John – God Speaks!
This is the season for, let’s face it, overeating which borders gluttony. We have many reasons, (AKA excuses and rationalizations), for doing so. Yes, I’ll try your cookies. I wouldn’t want to offend your baking skills. Yes, I’ll eat that dessert in the 9 by 13 pan of deliciousness full of a million calories because everyone else is doing it. It’s the social thing to do.
As the host, you provide way more than you need so that the favorites of all who will attend will be happy and give you compliments on your abilities. Ah, and then there are the leftovers that you don’t want to go to waste, so you eat them. For. Days.
Healthy living that controls food intake is put on hold until after the holidays. Admit it. We ALL do it. Well, most of us.
What if we were as hungry for Jesus as we are that piece of pie? What if we didn’t care about food for just a little while? What if we ignored those tummy growls long enough to keep hearing from a Person who spoke and behaved like no other we had ever encountered in our lives?
He makes sick people well! He talks and walks with confidence but not cockiness. His eyes, oh those eyes, when He looks at you. It is as if He can look right into your soul.
What if we just could not tear ourselves away from listening to Him tell us about God, life and purpose? What if we didn’t even know we were hungry for physical food because our hearts were being fed to overflow with Spiritual nourishment like never before in our lives?
Would we settle for a couple of fish and small loaves of bread?
John 5, New Living Translation
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.
WOW! Jesus already knew what He was going to do before He did it. I am reminded by what God always does in my own life. He meets a need before I know I will need it. He does this in a variety of ways. I am so thankful he does.
WHAT ELSE DO WE LEARN?
–The people weren’t really complaining of physical hunger, it was the compassion of Jesus to care for them while they listened to Him.
–“This is what we have, what good is that?” Jesus took what they had and gave thanks to God. When God intervenes it is more than enough to do His work in His way in and through us. Jesus, again knew exactly what He was doing. This was a lesson for his disciples. God will provide where He guides.
–They had LEFTOVERS! What did they do with the leftovers? (I really don’t know, but it could have been shared with those who arrived late to the party.) God always provides enough to have and to share.
–“Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” The Messiah they have been waiting for centuries is here among them and they are realizing it for the first time. Jesus’ popularity picks up speed and greatness as we travel through the gospel of John.
–Jesus’ also knows it is not time to rule as King of kings and Lord of lords as the people see it….so He slips away by Himself. God’s Son knows what He is doing.
And now we know who Jesus is, what He has done for us and stand ready to tell His story. We can trust Him! We can put all our hope and faith in Him! He KNOWS what He is doing!
How about we eat less and tell more about Jesus, focused on His love, mercy and grace. Let us pray for His Holy Spirit to fill us to overflow with His goodness and nourishment with the Bread of Life that is eternal!
And…Share the “leftovers”!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for teaching us about your love, mercy and grace. Thank you for providing all we need and more so we can share with others who need to know you, too. Thank you for being with us. Thank you for saving our souls. I love you, Lord with all that is in me.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.