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Daily Devotions – Feeding the 5000

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:

John 6:1-9 (ESV)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”

In yesterday’s sermon, Jesus taught that he is the bread of life, and those who eat of his bread will have eternal life. Today and tomorrow, we will look at the wider context of his teaching. This actually occurred right after the feeding of the 5000. Notice how this scene takes some of the same themes that we saw when God provided manna in the wilderness during the time of Moses. The disciples saw an overwhelmingly large crowd, and a tiny amount of food. By asking the disciples to distribute the meager supplies to the huge crowd, he was asking them to put their faith in Jesus’ love, and not in what their eyes saw. When they had the faith to act on Jesus’ words,  they not only were fed, but they had lots of leftovers. When we act on Jesus’ words, and give away the seemingly small amounts we have, we can trust that in the end, we will have more than we started with.