A Meal With Jesus by Tim Chester is the latest release by the co-author of Total Church, another release on the Re:Lit imprint of Crossway Books. Whilst Total Church provided an in depth look at the practice of missional living through gospel communities, A Meal With Jesus focusses in on one central aspect of life, and the life of Christ.
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, as the Gospel account of Luke attests. It’s a mark of Jesus’ humanity, and a central point of operation for his ministry. Likewise, food is something we cannot avoid. From the Golden Arches of highstreet fast-food to the boutique deli’s and coffee bars, through to the family dinner table, the church pot luck and the microwave dinners for one, food is a daily occurrence for most people.
But how should we view this most consuming of consumptions? Should it be viewed as a necessary evil, something we do to keep our bodies moving? Or should it be savored in ever grandiose ways? Should we go for quantity? Or quality? Or have we missed the point entirely?
Chester lays out, chapter by chapter, gospel manifestations around meal settings. Though I know Chester is well studied and holds a PhD, I just was not expecting such a rich and rewarding theological treatise around the dinner table! It hadn’t really occurred to me how important food is to Kingdom life. Drawing heavily from Luke, and also running from Genesis through Revelation, we see the meal as enacted grace, community, hope, mission, salvation and promise.
Each chapter is solid in its exegesis, profound in its implications and challenging to put this into practice and transform the reader’s view of mealtimes. These are not to be solitary, rushed affairs, but instead have the capacity to embody the Kingdom, to offer a taste of what is to come – the feast eternal that we shall enjoy with King Jesus and our good Father.
My wife and I have been longing for more community space and finally got a large enough patio built on the back of our small house. With BBQ season somewhat here, we’re embarking on a summer and fall adventure of hosting, welcoming and serving people with a view to encouraging believers and sharing Jesus with those yet to turn to him. This book was a treasure to me, strengthening my resolve, and broadening my view of all that a simple meal can convey.
If you’re reading this, you’re a human. You eat. You can do better than just eating. Read this book and see how much more a meal with Jesus can be.
A review copy was provided to me at no charge by the publisher. No attempt was made to gain a favorable review, and all opinions and recommendations expressed are the author’s own.