No, it was not the upper room as the shadow of the cross cast its chill over all who were there. Nor was it when He fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. It was neither the miracle working Servant, nor the departing Savior Who took bread.
On this occasion, it was the resurrected and victorious Christ. As He took bread, it was with nail-scarred hands that He broke it and served them. The scene is the shore of the sea of Tiberias. Seven disciples have worked all night and caught nothing. John began his gospel account by telling us of the indispensability of Christ for creation, revelation, and redemption (ch 1). He closes it with a reminder of the indispensability of Christ for our service.
At His word they cast the net and enclose a great multitude of fish. When they come to shore, however, what they found exceeded their expectations; not only fish, but bread. Not only freshly caught fish, but a prepared meal of fried fish and warm bread. How like the Savior to always exceed expectations.
But there is another dimension to this that bows us in worship. “Jesus … taketh bread and giveth them and fish likewise” (John 21:13). The One Who had been through death, burial, and resurrection, served them! In the fashion of a waiter, He moved from disciple to disciple to be sure their needs were met and each was totally satisfied. Allow your imagination to envision Him approaching Peter and asking if Peter would like more fish, or perhaps another piece of bread. Haughty disciples would have been humbled; hungry disciples fed. All were honored by their Lord. The gentleness and grace of Christ is always beyond measure.
Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a preview of heaven in all of this when He will, as the parable depicts, gird Himself and serve us (Luke 12:37). Every believer will be eternally satisfied; to our eternal delight, heaven will unfold the full majesty of His continued care.
Is there not, also, an example that we are given? In John 13 He girded Himself with a towel and served His disciples. His words were, “I have given you an example” (13:15). If the One we own as Lord stooped to act as a waiter to meet the needs of His own, how can any one of us act as though we should be served by others? If He served others, then we can rise no higher than to serve one another. He served Peter who had denied Him. He served disciples who had deserted Him. He served Thomas who doubted Him. Can you find an excuse to not gird on the slave’s apron and serve others?