Will's comment on my last post got deleted the other day for some reason, so I wanted to share an email exchange between Will and I with you that clarifies the meal on the beach thing and some good back and forth about the details of scripture...
First, I very much agree that the meal on the beach is an "echo" of the Last Supper. Regarding John not reporting Jesus's blessing of the meal. I've just assumed that he did bless it & it is unreported. I'm pretty sure that John doesn't report him blessing the Passover meal either. He (John) just reads to me as more of a "to the point" kind of writer. I'm just wondering what, in your experience, makes that stand out. I'm thinking that maybe I'm missing something.
You absolutely could be right - it may have just been an omission by John - something that he didn't consider important enough to report - a detail that he simply left out, etc. The other gospel writers include the returning of thanks at the Passover meal but it's true that John does not.
However, John does include the returning of thanks by Jesus at the feeding of the 5000 in John 6:11 "Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish." My point is certainly not to create a mountain out of a theological molehill - or to try to make scripture say something that it doesn't. My goal in noticing details like this and reporting them is to try to encourage others to foster a closer reading of the scriptures.
Too often people just do their duty of reading the bible, but I love to read it by putting myself in the scenario and asking all kinds of questions of the text and try to notice little details like this and ponder them. Simply that holy imagination that I talk about in class. But that being said, I also would never build a belief system or theology on any of these unsupported observations - just a way to help people to ponder scriptures from a slightly different angle.