“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 NIV
Shortly after Peter’s first sermon, 3000 people were baptized. They became believers in Jesus. The verses above describe what happened afterwards with these people. They had four things in common:
1. They were taught – specifically, they were instructed in the apostle’s teaching. Simple enough to understand.
2. They congregated, gathered, or practiced fellowship. They met together. Again, easy enough to grasp.
3. They “Broke Bread.” This one’s a little fuzzy. We’ll come back to it.
4. They prayed. Simple
Let’s go back to breaking bread. What was commonly understood when someone used this term? Was it the Lord’s Supper? Was it a general term for sharing a meal? I don’t think we can definitively say one way or the other. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:23–34 states, “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that ythe Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
There is a direct connection from the symbolism of breaking bread to Christ’s atoning work on the cross. But, I don’t think it’s universal. It’s interesting that the Syriac Version of the New Testament equates the breaking of bread with “the eucharist” or the Lord’s Supper. Again, I think it is a religious injection rather than an original intent.
Regardless of which you think it is, Acts 2:46 states, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” It’s the “every day” breaking of bread “in their homes” that makes me think. And so, I’d like to ask a few questions:
Do you think the Breaking of Bread refers exclusively to the Lord’s supper?
What, in your view is significant about breaking bread in homes?
Were they doing those things “every day” because the church was new? Or, is that prescriptive for the church today as well?
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