Friday January 29 2016

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Scripture: John 6: 1-15

Key verse: (11) “Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.”

Reflection: Jesus had a wonderful way of bringing people together and teaching them how to care for one another. This story about the loaves and fishes is often viewed as a miracle that Jesus performed. And perhaps it is, but not in the way we may think. Thousands of people were following Jesus to hear him preach and teach. The text says that Jesus knew what he was going to do, but he tested the disciples by asking “where are we to buy bread for all these people?” The disciples realized that this would be an impossible task. The question assumed that the people left their homes without any food or water. Highly unlikely. The boy that Jesus found had some fish and bread and my guess is that others in the crowd did, as well. But, they probably were unwilling to share what little they had with each other. Knowing this, Jesus had them all sit down. He took the bread and fish from the boy and lifted it up for them to see.  He gave thanks and the disciples distributed the food.  Everyone knew this wouldn’t be enough for 5000 people. The question is: did he miraculously multiply the fish and bread in a magical kind of way or did the crowd participate with him?  As the food was passed, did others put what little they had in the baskets so that everyone would have enough to eat?  Isn’t that the real miracle?  Jesus brought people together and taught them how to share with one another so that no one would go hungry.  There was even food left over!  This continues to happen today.  When we are willing to let go of our fear that we won’t have enough, others benefit.  Jesus invites us to cultivate spirits of generosity, not fear. And, when we pool our resources it is amazing what we can do together.

Prayer: Faithful God, transform us by the abundance of your grace.  Where we are clinging in fear, release us to serve you by serving others.  Where we think there is scarcity; help us experience abundance so that we might live courageously for you and others might experience a miracle.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Author: Deborah Conner

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

2 thoughts on “Friday January 29 2016

  1. I have read some very helpful, thought-provoking devotionals on this site. This wasn’t one of them. The implication is that these 5000 folks had brought so much food with them that they were able, once suitably motivated, to share, have everyone eat all they wanted, and still have many baskets left over. That’s so very unlikely as to only be invoked to avoid having to accept a miracle–as the folks who were there that day plainly did. If the resurrection is real, then any other miracle can also be real. If the resurrection is not–then who cares? Who cares at all?

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