Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Eating Alpha Bread of Life
Alpha Episode 2, Who is Jesus?
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” - Jesus, John 6:35
“There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it.”
― CS Lewis Author of the Chronicles of Narnia
Whatever you might think of Jesus, he had an incredible way of communicating. Jesus was a master at using material things to explain spiritual realities. Through His teaching and performing miracles — making the lame walk, the blind see, and even feeding 5000 people with five loaves and two fish — Jesus revealed that, not only was He God and had the power of God, but he showed us what life would be like in His coming Kingdom.
There are three main elements to this simple, yet delicious sandwich that uniquely communicate who Jesus is.
The first is the roast Beef. Beef is also known as ‘carne’ in spanish, which means flesh in latin. This part of the meal is inspired by the idea of God becoming human through the incarnation of Jesus.
The incarnation, or God coming to earth as a human in the person of Jesus Christ, is central to the Christian faith. God wrote himself into the story of humanity. Jesus was fully human, yet fully God. God became flesh. This was truly a new and profound idea for those in the ancient world — that a God would choose to become human, truly human, and walk among us, sharing our weaknesses and even submitting himself to death, was something that no one had ever heard of before.
The incarnation affirms the extraordinary reality that God took on human flesh in Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe that Jesus’ physical and human nature are the means by which we know God. It’s through the person of Jesus, the words and actions of his teachings and ministry, that we can know the creator of the universe.
Red Wine Au jus. The second element of this dish is inspired by Jesus’s very first miracle. Jesus and his mother were attending a wedding in a town called Cana. Weddings back in that day were often a week-long feast, so plenty of food and drink were needed. After the wedding was well underway, however, Jesus and his mother found out that this wedding party was running out of wine. So Jesus told the servants to fill some large jars with water, and they filled them to the brim.
“Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’ They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the groom aside and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink, but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:8-11
Feasting with bread and wine was a central part of the Hebrew culture in Jesus’ time. Wine, in particular, was extremely important in ancient times and was symbolic in a number of ways. It was used as medicine and even compared to blood as the carrier of life. It also symbolizes joy and celebration.
So when Jesus turned 1000 liters of water into wine, He not only enhanced the party, but He made a profound statement about His coming Kingdom. It’s going to be a feast! It will be a heavenly wedding banquet where joy and abundant blessings flow like healing wine toward all of creation. Turning water into wine as His first miracle was no mistake — it was Jesus pointing to a better day. It was Jesus showing us that life in His kingdom is full of justice, peace and joy.
The third element of this dish is the bread that the beef is wrapped in. The process of wheat becoming bread is a wonderful illustration for what it means when Jesus claims “I am the bread of life.” Bread goes through multiple transformations in the stages between going from a grain growing in a field to the loaf we can enjoy.
Bread starts off as grain in a field that we harvest. The grain is then ground into flour, formed into a dough with yeast and left to rise, and then baked. Think about how many transformations that is from seed to bread. In order for us to have the bread that sustains us, we need it to go through these transformations. We need it to become something other than its original state, and for that to happen, we have to kill the plant. It’s the start of the whole process. We need to take life in order to give ourselves life.
Jesus went through a similar transformation at the end of his time on earth.
After one of his preaching sessions, he performed a miracle and created thousands of loaves of bread to give a meal to a hungry crowd. The crowd of people then wanted to see another sign from God. They asked Jesus for more bread-like the bread from heaven, they called ‘manna’, that God had given their ancestors for 40 years to sustain them in the desert — and asked Jesus to keep giving them bread so they wouldn’t go hungry.
Instead, Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” This wasn’t just an idle claim.
In this claim, Jesus is saying that he wants to be our spiritual sustenance. He wants to meet more than just our physical needs, but our spiritual needs, our longing for wholeness, peace and justice. As much as you hopefully enjoy the food you’re eating now, you’ll be hungry again by the time you’re ready for your next meal. With Jesus, once he satisfies you spiritually, you’ll never need anything else.
Beef Dip with Red Wine Au Jus Recipe
There are 2 ways you could make this dish. One with pre cooked Deli Roast beef or with making a small roast in your own crockpot.
• 1kg Inside Round Roast Beef
• 2 Tsp Minced Garlic
• 2 Tsp dried or one Sprig of Rosemary
• 2 Bay Leaves
• 1/3 Cup Light Soy Sauce
• 1/3 Cup Mushroom Soy Sauce (optional)
• 2 Cups low sodium Beef Broth
• 2 Cups filtered water
• 1/2 Cup Red Wine
• 2 Shallots, Chopped
• 1/4 tsp Spanish Smoked Paprika (optional)
• 1 sprinkle of Liquid smoke (optional)
• 1/3 - 1/2 Cup Red Wine reserved for finishing Au’ Jus
• Rub, Season and sear roast in hot pan with:
• Splash of Olive Oil
• 3 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
• Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix and add Au Jus Ingredients to a large to medium sized Crock pot. Add seared Roast and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Roasted Garlic: Roast a garlic bulb by cutting off the top 1/4 of the bulb to expose fresh garlic. Drizzle it with olive oil and season with Salt and Pepper and dried Thyme. Wrap the bulb tightly with tin foil and roast it till soft. About 45 min at 350 degrees.
Once the Garlic has roasted and is soft, let it cool. Then squeeze out the soft garlic and mix with 1/3 cup of olive oil to make a creamy spread. Season with Salt and pepper and spread lightly on halved buttered buns. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese to taste. Place the prepared buns under broiler at 500 degrees and toast for 2 min or until golden brown. This step needs your full attention so the buns don’t burn.
Remove beef from Crock Pot and let cool for 30 min before slicing thin. Strain and reheat Au’ Jus, season with Salt and pepper and remaining Red Wine to taste.
Ladle hot Au’ Jus into bowls, add sliced beef to the toasted buns. Dip your buns in the hot Au Jus and enjoy!
Chef it up Option #1: Duxelle:
In a frying pan on mediem heat fry sliced Mushrooms, chopped garlic, chopped shallots, dried tarragon, thyme, parsley, and salt & Pepper. Cook all the ingredients until it caramelized, deglaze with red wine. Serve this as a spread on your Beef dip.
Serve your beef dip with a Kale Salad and purple seedless grapes. This dish pairs very well with Red wine or Welches Grape Juice.
Simplified Deli Roast Beef Version
Purchase 100 - 120 grams of Deli Roast Beef per person. Keep cold in fridge until ready for plating.
Quick and Easy Beef Au jus Recipe
30 - 45 min The longer it simmers the better it will taste!
1 litre of Beef Stock
1 Medium Onion - chopped
6 Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 cloves of Garlic
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 medium sized Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
½ cup red wine
Pour all ingredients into a medium saucepan and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. The longer it simmers the more flavour it will have. Strain through a strainer and ladle the Jus into bowls
Enjoy your beef dip and conversation!
Feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments section below. If you are on Instagram we would love to see your creations. Follow us at instagram.com/theosfeast and use the hashtag #eatingalpha