Thursday, January 17, 2013

More than the Bread and Cup

I don’t see the Lord’s Table in 1 Corinthians 11 as being an actual supper.  How do you see it?

1 Corinthians 11:20
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

Look at what Paul says in Chapter 10.

1 Corinthians 10:27
If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

In context, even with the communion in the cup and bread, Paul refers to a feast.  We can see in both chapters that there is a lot of food involved.  The focus is the taking of that food, but particularly the bread and the cup.  Remember that the original subject of what the Lord is instructing Paul about in Chapter 11 is the Passover meal, which includes more than just the bread and cup.  I see your point about the Lord’s Supper, but you have to remember what a supper is.

1 Corinthians 11:25a
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped,

What does that mean?  I let the Bible interpret the meaning of the word supper.  I went to and searched for supper.  It is mentioned 14 times in scripture, which is a significant number (2 X 7:  – witness to God’s divine perfection).  Every use of the word is in the New Testament.  Let’s first look at the passage that Paul is actually quoting.

Luke 22:13 -15, 19 -20
And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.  And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.  And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

Again, the passage that Paul is quoting is about the Passover. Remember that the Passover meal was more than just the cup and bread (the wafer of unleavened bread).  There was lamb and also bitter herbs.  They were eating a meal.

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Notice this is a supper.  He took the cup after supper.  He didn’t just say that he took the cup after the bread.  Below are the 14 times that supper is used.

Mark 6:21
And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

Do you think that Herod just had a wafer and wine?  No.  He had a birthday party.  He had a feast.

Luke 14:12
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

See the issue there?  Friends, brethren, kinsmen, rich neighbours – all plural.  This has to do with multiple people and a dinner or supper being served.

Luke 14:16, 17, 24; 22:20
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many (plural): And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Notice that it’s after supper.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:25, after he had supped.”  That means ‘after supper.’

John 12:2
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

Notice the supper is at the table.  Understand that when Martha served, it was a large group of men.  She wasn’t just giving them bread and wine.
The next three verses are about the Last Supper.

John 13:2, 4; 21:20
And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

John 21:20
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

1 Corinthians 11:20-21
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

He is talking about a meal.

Revelation 19:9, 17
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

He is talking about great abundance.  I can see why you would think that Paul was trying to get them not to eat a lot, but rather just taking the bread and the cup and focusing on the body and blood of the Lord.  That is valid; but I don’t see that Paul is forbidding them from having a meal.
The key for me is the fact that the Paul is quoting the passage in the book of Luke that speaks of the passover.  The Lord performed this ordinance with the bread and the cup immediately after the passover meal.  No one can deny that the Lord had just eaten lamb.  God instituted that with the first Passover (Exodus 12).

So it can’t just be the bread and cup; there also has to be at least lamb as we see from the account in Luke.  Nevertheless, we have to give people freedom as grace believers to see things from scripture as they see them and to be fully persuaded in their own minds.

Romans 14:5b
Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

But when I looked at the word supper in those 14 passages in scripture, I saw not just bread and wine, but an actual meal.

Hopefully this helps!

1 comment:

  1. alan_damiano@yahoo.comMay 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    I do understand about the LORD'S Supper now as I did not know that the meal they were eating was before the taking of the Bread and the Wine !!!