The Wilderness and Hunger – Day 4

“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.” ~John 6:11

John chapter 6:1-14 tells us of “The Miracle of the Loaves.” Jesus was traveling the countryside teaching to the crowds that were following him. They had seen or heard of the miracles He was performing and they were seeking Him. Jesus noticed during the end of the day that they were in an isolated area with no towns or villages, no lodging or places to find food. Jesus seeing the needs of the people, did not want to send them away hunger. As the disciples were discussing the lack of money and provisions to feed the people, Andrew, the disciple brought a young boy forward to Jesus and he had five small loaves of barley and two small fish and then added, how far with this go? Jesus then had the people sit in the grassy areas and he lifted the bread and fish and gave thanks and distributed it to everyone as much as they wanted and were they were all filled.  Jesus had the disciples gather the leftovers and they filled twelve baskets. This is a great example for us as we seek God in our Lenten Study this week focusing on “Hunger.” Why this miracle? Why this particular group of followers? What is Jesus teaching us to do now?

Why this miracle: Jesus saw the needs of the people both spiritually and physically. Jesus did not want to send the people away hungry, He felt compassion for them. He “thanked” God for blessing the bread and fish.

Why this particular group: Jesus had filled the crowd with spiritual nourishment and He wanted them to be also be physically feed food that would strengthen them to return to their homes and villages and cities to share the “good news” of Jesus and share what they learned.

What is Jesus teaching us to do now: Jesus wanted us to be mindful of the needs of our neighbors, our friends, our communities and our world. Jesus wants us to share our food with everyone, both spiritual and actual food. I am and have been privileged to be part of a group who actively demonstrates and fills the needs of others through community gardens, food pantries, habitat for humanity, mission oriented trips to assist victims of natural disasters and mission trips to feed the souls of God’s children around the world as well as our own community. It’s a beautiful feeling to be able to help others and to teach them to also help themselves through the power of Jesus.

Our world is a wilderness in so many places and hunger is so prevalent our society. The Bible gives us many examples of “being” Jesus’ hands and feet in the world. To continue spreading the Gospel using the gifts that God blesses us with. I invite you to seek out your gifts if you are not aware of yours and give it to others joyfully. Everyone has a gift, some are good listeners, some can build houses/do repairs, some can sing, some can teach…it is an endless list. Be a blessing today.

Bible verses about serving others (the hands and feet of Jesus):

1 Peter 4:10-11 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen”

Matthew 25:35-40 “ I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ ..”

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Proverbs 11:25 “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

Hebrews 13:16“ Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Breath Prayer: God use me for your glory!

~Blessings and Peace~