Thanks to Chris Morris for suggesting this line of thinking about 1 John 2:28-29.
1 John 2:28: Little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
As I've emphasized a couple of times this morning, Jesus comes to us in many ways and many modes. He came long ago to take away sin and destroy the works of the devil. He will come again at the last day to raise the dead and to deliver the whole creation to His Father. He comes weekly to us when we gather for worship.
Each time Jesus comes, He comes to inspect. He has been installed as Judge of all the earth, and He judges, sifts, and winnows. That is what He does at this table. Paul says that some who eat and drink at this table eat and drink unworthily, and for that reason become sick and even die.
For many believers, that makes this table a fearful thing, and many shrink back from eating and drinking. In some churches, faithful Christians spend a good portion of their lives passing on the bread and wine.
Paul does not say that we should avoid this table. He says we should judge ourselves rightly. We should acknowledge our sins, confess them, agree with God's judgment, and then come to the table. Paul says we should take the bread and wine, and submit to God's judgment, so that we may be saved.
John says the same thing. Jesus is here; He has come; this day is the day of Yahweh, the day of His parousia. This table is the table of the Lord, and He does inspect, and sift, and judge here. But don't shrink back in shame. Trust in Him. Submit to His inspection and judgment. Then, take and eat; take and drink.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 08:14 AM
Permission is given to use material on this site, provided the source is cited, blog entries are republished in full, and the author is notified in advance.