• Gathered Under Grace


As Jesus left the Temple and His conversation with the religious leaders, He made His way to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. As He walked, people began following Him. The broken and disabled, the weary and the weak, and the lost and searching. They followed Him. The followed Him, hoping for more signs and miracles. Jesus selected the slope of a hill, and He sat down and prepared to teach. The disciples gathered around Him in anticipation of another lesson. Jesus looked up to see that the crowd had swelled and continued to grow. He motioned to Philip. John 6:5-6 Voice "But when Jesus looked up, He could see an immense crowd coming toward Him. Jesus approached Philip. Jesus (to Philip): Where is a place to buy bread so these people may eat? Jesus knew what He was planning to do, but He asked Philip nonetheless. He had something to teach, and it started with a test." Jesus, smiling that all knowing smile, hopes that this moment will be the inducement needed to grow Philip's faith. 'Where can we buy bread to feed these people.' His raised arm gesturing towards the growing number of people as He asks Phillip for his thoughts on lunch for the crowd. I imagine Philip was stumbling and stammering as he tried to think of an answer. Thoughts of 'what, and how, and why'd He ask me' running through his mind. Money. Lots of money. The thought finally takes hold and Philip bursts out with 'I could work for half a year and we still wouldn't have enough money to feed a crowd of this size'. Andrew, Peter's brother, chirps up with 'there's a boy over here with five loafs of bread and two fish. A mere drop in the bucket for a crowd this size, but that's all we've got'. I've always imagined that Andrew anticipated the magnitude of the next few moments as he said those words 'Hey, there's a kid over here with some bread and a couple of fish'. Jesus was certainly anticipating the next step as He instructs the disciples to have all the people sit down. They sat there waiting, as Jesus came up front. He motions to the boy and takes the offering of food. Jesus picks up the bread, gives thanks to God, and begins passing out the bread. Then He picks up the fish, He gives thanks to God, and passes out the fish. Five thousand men, plus all the uncounted number women and children who were also there. It's not just a crowd, it's a very large crowd and they all ate lunch that day. Once everyone had eaten Jesus sent around baskets to collect the leftovers. John 6:12-13 Voice "When the people had all they could eat, He told the disciples to gather the leftovers. Jesus: Go and collect the leftovers, so we are not wasteful. They filled 12 baskets with fragments of the five barley loaves." Did you notice that Jesus was concerned about waste? 'Waste not, want not' is a quote attributed to Ben Franklin, but right here in verse 12 we find Jesus speaking to us about not being wasteful. Abundance is a blessing from God and should be handled with care. Twelve baskets of bread, but there is no mention of leftover fish. (Which is probably a good thing, because leftover fish doesn't keep very well. Stinky). Still, twelve baskets of bread and every single person was satisfied. The Bread of Life in action. John 6:14 Voice "After witnessing this sign that Jesus did, the people stirred in conversation. Crowd: This man must be the Prophet God said was coming into the world." Many in the crowd of people were hoping that, at last, the king that they had dreamed of, had finally arrived. They wanted a king who would lead a revolution. A revolution that would take them out from under the oppressive rule of their Roman overseers. Jesus, sensing the climate of the people, chooses to go up the mountain to be alone. As we now know, Jesus had a much bigger revolution in mind. A love revolution that does, indeed, take people out of bondage and into freedom. A love revolution that changes the world forever. Hallelujah! The Bread of life that lasts forever.

#Love #Abundance

Deltona, FL, USA


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