What to know In the previous overview, we talked about the significance of this question within a Halal / Haram worldview, and within an Honor / Shame worldview. In this post, we'll look instead at what Jesus's physical act of eating meant to his early Jewish followers - and why that should matter to us today.
What to say:
Read Deuteronomy 18:10-12 together.
What was God's command about "inquiring of the dead"?
How would devout Jewish men or women respond if a spiritual being (other than an angel) appeared to them? (Note that in Genesis 18, we see that Ibrahim served a meal to the three angels who visited him, which they ate. So this distinction between angels and other kinds of spiritual beings was already established.)
Read Matthew 14 together, emphasis on verse 26. How did Jesus's followers respond when they thought he was a ghost?
Read Luke 24 together, emphasis on verses 37-45.
One of the most beautiful and significant claims of Jesus was that he would lay down his life for mankind, as our Adha...and then he would rise again, showing his power over death, sin, and Satan. He would "undo the works of the enemy." He would stand in victory. Why was it important for Jesus to show his followers that they weren't seeing a ghost? How did he show them that he had a physical body, and had physically resurrected?
Read John 20 together.
What did he do for Thomas, to further show him that he had been crucified and raised from the dead?
What blessing did he speak to those who "don't see, but believe"?
Although the physical act of eating has been described by some Islamic scholars to be proof that the Gospel isn't true...we need to see this through the perspective that God Himself gave. This should take priority over any human perspective. According to the Word of God, the act of Jesus eating was to help us understand that the crucifixion and resurrection were real. To help us believe, and call on the name of Jesus as our Adha - so that we might be saved. Like the crucifixion itself, this physical act is often seen as God "humiliating Himself" - an act that humans judge God for. Instead, we should receive his gift with gratitude, with humility, and with awe and reverence at how great his love is.
End with reading Ephesians 3:14-21. Pray together that you might know how deep and high and wide and long the love of al-Masih is.