And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Mark 6:42-43
In today’s Gospel we read one of my favorite childhood miracle stories, the feeding of the 5.000. As a child it filled me with awe and wonder that by praying over a simple, small meal of 5 loaves and 2 fish Jesus could feed such a multitude. As an adult I am still filled with wonder by this miracle, but I see more than just the miracle itself; I see Jesus’ character. First Jesus rejoices in his disciples newly returned from mission. Wanting to hear their stories of evangelistic success and recognizing their need to rest and renew, Jesus seeks to find a place for them all to get away. The crowd, however, desiring to be close to and listen to what Jesus has to say, follow them in great numbers. Jesus, seeing their hunger for his message, has compassion upon the crowd, changes his plans and proceeds to teach them. I envision a rapt crowd, hanging on every word; how I long to have sat and listened to what Jesus had to say that day. As the day drew to a close, rather than send the crowd away as suggested by his apostles, Jesus again has compassion on the crowd and feeds them- revealing to both his disciples and the crowd his power which comes from God. Afterwards he sends his apostles away for their needed rest, while he disperses the crowd and then goes to pray.
In this story we witness Jesus’s enduring and deep love for humankind and his willingness to feed us both spiritually and physically. He does not do this alone, he depends on God, the Father throughout, recognizing not only our need for the father, but His. All that Jesus does glorifies God and show us how to live. Such a beautiful example: demonstrating love, and compassion to others. He also reminds us to rely on God and to recognize our need to rest and renew ourselves through prayer and fellowship with other believers.
Lord Christ, thank you for your great love for me, for all of mankind. Help me to serve you by serving others, and to remember that I can do nothing without first seeking God.