As evening approached, the disciples came to [Jesus] and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
The Greatest Miracle
Life is not about “getting what you want, but about wanting what you get”. When Jesus fed more than 5,000 people, he drove home that point. In that remote place no one was in a position to complain about the menu. Five dinner rolls, two fish, and the all-powerful and compassionate Son of God would have to do. Apparently, the crowd was happy with what they got: “They all ate and were satisfied …” What they got was a miracle.
Sadly, the great crowd missed the true significance of the event. They followed after Jesus looking for more bread. Jesus said to them: “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill” (John 6:26). They wanted bread and a “bread King”. Jesus had so much more to offer. He said: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), and explained that through faith in him they would have the life that never ends.
Jesus came to be the Savior of the world, not the supervisor of the world’s largest soup kitchen. I wonder, however, if that is what people want Jesus to be. We want God to wipe out poverty and put everyone back to work.
Maybe we miss out on the greatest miracle of the all-powerful and compassionate Son of God: the forgiveness of sins, spiritual life, and a place at the banquet feast of heaven. What we get from Jesus is an answer to the deepest hunger of our soul.
When we leave our house in a crabby mood with harsh words spoken to our children and spouse, our greatest concern is not what we will eat for lunch. Deep inside, we don’t want a sandwich; we want forgiveness. We care about our soul and then we want what we get from Jesus. We get the Bread of life. We get the One who did not have a crabby day. We get the One who died for all of us who have. We get the One who performed great miracles on earth so that we see him as the almighty God he really is and live with him who is our Savior both here on earth and in heaven.
Lord, lead us to see in Jesus the One who gives himself to be the bread that gives eternal life. Create a hunger in us for his forgiveness and great thankfulness for his abundant spiritual provision. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.