10 Then Jesus took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve (disciples) came to Jesus and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
13 Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)
But Jesus said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
With Jesus, a great teaching moment can also be a miracle. In today’s story, thousands of hungry people are fed by the power and presence of Jesus. And as this miracle is unfolding, Jesus also teaches his disciples an essential attitude of the kingdom of God. He moves his followers from an attitude of scarcity to an attitude of abundance.
When Jesus feeds a whole crowd from these very humble offerings, he is revealing a Kingdom reality. God always provides more than enough. And as caretakers of God’s Creation, we are called to share God’s abundance so that everyone has access to enough.
An attitude of scarcity creates an ungenerous heart, one that keeps asking, “Is there enough for me?”
An attitude of abundance creates a generous heart, one that keeps believing “God is providing more than enough for all of us!”
This story is not just about bread and fish. It’s about a table of plenty. That’s why the story ends with, “They all ate and were satisfied” and there were twelve basketfuls left over.
Richard Rohr once said, “Only a personal experience of unconditional, unearned, and infinite love and forgiveness can move you from the normal worldview of scarcity to the divine world of infinite abundance. That’s when the doors of mercy blow wide open! That’s when we begin to understand the scale-breaking nature of grace.”
Before you move on with your day, choose to see and believe that in God’s kingdom there is more than enough for everyone. Think about how you might do your part to share the abundance. An attitude of abundance reveals the reality of the kingdom of God.
Lord, help me overcome the fear that I might not have enough. Help me see and believe that you always provide more than enough. Use me, as Jesus used his disciples in this story, to share your generosity with those who are hungry and in need today. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.