Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How much bread do you have? What can God do with it?

Mark 8:1-9 NLT
  1  About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, 2 “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.”
  4  His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?” 
  5  Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?” “Seven loaves,” they replied. 
  6  So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to his disciples, who distributed the bread to the crowd.  7 A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus also blessed these and told the disciples to distribute them. 
  8 They ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food.  9 There were about 4,000 people in the crowd that day, and Jesus sent them home after they had eaten.

Here it is again-- Jesus doing the supernatural to demonstrate both compassion for the needy and just who he really is--God!  It was not lost on the leaders because this record is followed by verse 9 telling how the Pharisees caught up with him across the lake and argued, demanding proof of "his authority." they knew what he was talking about. They understood he was claiming to be their Messiah. They recognized the scripture passages that he was fulfilling. They just did not want to release their personal purposes and prerogatives upon all that scripture. In short, they wanted to rule and not to serve, yet He was demanding that they serve. This was the first time he was to provide food for an impossibly large crowd, seemingly out of just an individuals small snack. This event came just on the heels of his instantaneous and miraculous curing of a deaf and tongue-tied man. ''

It is kind of like people today-- leaders of our nations-- who demand of God to prove that He is God and that he deserves their attention.  It is like the arrogant members of our academies and scientific communities who demand that God prove Himself to their satisfaction. They don't seem to grasp that they are not the creator-- but He is. They don't get it that they are the creature.  They totally miss the understanding that it is we who must plead with Him and not He who must plead with and satisfy us.

From just a sack lunch, Jesus fed 4 thousand people with seven baskets of left-overs. Not one of our world's leaders or academics have even imagined doing such a thing. Most would rather feed themselves that feed starving others. They will, of course, demand that others feed the poor but not they. Why did Jesus do this? He was concerned because these people had listened to his teaching for three days and were now without food. He needed to strengthen them for their journey home. Now, of course, He could have done it like He had for their ancestors during the 40-year wilderness wander. But he chose something a bit more dramatic and with a purpose-- to generate the equivalent of more than 4 thousand more lunches than the small single lunch of seven biscuits that the disciples could scrape together. He was teaching the people and the disciples as well that God will supply our need if we but trust Him.

How much bread to you have? What would you like Jesus to do with it today?

Your servant in Christ's Love

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