The Baker and the Cupbearer

Both the baker and the cupbearer had displeased their King, their patron and employer. They had both failed to meet his expectations in such a severe way that the only possibility he had was to throw them both in jail.

Yet, after time to cool down and reflect, the Pharoah killed the baker and restored the cupbearer to his original place.

Why such a radical difference of end result for these two men? Is it possible that the difference stems from their different roles.

A baker has one job… To ensure that their employer gets fresh, healthy food.

A cupbearer had one job… To ensure that their employer gets fresh, healthy food.

But they do the job in very different ways. A baker makes the food and concentrates on the food. A cupbearer eats the food before the king and shows the king the personal effect of the food on his life before passing the food onto the king.

Many pastors and leaders provide good food for their people. They are great feeders, preaching great messages, selecting great teachers, using great curriculums. They are bakers.

But if that is all you are, if you mess up – and one day you will, people will discard you, you will be dead to them.

But if you eat the food yourself, in front of the people. If they see you working things out too, if you do not just merely share your food and teaching, but share your life, and take the risk out of dinner for them. Well, if you do these things they may get mad at you every so often, but they will allow you back into your life.

It’s actually really easy to get good food in the body of Christ today, in fact I’d dare say there is too much teaching available, certainly you could never listen to it all or give it all due care and attention. It’s easy to find another baker.

It’s hard to find someone who will share their lives with you, take risks for you, fellowship with you, and let you see the effects of your dinner on them before you even get near it. You don’t throw people like that under a bus.

Leaders, pastors – don’t just feed your people, tend to them. It is a key to longevity.

Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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