Recently I read a blog post that drew me to an old song we sang in the youth group many years ago. I can almost hear Youth Pastor Don Nelson fingerpicking the melody as the group would sing…”’Come and dine,’ the Master calleth, ‘Come and dine’, You may feast at Jesus’ table all the time. He Who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine, To the hungry calleth now, ‘Come and dine.’” The song comes from John 21:12 as recorded in the venerable King James Version.
“Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.” John 21:12
The writer of the blog quoted a Bible version that follows most of the contemporary translations which render “Come and Dine” with an understandable “Come and eat breakfast,” or “Come and have breakfast” in the passage. Charles Spurgeon in his devotional book Morning and Evening explained this passage by saying the phrase meant, “Come and break your fast” as an invitation to the tired and struggling disciples to take the next step in their faith journey to follow Christ.
Spurgeon wrote, “On your part, now is the time for the exercise of faith. And on His part, now is the season for the display of His power.” Truly the Lord had shown His power in conquering death and rising from the grave. But now Jesus is stooped by the shore of the Sea of Galilee preparing a simple meal for the beleaguered band of disciples. He was providing basic sustenance. Profound!
Think of it. The disciples must have been confused and dejected that the anticipated establishment of the kingdom had not materialized. Instead, their miracle working leader seemed to crash and burn. So they fled on a five to six days journey back to the anonymity of their fishing boats; and this is over 100 miles away from the vicinity of Jerusalem, the place of the crucifixion and the location of Jesus’ first appearances to his followers. And yet, here, Jesus appears on the shore cooking a meal featuring fish that He miraculously obtains for the bewildered lot. This had to be overwhelming and perplexing.
Jesus had just performed another miracle moments before by commanding them to cast their nets a few feet away from their fruitless efforts of all night fishing without catching a thing. But then the Savior invites these weary and defeated disciples to breakfast – simply to reemphasize again that He and He alone would care for them. They unwaveringly needed to “feast at Jesus’ table all the time” as the songwriter Charles B. Widmeyer wrote in 1906.
The resurrection provided an invitation to intimacy with Jesus unlike any other experience man could imagine. The provision and power continues on today. There is always abundant grace from our Lord that is enough for the journey.
Jesus has a table spread Where the saints of God are fed, He invites His chosen people, "Come and dine" With His manna He doth feed And supplies our every need: Oh, 'tis sweet to sup with Jesus all the time! "Come and dine," the Master calleth, "Come and dine" You may feast at Jesus' table all the time; He Who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine, To the hungry calleth now, "Come and dine." The disciples came to land, Thus obeying Christ's command, For the Master called unto them, "Come and dine" There they found their heart's desire, Bread and fish upon the fire; Thus He satisfies the hungry every time "Come and dine," the Master calleth, "Come and dine" You may feast at Jesus' table all the time; He Who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine, To the hungry calleth now, "Come and dine." Soon the Lamb will take His bride To be ever at His side, All the host of heaven will assembled be; Oh, 'twill be a glorious sight, All the saints in spotless white; And with Jesus they will feast eternally. "Come and dine," the Master calleth, "Come and dine" You may feast at Jesus' table all the time; He Who fed the multitude, turned the water into wine, To the hungry calleth now, "Come and dine."