Day 5

When Jesus Gave Thanks

from the reading plan

Matthew 15:35-37, Luke 10:21-24, John 11:39-44, Luke 22:14-20

Do you ever feel alone? Overlooked? Forgotten by God? Today’s Scripture readings are an assurance that you are not.

In Matthew 15, Jesus gives thanks for the bread He is about to multiply to feed the hungry crowds. In Luke 10, He thanks God that the mysteries of the kingdom of God are hidden from the learned, and are revealed instead to His disciples. In John 11, just before raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus thanks God for hearing Him, and says He is praying aloud so that those gathered will believe that He and the Father are one. Finally, in Luke 22, we come to the institution of the Lord’s Supper, where Jesus thanks God for the bread and the cup, which represent His body and blood.

What do these passages have in common? What is Jesus thanking God for in each of them? In a word, communion. Jesus gives thanks for communion between God and man. When Jesus gives thanks, He thanks God for being near to His people—for being not only present, but active in a saving, nourishing, and illuminating way. Food for the hungry. Truth for the disciple. Healing for the dead and dying. The body and blood of Christ for sinners. Jesus thanks God for being near.

The beautiful irony here is that, ultimately, Jesus is thanking the Father for His own incarnation. He would feed the hungry, draw His children near, raise the dead, and deliver us from our sin. He would be with us. He would make Himself known. For this, Jesus thanked His Father. If this is what Jesus gives thanks for, why would we imagine He is distant?

Ponder that, you who feel alone in the world. You who feel overlooked, forgotten, and cast aside—consider that when the Son of God gave thanks to the Father, it was for the opportunity to draw near to us and to respond to our deepest needs. The Son of God incarnate is the greatest gift we’ve ever been given, and Jesus Himself thanks God for this gift. “He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘This is my body, which is given for you’” (Lk 22:19).

You are not forgotten or overlooked by God. You are an object of His affection. When Jesus thanked God, it was because He had drawn near to us. Be of good cheer. You are loved.

Written by Russ Ramsey

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "When Jesus Gave Thanks"

  1. Jacob Moon says:

    It is so good to know that out God gives thank as well. Using thankfulness to draw us nearer to him, to remind us that he is always looking out for us and giving us opportunity for thankfulness all day long. Taking time to say thanks is crucial and simple. This small time of gratitude shows others our thankfulness for God and for the goodness he is doing in our lives.

  2. Laura Black says:

    This is so beautifully written. I was in a bible study just yesterday and we were talking about gratitude and giving thanks and Christ demonstrated the importance of this virtue in his words and deeds. I believe he was so overjoyed at how His Father heard him, answered him, and used him to save, deliver, and heal! I’m so thankful that I serve a God who not only commands us to be thankful but practices that virtue as well.

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  4. Cephas Esidzi says:

    Good morning I want to know more about Thanksgiving by Jesus Christ

  5. Ron says:

    “Giving thanks” and “praying” to the Father as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:5-13, are two entirely different things.

    Prayer is the private and personal (individual) communication with God. Giving thanks is the aftermath of a prayer request being granted.

    For example, look at the resurrection of Jesus’ friend Lazarus. What did Jesus say?

    “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

    Apparently, Jesus had ALREADY prayed to the Father concerning Lazarus. Notice what Jesus thanked the Father for, “hearing” him. That is, hearing his prayer.

  6. Johnson Matthew Oburu says:

    Such a wonderful and glorious passage, it stirs up my most holy emotions to pray and thank God. Amen

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