Where’s the bread?

Scripture reading for May 9th: John 6:1-21

“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”  He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.  Philip answered Him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite.” (John 6:5-7)    Jesus liked to ask questions that provoked His followers to think.  In this setting, they were away from town on a hill near the Sea of Galilee and had a large crowd of people who had followed Jesus there because they had seen His miracles of healing and were hungry for more.  Jesus was not only interested in their souls, but also realized that they needed food.  He challenged His disciples with the question about where they could get bread, knowing in His heart what He intended to do.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, found a young boy with five small barley loaves of bread and two small fish.  He brought them to Jesus, wondering how this small amount might help in feeding so many.  Jesus had them set the people down on the grassy slope and took the bread, giving thanks, breaking it and giving it to the disciples to distribute.  He did the same with the fish.  (John 6:10-11)  When all had eaten all they wanted, the disciples gathered up  twelve baskets full of leftovers!  This so excited the crowd that they were speculating on who Jesus might be and Jesus knew that they wanted to make Him king by force!  He withdrew to a mountain alone, probably to pray and resist temptation.

As we think about this miracle and Jesus’ question, we are reminded of several things.  First, God knows and cares about our physical needs.  Jesus taught His followers to seek first His kingdom, and what they had needed (physically) would be added to their lives.  (Matthew 6:31-34)  God cares for the birds and animals, and we are much more valuable than them!  Second, if we are willing to give what we have to the Lord, He can multiply that money or food and use it to fulfill a greater purpose!  God is a life-giver and loves to do more than we expect!  The left-overs will be more than what we gave originally! Jesus is the bread-maker and multiplier!

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