Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, 
He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them (Lk 9:16-17)

Fish and bread are a poor man’s lunch. I know that. I had regular sardine sandwiches for years as a student in England. To think the Jesus would take something common and make it outstandingly memorable is very much like God. In the feeding of the five thousand, what stands out for me was that ordinary food became memorable, simple people became inadvertent guests at a God-feast and lack became an occasion of super-abundance! Twelve basketfuls of crumbs were ample evidence.

I often wonder if the little boy who gave up his lunch ever believed in Jesus? He must been there when the miracle took place. While scripture is silent on this, we do know that for the crowd they interpreted it as a sign of Jesus as a prophet of God and wanted to make Him King (John 67:15). Right interpretation but wrong action! Jesus neither gave in to the fickle adulations of men nor surrendered to expediency of the moment. Amazing isn’t it that of all the spectacular miracles that Jesus did it was the one with food that convinced the crowds of his divine origin? 

The lesson here surely must be that God loves using ordinary things surrendered to Him even if they are “precious” to us! Five loaves two fishes and twelve basketfuls. Five is the number of grace; our daily bread is that of grace. Only grace opens the door for our ordinary puny sacrifices to be made into miracles for our lives! Two is the number of witness. Miracles testify to His grace that He is alive and lives in us! Twelve signifies the completeness of God’s power and authority. He rules over our lives! When the disciples each picked up a basket of leftovers making twelve in all, Jesus was essentially showing them His power so that they would not just believe Him but submit totally to His authority. Greater things were yet to come not just for them, but for us too, today. Only believe!

Ps Dr Philip Lyn

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