Verse: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ?
And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
The Corinthians were a bunch of weirdos. It’s like they got some sort of half-baked version of Christianity, or they took what they heard and twisted it to fit their existing culture, a lot. In this case, they beat out Blaise Pascal and his famous Wager by about 1600 years: they were making sacrifices to idols/demons, and then doing the same sacrifices or using the same food in communion, to try to cover all their bases. Maybe their thought train was that if they just do all of the rituals that any god wanted, ever, that they would be all set.
They hoped that they could use the Lord’s Supper, or communion, as a ritual that would supernaturally protect them from harm.
Apparently God doesn’t actually like that. It’s not why he created the concept of communion. It’s not even intended to be ritualistic beyond some very small basics: remember Jesus’s sacrifice and its effect whenever you eat bread and drink wine together.
The Bible frequently talks about God’s jealousy. In the first three of the ten commandments, he talks about how he’s the one and only God. In the book of Exodus he says “not to serve other gods, for [he’s]…a jealous God”. In this verse, Paul is saying that they’re going to make God jealous and angry and he’s not going to let it slide.
He wants everything! Not just a piece, not just us performing a ritual to try to cover ourselves, and not just going through the motions of church attendance or churchy activities to try to squeak by.
Author: Jordan Ambra