Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
(Matthew 14.13-21; Luke 9.10-17; John 6.1-14)
30After the apostles returned to Jesus, they told him everything they had done and taught. 31But so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said, “Let's go to a place where we can be alone and get some rest.” 32They left in a boat for a place where they could be alone. 33But many people saw them leave and figured out where they were going. So people from every town ran on ahead and got there first.
34 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd that was like sheep without a shepherd. He felt sorry for the people and started teaching them many things.
35That evening the disciples came to Jesus and said, “This place is like a desert, and it's already late. 36Let the crowds leave, so they can go to the farms and villages near here and buy something to eat.”
37Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.”
But they asked him, “Don't you know it would take almost a year's wages to buy all of these people something to eat?”
38Then Jesus said, “How much bread do you have? Go and see!”
They found out and answered, “We have five small loaves of bread and two fish.” 39Jesus told his disciples to tell the people to sit down on the green grass. 40They sat down in groups of 100 and groups of 50.
41Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and handed it to his disciples to give to the people. He also divided the two fish, so everyone could have some.
42After everyone had eaten all they wanted, 43Jesus' disciples picked up twelve large baskets of leftover bread and fish.
44There were 5,000 men who ate the food.
Fish and bread. Simple, everyday stuff. Depending on where in Canada you live, it might have looked like meat and potatoes, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Either way, it was a common brown-bagged lunch. Yet, it was the stuff of miracles.
Most of us have plenty of opportunities to ask for spectacular miracles. Health, finances, marriage or parenting struggles bring us to our knees time and time again. We pray, begging God for a miracle. We so desperately want the overnight miracle. Our eyes scan the horizon for something out of the ordinary, but see nothing unusual.
Sometimes the miracle comes, but we’ve missed it. It looked like a brown-bag lunch. Instead of instant healing, it was little bit by little bit after six months of chemo treatments. Or it was a baby born from someone else laid in our arms to call our own. Perhaps an invitation to Tim Horton’s when we’re lonely, or a snow day when we need the extra rest.
Jesus did something supernatural for the crowds. He gave them a brown-bag miracle. Fish and bread. Of the 5,000 men plus all the women there that day, how many of them saw the miracle? All of them saw it, but we only know for sure that twelve disciples knew what it was. The others got what they expected—a common, everyday lunch. All they knew was “somehow” the event had been catered. Perhaps more would have noticed the miracle if it had been chicken cordon bleu! But it wasn’t. God used an everyday lunch. A common miracle.
Are there brown-bag miracles happening in your life right now that you might be missing because they seem so common? May we never overlook the supernatural in the everyday.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being involved in my daily life. Forgive me for not always noticing the miracles you perform in my day. Please open my eyes to see your hand at work so I can praise and thank you. In your holy name I pray. Amen.