Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. John 6:1-15
As I meditated on this passage this morning, I envisioned it. I wonder how many of us have an image, perhaps from a biblical movie, of Jesus up front and everyone sitting, looking forward (kind of like a church service)? But that is not how we eat meals, is it? We sit around tables, or on a blanket looking at each other.
That led me to a vision of this large group of people listening to Jesus teach, then, when hearing food was on the way, turning towards each other in fellowship. As the food was passed around, they all took what they wanted – with plenty for all.
While verse 14 tells us “the people” saw the sign, I wonder how many of the people saw it, how many actually realized from where their bounty came?
Over this past year many of us have been concerned about getting what we need (especially those items that were in short supply). Now we are concerned with getting the vaccine and getting some semblance of “normalcy”. In all this concern, have we stopped for a moment to look around at the bounty we still have?
Can we take a moment and give thanks for the bounty which we have received?
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1