then he washed his face and came out. and controlling himself he said, “serve the food.” they served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the egyptians could not eat with the hebrews, for that is an abomination to the egyptians. and they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. and the men looked at one another in amazement. portions were taken to them from joseph’s table, but benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. and they drank and were merry with him. [genesis 43:31-34]
it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for… joseph to reconnect with his brothers. there is something special about gathering together for a meal. the dinner table holds many memories of intentionality, deep conversations, tears, and laughter.
what is especially peculiar is found in verse 34: “portions were taken to them from joseph’s table.”
the brothers were initially anxious to enter joseph’s house, but now they were receiving portions of food from the man of which they were afraid. grace during a famine, of all times!
in his sermon on the mount, Jesus commands his people not to be anxious:
“therefore i tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. are you not of more value than they? and which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” [matthew 6:25-27]
Jesus commands “do not be anxious about your life,” and the first item that follows is related to food… our portion that sustains human life. however, Jesus is our spiritual bread. he sustains our spiritual life… and our eternity. we are commanded not to fear, but to trust in God. his faithful, steadfast character will supply our every need.
the beautiful aspect of Christ is that he invites us to dine with him. to eat of his bread every day at his table – not a separate table, but with God at his table. we serve the God who was ridiculed by the pharisees for “receiving sinners and eating with them,” (luke 15:2). Christ invites the poor, crippled, lame and blind to dine with him (luke 14:13). Christ invites us sinners to dine with him.
will you dine with him today? or will you attempt to feast on your fears?
here is God’s portion for us at his table:
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began…” [2 timothy 1:7-9]
God calls us to a holy calling that is not based on our own efforts.he invites you to trust in his power today, so you don’t have to feel anxious trying to trust in yourself.
and when it is all said and done, we will be invited to the best banquet of all- the marriage supper of the Lamb. this invitation is sealed with a promise: “these are the true words of God,” (revelation 19:9).
eat at Christ’s table today, brothers and sisters! his portion will sustain you until we eat at the marriage supper.