“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples
picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.
What do these verses have to do with us today? After all, we are far removed from the time Jesus fed the 5000 men, or are we? I know this story well, but when I read it recently, new meaning clicked into my mind.
Picture Jesus, tired and weary and longing to escape the ever-pressing crowds to spend time with his disciples. They had taken a boat out on the water, but the people spotted them on the lake and ran to the other side. When they arrived, Jesus saw a huge crowd waiting. Weary as he was, he had only eyes of compassion for he saw all the way to their souls—their physical ailments, their sorrows, their deepest needs. So he went up on a hillside and taught them the things of God. Scripture tells us it was already late in the day and the disciples were worried about feeding them. They were in a remote area and they wanted to send them home early. Instead, Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.”
Today, we would definitely think he had lost his mind, and the disciples were no different. How could he even say such a thing? There were at least 5000 men there and that wasn’t counting the women and children. It was ridiculous to suggest such a thing.. That would take almost a year’s wages. Surely he didn’t expect them to give up that much money.
Then Jesus asked how many loaves they had. They checked and found five loaves and two fish.
Definitely not enough. But Jesus very calmly had the people sit down in groups of fifties and hundreds. Then he took the loaves and fish, gave thanks to God, and started breaking them.
Well you know how this ends. They ate until they were filled—we would say “stuffed.” Then the disciples began to gather up the leftovers and found they had twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. This was definitely a miracle! After all, a feat such as this was unheard of.
The people had been feasting spiritually on the teachings of Jesus. I suggest the physical miracle of this story is to demonstrate to us that when we feast on God’s Word, reading our Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to teach us, we will have spiritual leftovers to give others. You can’t give out Jesus unless you are filled with Jesus.
Thus, feast on Jesus continually and you will be surprised at how many pieces of the bread and the fish (think of it as spiritual fruit) from your life will be gathered. I can promise you, he will heap blessings on you and those you share with.
©Janet Teitsort April 6, 2017