What’s for Dinner? (Jesus-Style)
“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
Have you ever had doubts?
Fears that things weren’t going to work out, needs wouldn’t be met? That maybe this time – THIS TIME – God would forget about you.
I shared with you in my last post about the idea of daily manna in our everyday, modern lives.
How hard it is to see it, and other times, how easy.
It makes me feel better that even the disciples of Jesus, right there at the front lines while all the action was taking place, all the miracles, the healings…they still had doubts.
In the book of Mark, he records the miraculous feeding of five thousand with just five loaves and two fish. Five thousand men that is…the author didn’t record the number of women and children. I’ve heard estimates that the number was really more like twelve thousand.
Five loaves and two fish. Manna for a multitude.
After Jesus fed that multitude with contents of one little boy’s lunchbox, he went on to perform several other miracles. A little girl was delivered from demon possession. A man who was deaf was restored to hearing and speech. Oh, and then there was the whole walking on the water thing…
Mark records the amazement of the disciples at the end of chapter 8:
Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
There came a day when another multitude gathered at the feet of Jesus, a smaller one – just four thousand this time. Jesus called his disciples to Him and told them to give these hungry pilgrims something to eat.
I love their response. It makes me feel so normal.
But where can we go to buy bread?!
He fed a crowd larger than this one on a little boy’s lunchbox. The blind see, the deaf hear. The sick are restored to health, and the Son of Man is master over even the laws of nature and WALKS on WATER. They saw it all first hand and they still forgot.
Jesus gets a little frustrated with them. I think God gets frustrated with our feeble faith at times, too.
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
I can hear God asking me at times, like a parent to a child (and just like I ask my own children):
How many times have I provided for you?
How many times have I failed you?
Do you still not understand?
May we all have the vision to see the daily manna so ever present in our lives.