Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Numbers 17-19; Mark 6:30-56
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. 31 Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” 32 They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.
33 Many people saw them leaving and recognized them, so they ran ahead from all the cities and arrived before them. 34 When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
35 Late in the day, his disciples came to him and said, “This is an isolated place, and it’s already late in the day. 36 Send them away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy something to eat for themselves.”
37 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
But they said to him, “Should we go off and buy bread worth almost eight months’ pay[a] and give it to them to eat?”
38 He said to them, “How much bread do you have? Take a look.”
After checking, they said, “Five loaves of bread and two fish.”
39 He directed the disciples to seat all the people in groups as though they were having a banquet on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, broke the loaves into pieces, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate until they were full. 43 They filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of bread and fish. 44 About five thousand had eaten. (Mark 6:30-44, Common English Bible).
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned today’s lesson (one of the few stories outside of the Resurrection mentioned in all four Gospels). I sure was glad I removed that paragraph when I saw my blogging choices from today’s Journey Through Scripture readings.
Five Thousand people eating off of one little boy’s lunch, five loaves and two fish. I have, more than once heard various explanations of how this could possibly have happened. The idea of a miracle was no place to be seen.
Some years back I read a sermon that attempted to explain away Jesus feeding 5000 people. In reality, it was more likely upward for 15000 when you count women and children. Think about it this way, could a little boy carry five loaves of bread and two fish large enough to feed more than 5000 people, not to mention more than 15000?
The pastor/writer proposed that those who received the meal only were given a tiny morsel and were satisfied because they were included. There are two issues with that line of thought (well, at least two). First, five loaves and two fish cannot possibly be divided by more than 5000. I just don’t see that there is a way to make the math work. I may not be a math scholar but I don’t think one is required. Second, the Scripture says there were twelve baskets of leftovers. That means Jesus had more leftover than he had to start with. I guess that pastor skipped over verse 43.
In case that thesis was debunked, the pastor/writer then said, Jesus highlighted the little boy’s, generous heart, and inspired the otherwise selfish people to pull out the food they were hiding, and shared the food with those around them. Let me see if I’ve got this straight. The author doesn’t believe Jesus could do a miracle but does believe Jesus could get 5000 selfish people to share? I think the second argument defeats the first. It would take a miracle to get 5000 selfish people to share. Well, that is my thought anyway.
I except the miracle here at face value. There are, after all, many more miracles that cannot be explained away. And, is I said yesterday, God can do whatever God wants to do. If God is omnipotent, if God is all-powerful, God can do miracles far bigger and far greater than we mere humans can ever understand.
Feeding 5000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread? I think God might say, “My child, you’ve not seen anything yet.”
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved