‘While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: “Take it, this is my body”.’ Mark 14.22
We learn from our earliest days to say thank you when someone does something nice for us: if we receive a present, or if someone helps us when we are struggling, we always say thank you.
Jesus pushes this much further. When he was about to face his hardest time, he took bread and thanked God – for all that was past, for all that was to come, and for the deep truth that through everything (whether it felt good or bad) God was with him. Jesus taught us that we should always be thankful, and that hearts that learn to live like this learn to bless everyone around them in amazing ways.
Stories about Thankfulness
The Feeding of the Five Thousand (Matthew 14.13-21)
Everyone was unhappy – it was late and there wasn’t enough food. But Jesus lifted up what they had anyway, and gave thanks to God even though no-one else was feeling thankful. And suddenly – there was more than enough food for thousands…
The Grateful Leper (Luke 17.11-19)
Jesus healed ten lepers; but only one came back and said thank you. Only that one (and he was a foreigner) received an extra blessing from Jesus.
The Last Supper (Matthew 26.26-29)
Jesus gives thanks for the bread and the wine, things which will ever after remind his followers of his body and blood – his suffering on the cross which brings us forgiveness. He thanks God for something that will cost him dearly, but bless us. We should learn to have such a heart of love and generosity.