Tuesday, February 21st
20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
– 1 Corinthians 11:20-22
Hijacking God’s Intention
This week we are looking at the Lord’s Table or Communion.
Verse 20, picks us on Paul’s rebuke of the Corinthian Church as they have caused divisions over the meal, which is to create unity. He tells them plainly that when they come together that it is NOT the Lord’s supper that you eat. This is a curious statement. If the Corinthians are eating the bread and drinking the cup as Jesus instructed them, how is this not the Lord’s Supper?
The answer is found in whose meal this really is.
The “Lord’s Supper” has become a title, but originally it communicated possession or to whom the meal belonged. The supper or meal we are discussing is literally the Lord’s. He is the host and provider, and the church is the participant. As the host, Jesus dictates the “who and how” this meal is meant to be enjoyed.
Therefore, Paul is making it clear that their selfish conduct has NEGATED whatever they are doing from the true Lord’s Supper.
Now to the specifics. In the first century, the local church would gather for a true meal that would include the traditional elements of communion (broken bread & wine). The problem we see in Corinth is that the rich would separate themselves and eat their own meal to the point of intoxication, while others in the faith community would have nothing and go hungry. Instead of eating at home, the wealthy would bring their food and wine to the church gathering and indulge. This contrast is seen in verse 21. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. One has nothing, while the other has excess to the point of drunkenness.
This selfish behavior negated them from truly participating in the Lord’s Supper at all.
From this passage, we should be careful not to hijack God’s intention for his good gift to serve our selfish desires.
We must do them in the way God intended. From worship to bible study to prayer, doing them is one thing but doing them in a way that God intended is the most important.
Thank you for your Word. We pray that by your Spirit, 1 Corinthians 11:20-22 would change us into the likeness of Christ. We ask for your help to do your things your way. May we never hijack your good gifts for our selfing gain. Father, we pray this now through The Son and By the Spirit. Amen.