Feeding Jesus, feeding strangers
“Do you have anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he ate it was they watched. — Luke 24:41b-43.
One of Jesus’ miracles is turning a boy’s lunch into more than enough food for 4,000 or 5,000 people. As the Son of God, the very One who turned water to wine, and, just days earlier presented Himself not as a powermonger but a servant who washed the disciples’ feet, Jesus could have easily whipped up a hearty snack, even a full course meal. Also, in having Mary as His mom, He was likely taught at an early age to eat a good meal before He left for His next outing. All this being said, something is significant about this request, this audience, and this act of eating fish.
In this Lukan account, this is the first time the disciples see their dead-to-life leader and this mystery guest shows this group His hands and His feet. Nail holes.
Whoa. Wait. Are they seeing a guest, or a ghost?
To answer a question before they ask it, aha, here comes the request for the fish dinner.
Ghosts don’t eat.
It’s likely Jesus eats in front of them for the obvious reason that He wants those who will speak of Him first to know that His body was raised. Brought back from lifelessness, Jesus wants it clear that He did as He said He’d do. He rose. Literally.
Subtle messages play a part here, too. When I think of the fish, I always think that Jesus calls us to fish for people. I also think of the fish that are hauled into the boat by His command in what otherwise would have been an empty load. Jesus is not just philosophical, He’s practical.
We should be as well.
PRAYER: Dear Fish Eater, first things first: help us see that the stranger among us may need nourishment of body and/or soul. As we fish for people, help us realize we need to have food and drink at the quick. Always. And help us see the Bigger Picture by reminding us that sometimes someone strange in the familiar group makes us uneasy at first, then delighted. Amen.