I am in the thick of a 30 days reading plan to go through the gospels. My phone makes these things much easier to accomplish & rather annoyingly at times, much more difficult to avoid.
Last week when I read through the feeding of the five thousand, a story almost everyone knows, something jumped out at me that I had not previously thought of. So I decided I should share that, because well, that is apparently what I now do, you know, share things that I think.
The feeding of the five thousand, there are so many lessons to be learned from this. There is a beautiful picture of the power of God, an amazing miracle from Jesus, his testing the reactions of his friends. What came to me today though is that it is an amazing example of how what could not possibly be enough from a human perspective, was more than enough.
My meaning is based on a question I have had & I’m sure many others, how can there be enough God to go around for each of us?
From a human perspective, there can’t possibly be enough God, just like there was no way they could feed five thousand+ people with 5 loaves of bread & 2 fish.
From a God perspective, not only was there more than enough for everyone, 5000 men, plus women & children (if the church was anything then like it is today then we are probably more realistically saying it was the feeding of 20,000 or more!). Not only was there more than enough for everyone there were 12 baskets left over. They had more left over than they had to begin with.
There is more than enough God for you, me & everyone & there will still be more left over than we thought there was to begin with. I believe there is significance in the number of baskets being 12 too. There were 12 disciples & God is saying to the teachers of this world, give everything of yourself & I will have more of you left waiting than you had to begin with. Also there were the 12 nations of Israel, God was also showing in that that there is enough of the bread of life for the entire nation, the entire world. The message is not so much in the feeding of the people the food that disappears, but in the eternal, the bread of life.
The primary lesson in this, is that we need not worry about troubling God for some of his love & attention. While it is beyond our human comprehension, it is clear to me that there is more than enough of God for each of us, He can give his complete, fully present self to me & still have His complete self available for you & you & everyone in the world. Isn’t an infinite God, beyond human comprehension & description a truly wonderful thing?
The Feeding of the Five Thousand
6:1 After this1 Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (also called the Sea of Tiberias).2 6:2 A large crowd was following him because they were observing the miraculous signs he was performing on the sick. 6:3 So Jesus went on up the mountainside3and sat down there with his disciples. 6:4 (Now the Jewish feast of the Passover4 was near.)5 6:5 Then Jesus, when he looked up6 and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread so that these people may eat?” 6:6 (Now Jesus7 said this to test him, for he knew what he was going to do.)8 6:7 Philip replied,9 “Two hundred silver coins worth10 of bread would not be enough for them, for each one to get a little.” 6:8 One of Jesus’ disciples,11 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 6:9 “Here is a boy who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good12 are these for so many people?”
6:10 Jesus said, “Have13 the people sit down.” (Now there was a lot of grass in that place.)14 So the men15 sat down, about five thousand in number. 6:11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed the bread to those who were seated. He then did the same with the fish,16 as much as they wanted. 6:12 When they were all satisfied, Jesus17 said to his disciples, “Gather up the broken pieces that are left over, so that nothing is wasted.” 6:13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves18 left over by the people who had eaten.