Donna Karlen serves in Communications at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.
The feeding of the 5,000. It’s one of the most oft-repeated of the Jesus miracle stories. So let’s put ourselves in the scene.
Smell the sea air. Hear the unceasing noise of 5,000 people talking, laughing – probably complaining about the lack of food vendors. Feel the crowd pressing in on you – 5,000 was only counting the men – so actually there could have been 20,000 with women and children. Maybe you’re one of those women and you’re wondering what you were thinking this morning when you didn’t throw some granola bars and juice boxes in a bag to bring for your kids who are whining about how hungry they are. You didn’t plan on being here this long, but you’re drawn to this Jesus and can’t pull yourself away lest you miss some amazing thing he says or does.
Think about your stomach rumbling with hunger. You’re annoyed that there are SO MANY PEOPLE – maybe wondering why you bothered to come since you can’t even see Jesus. Maybe you’re one of the people Jesus had healed – the last thing you want to do is complain about being hungry. After all, the man made it possible for you to walk again!
Think about how Philip must feel more than hunger in the pit of his stomach when Jesus turns to him and asks, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” Wait – what? Was that my job?! You’re Andrew: even though you’ve seen Jesus make the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk, you still express your doubts about the possibility of anything being done to feed this crowd any time soon. Or what if you’re the youth who possesses the five barley loaves and two fish. You were kind of looking forward to chowing down on your own lunch, and yet you want to help out this man who is changing lives right before your eyes! What if you’re one of the people close enough to witness the miracle of Jesus multiplying those barley loaves and fish. Whoa – how’d he do that?! What’s he gonna do next? Walk on water?!
Yes, that and more. He will go to the cross and feed us all with the bread of eternal life.
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