The Host of the Table

By William Baker

The original Lord’s Supper took place at a table (Luke 22:21, 30).

The host was Jesus. He sent Peter and John ahead of the group to make the necessary arrangements with the owner of the house to eat at his large table of his second-floor room. However, the disciples being led to the house by a man carrying a jar of water on his head, as Jesus predicted (Luke 22:10), reveals that Jesus himself had already set this up ahead of them.

After arriving at the room, Jesus functioned as the host. As he reclined around a low, round table (with Peter and John on either side), each course of the meal began with him, each blessing was uttered by him, and he began each song and Scripture recitation—like fathers in homes all across Israel on that day.

Who is the host of the table in your home? Many of us will think of a father at the head of the table, offering a
prayer of thanksgiving, passing each platter to the children, and a mother, having prepared the meal, carrying pots and platters from the stove or microwave. Perhaps, children have gotten the drinks. Many different arrangements are possible: dads cooking, moms and children offering
the blessing, empty nesters eating in front of the TV, widows and widowers eating in a cafeteria at a care facility, people eating alone.

Christians know the true host of every meal is God himself, the provider of all good things, like food (James 1:17), who shows us his love every day at mealtime.

At the table of the Lord, Jesus is the host. Two elders may pray, and serve the deacons, before being seated beside the table as the deacons serve the congregation. Perhaps the minister will pray or the worship leader and miscellaneous men or women may bring out the trays from the rear of the auditorium. Regardless, the host is the Lord Jesus, who serves this cup and bread from the bounty of his love for us, his very life delivered up to death on a cross.

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William R. Baker is professor of New Testament at Hope International University, Fullerton, California, and editor of the Stone-Campbell Journal.

 

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