“And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces” (Luke 9:17).
The sun is setting. Jesus has been teaching and healing and dealing with people all day long.
His disciples come to him. “We need to get rid of these people. It’s about to get dark and we’re in the middle of nowhere. They need to figure out where they’re going to eat and sleep tonight.”
Jesus says, “You give them something to eat.”
They say, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish. Are you saying that we should go buy dinner for five thousand men and their families?”
Jesus says, “Tell them to go sit down.”
We don’t know what the disciples might have mumbled under their breath, but they tell everyone to take a seat.
Jesus looks up to the Father and blesses the food. Then he takes the bread and breaks it and starts giving it to the disciples to distribute.
Everyone ate. Everyone was satisfied. There were twelve baskets full of broken pieces of leftover food.
Two simple thoughts on this incredible story. There is certainly far more that could be said.
- The disciples were sure that they didn’t have enough. That wasn’t for them to decide. Jesus didn’t ask them to evaluate whether they had enough food – he just asked them to be obedient to a simple task. “Tell them to go sit down.” In other words, they didn’t need to perform the miracle. They needed to obedient to what was in front of them.
- When we walk in daily obedience to Jesus we are often tempted to think that we don’t have enough. That could be enough time, enough money, enough energy, enough gifting. With Jesus, there is always more than enough. The disciples didn’t just scrape by. The last two people didn’t have to share a couple bites of fish. There were leftovers. Twelve baskets full.
Note: Special thanks to our A29 brother Tim Chester. His book ‘A Meal With Jesus’ has had me thinking about this story for weeks.