4 It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival. 5 Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” 6 Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do. 7Philip replied, “More than a half year’s salary worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, 9 “A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. 12 When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw that he had done a miraculous sign, they said, “This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world.”
In 2009 I was hospitalized for emergency surgery. When I came home and was recovering, I couldn’t do much, but every week day the door bell would ring around dinner time. I would open the door and someone from church was there with a meal for us. There was always enough for us, with some left over for my lunch the next day. It was such a gift and I am still so grateful that we were fed by my church family each day. It was like manna from heaven.
Do you remember the story in Exodus where God promised Moses he would provide the Israelites in the desert with quail and manna from heaven? He provided for their needs with just enough for the day, no leftovers. God was teaching his people to rely on him each day for their daily bread.
In today’s reading Jesus is testing his disciples’ faith. The crowd is hungry and far from town. He is asking his disciples to find food to feed five thousand and all they can produce is a boy with five loaves and two fishes. Seeing this small amount, the disciples have already decided it’s going to be impossible because they are looking at this problem with human sight, and not with the eyes of faith. How many times have we been confronted with what seems impossible, and not had the faith that God will see us through? Jesus then gives God thanks and breaks the bread and there is an abundance of food. Everyone eats their fill and there are twelve baskets of left overs. The people believe in Jesus only because they have seen this miraculous sign with their own eyes.
Jesus is showing us a glimpse of the Kin-dom of God, where our small faith, like the loaves and fishes, will be multiplied to accomplish, not what is humanly impossible, but the divinely miraculous. God has provided us with spiritual food so we see with the eyes of belief.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Look at the obstacles and opportunities of our current situation today. Do you need to see to believe? Can you see with eyes of faith or are you looking for a sign? Believe that Jesus is here among us, loving us, and helping us through our fear and anxiety. God will multiply our faith and provide the miraculous abundance in our lives that only his Kin-dom can bring.
Prayer: Blessed Savior Jesus, help me to see with the eyes of faith beyond the obstacles to the opportunities of this day. Multiply my small faith into your miraculous abundance. Protect me and guide me as we seek to help others to see with eyes of faith. Amen.