Only in God’s Economy

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 Chronicles 4-6; John 6:1-21

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. 12 When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.

At some point, almost all of us have experienced the “More Month than Money Syndrome.” I doubt that is actually a thing. I think I just made it up but then again, there are other things I think I makeup and come to find out, they really were already a thing. So while I think it isn’t a thing, who knows, it could be.

Sometimes it just seems like no matter what we do, the paycheck runs out and we look at the calendar and there are still plenty of days left before the next payday shows up. I know I have experienced it more than once. I also remember hearing my dad talk about times when I was little that making ends meet was a struggle. Don’t get me wrong, we were never without food or without a roof over our heads. It’s just that getting close to the end of the month, there wasn’t much money for anything extra.

John wants to make sure we are aware that Jesus already knew what he was going to do before anything ever started, yet he asks, “Where will we get food enough to feed all these people?” Well, it would seem, in the Divine economy, it really doesn’t take much.

Enter Andrew with a young friend who apparently was the only one who was ever a Boy Scout. That just means he was prepared, which is the Boy Scout motto. This young boy was the only one who stopped by his local Kroger to buy something for a sack lunch before he got on the hillside.

Everyone sits down for a picnic in the grass. Jesus divides up the food. There is no way anyone could have more than a pinch is there? There was five loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5000 men. There were also women and children present.

The disciples begin handing out the food. Everyone gets all they want. How could that be?

“Everyone, feeling generous, took just a pinch and that allowed the food to make its way through all the people.” Really? You must be joking. But that is what some Biblical scholars argue. The real argument to them is far more about Jesus quelling their hunger than the amount of available food.

Let me ask this question? If Jesus can perform a miracle to make everyone satisfied with just a tiny morsel of food, why bother with the food at all? Just place satisfaction in their stomachs and call it a day. Additionally, the idea of each person only getting a crumb cannot explain having more at the end than you have when starting.

“When the people saw the generosity of the little boy, they pulled out the food they had hidden and everyone shared their food. It was one giant potluck dinner.” I guess it would be possible but I doubt it. Have you EVER gotten one selfish person to share anything? Multiply that experience by more than 5000 and you get an idea of how unlikely this argument really is. That proposal might be the biggest miracle of all (he says in words dripping with sarcasm). Besides, why do some of us feel it so necessary to explain away something that requires us to accept it on faith? I do guess if this one were true, it would be possible to have more at the end than you had in the beginning.

Still, if Jesus was to be believed, is to be believed even today, in spite of the numbers that would say this whole story was impossible, we humans all too often fail to take the power of God into consideration.

This story is a great example of God’s power. Where else could a very small investment produce a net result thousands of times the initial investment in a period of only an hour or two. That is God’s economy.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

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