Jesus and the Honeycomb

Bees are one of the most fascinating creatures in our World. I have no knowledge of any critters outside our planet; there are enough on Earth to learn about in my lifetime! But I do admire the soft, fluffy beauty of honey bees and their clever habits, even if they might give a nasty sting sometimes.

Have you heard of the dance that the ‘scout’ bee performs to demonstrate to the other bees in the hive, where the best nectar is located? They’ve no maps, words, written signposts, or electronic signals, but their communication is brilliant.

Bees are the only insects that produce food for humans. Honey has no use-by date as it never goes off. It’s been acclaimed as a healing treatment for burns, on wounds, and as a preservative. Can you think of other uses – apart from eating it straight? The bee is an amazing example of God’s creation. How often he provides for us in ways that are beyond our understanding.

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, Maurie, my husband, is a bee-keeper – an apiarist. He loves his bees, but he’s been too ill to visit the hives. He’s now well enough to again take up the task he was doing before: making frames, preparing to melt the leftover wax so he could make foundation, and putting his whole Honey Room in order. Now he can get on with it! For a normally hard worker like him, it’s good to see him up and ready to go; just like his bees!

Soon he’ll be feeding them the sugar syrup that will keep them going until the weather fines up. He’s bought packets of sugar and a big pot to heat it in. He has an induction hot-plate out there so he can keep any stickiness out of our neat and tidy kitchen in the house! I like honey, but I can’t stand ants that send out their emissaries to see if visiting our kitchen benches is a profitable option! I wonder how they know when it’s sweet on there. Bees aren’t usually so cheeky, but the occasional one might get inside before we carefully usher it out into the garden where it belongs.

When I was researching for this post, I discovered that there’s a mention in some Bible translations that Jesus ate honeycomb. I don’t know why that word isn’t in all the versions of Luke 24: 42-43. It’s an interesting piece of information. The story occurred after Jesus’ resurrection, when he amazed his disciples with his sudden appearance among them. He showed them his hands and feet, and said, ‘Feel me, and see; ghosts have no flesh or bones as you can see that I have’. While they gaped at him in bewilderment, he asked, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’

What a shock! I can’t blame them because I’d be astounded in the same situation. But the JB Phillips translation of Luke’s gospel reads: They gave him a piece of broiled fish and part of a honeycomb, which he took and ate before their eyes. As the creator of honey bees, and the designer of the honeycomb, he had a right to partake of it any time he wished. 

I love to discover these little interesting things about Jesus. It thrills me that he is so like us. We get hungry, we like sweet food, and yet we can sometimes forget these everyday touches that he brings to our lives.  So don’t forget this incident when you eat your honey. I haven’t tried it on cooked fish yet, but it may be really tasty!




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