the miraculous story of the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus and the disciples were going to a remote place to rest and eat, and yet the multitudes followed them. Jesus taught them “many things” and also healed them (Luke 9:11). But as the Good Shepherd – it was against his nature to send them away without food. Read the account below.

And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

–Mark 6:30-44

Jesus Christ himself takes joy in providing for us, eating at the same table with us, and fellowshipping with us. Since He is our standard in all things, this is very important!

More to come on this later, God willing.

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