For this week's meditation, I wanted to think more about how God abundantly provides for the needs of those called by him. I remembered the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 and decided to read it again, with fresh eyes. Here are verses 12-14, which is what I want to concentrate on for this meditation.
When they were full, He told His disciples,During the time of this event, Jesus was getting tired. He had withdrawn to spend time with his disciples before the end came near yet people still followed him. Jesus had important things he wanted to tell the disciples, but he first had to address the thousands of people who were waiting for a word of healing from him.
"Collect the leftovers so that nothing is wasted."So they collected them and filled 12 baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign He had done, they said, "This really is the Prophet who was to come into the world!" Therefore, when Jesus knew that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He withdrew again to the mountain by Himself.
So, despite his weariness and his need for alone time, Jesus met the people where they were, which was with him. He set aside his own desires for a brief time so that the crowd may have some nourishment. Why did he do this? I don't really know for sure, because if it had been me, I'd have asked them why they didn't plan ahead and pack their own dang lunch. Fortunately for all the sinners in the world, I am not the Messiah - Jesus is.
First, Jesus let the people eat until full, not just a snack, but until FULL. His miracle created such an abundance that no one was leaving the least bit hungry. Jesus met their need fully. I don't want to over-spiritualize this, but it is important to me that he gave them the fullness of what their stomach needed, even though he knew they would also need him.
Second, he did not want to waste any of the leftover bread. Is this an environmental message? I don't know, but I think it does address being a good steward of what we are given, even if it is free. This week I will try to be more cautious about what I decide to throw away.
Third, this was one in a long string of miraculous signs given by Jesus. People had been following him because of these signs. Why is that only now, they are claiming he is the Prophet? Is it because they saw the miracle with their own eyes? I have the true and accurate testimony of the Bible to this and many more wonderful miracles, so I should know even more than they that Jesus is the Prophet.
Finally, what is that therefor there for? I think it is there to signal the end of the feeding story and to show us that Jesus has moved on from this interruption to finish his time preparing for the end. (My husband taught me to ask this question when reading biblical text, though I don't think I've mastered it yet.)
I'd love for you to share what you have been meditating on this week. Either leave a comment below, or write your own post and share the link with the rest of us. Or feel free to share your own thoughts on this passage. Did I miss something important, or do you have some other insight that you think I could benefit from?
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