A Feast of Knowledge
During my three month internship to Singapore, two years ago, I experienced a food that to this day I still crave. The food, Roti Prata. To be honest, I really don’t even know where to begin in attempting to describe Roti Prata. Yoursingapore.com defines it this way,
“Roti prata evolved from the original pancake recipes from Pakistan and India, and is a favourite in Singapore. Roti means “bread”, and prata means “flat”, but it is actually closer to a pancake with a lightly flavoured and subtle sweet dough… Between the many prata stalls, you’ll also find that the texture of the dough differs, ranging from soft and chewy to super crispy, with most being somewhere in the middle.”
In short, all you need to know is that it will without a doubt be served at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Roti Prata is a culinary experience that is practically heavenly (at this point my Singaporean friends are probably both feeling bad for me and rolling their eyes at such grand remarks about prata). There is nothing special about the food; you can find it on almost any block in the city. It’s not expensive or some delicacy that takes untold hours to prepare. It’s not served on silver platters or in regal palaces. It’s just a simple food enjoyed by the masses. However, with all of that said, Roti Prata is absolutely terrible for you.
Genesis 3 tells us of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Verses 6-7 say, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” We read here that Adam and Eve indulged in a food that changed their lives, literally. Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree and experienced a feast of knowledge. It was a momentary bite, a fleeting feast that instantaneously introduced a realization that man had lost more than he gained. While his body was being nourished with fruit; his spirit was instantly starved to death. Sin is the fruit that temptation grows.
Much like Roti Prata, not all that we can eat or enjoy is good for our bodies, or souls. Again, Roti Prata is absolutely delicious, but our bodies were not designed to indulge in such levels of sugar and fat. While one can enjoy something, that does not mean one should. Now, this article is not to begin an Anti-Prata movement (Next time I’m in Singapore my first stop from the airport will probably be for Kopi and Prata). However, we must remember that we are spiritual beings. Whether we are entirely mindful of it or not, we are feeding our souls in one way or another. As the old adage suggests, “You are what you eat.” The question then arises, “What are we feeding our souls?”
As discussed previously, Adam and Eve ate a fruit that was good for their bodies, but terrible for their souls because of the spiritual implications of disobedience the fruit contained. Likewise, in each of our lives there is a lot our post-modern culture is trying to force feed us in regards to worldview values and principles. The world has developed a sweet tooth for what is appealing to the flesh but disastrous to the soul. 1 John 2:16 tells us, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” The appetite of the world is succinctly summed up into three primary categories: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. As has been stated previously, sin is the fruit that temptation grows. The world has provided a never ending menu of pleasures and indulgences that, while appealing, are simply candy coated sins.
Sin has this way of providing one with knowledge after partaking of it that one did not have before. For example, I’ve never smoked or drank alcohol but for some that is a very strong addiction. There is a hunger that has been instilled in them they once did not have. Sin produced a knowledge and an appetite that once was not there. There is a knowledge sin provides. It was true in the garden with Adam and Eve, and it is still true today in our lives.
There is without a doubt a hunger that is in each and every one of us today. Eve saw that the fruit was good for food before she ever partook of the fruit (Gen. 3:6). We all have an appetite that is given from God that sin attempts to hijack providing a cotton candy experience that is enjoyable for the moment, but provides no prolonged nourishment. We must be observant of the fact that we are beings with an appetite, but that appetite is not totally a bad thing. A young child has a raging appetite at times, but that is to provide the child a means of growth for the future. Likewise, there is a spiritual appetite within each of us that is given by God to sustain us in our spiritual walk.
So, we know that we have an appetite and that there is an extensive bill of fare the world offers up, but the result is far from what it’s chalked up to be. We are left wondering, “Is there an answer to the dilemma of satisfying our soul’s hunger?” The answer is quite simply, yes. We need to look no further than Luke 22:19-20 which says, “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” The answer to our spiritual hunger was first acknowledged at The Last Supper.
Luke 22:19-20 is the account of The Last Supper where Jesus is giving his disciples a cup and bread that was representative of the blood and flesh of his body that was sacrificed for each and every one of us. It was another feast of sorts that was not provided for only the body, but also for the soul. Just as sin provides knowledge, as does spiritual nourishment. The fruit of sin is death, but the Fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance).
The death, burial, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus Christ provided a sustaining nourishment for every man, woman, and child on planet earth. If you feel that your soul is crying out for some form of nourishment. If you’re hungry for something in your life that contains some form of meaning and purpose. If you’re unfulfilled and unsatisfied with the world’s choice of sustenance in your life and are longing for something else. If there is just something deep inside of you, that is looking for more but can’t quite put your figure on it. There is an answer to your hunger, and the answer is Jesus.