Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2009 – 14:28
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Note the plot of this well-known story where Jesus feeds the crowd: Jesus moved to the countryside (v 1), but many people followed Him there (v 2). When He looked at the crowd, He saw that they needed food (v 5) and his heart was filled with compassion. His question to Philip emphasised the enormity of the need (v 7). Although Andrew might have only told Jesus of the boy with his food parcel to further point out that only one of the crowd thought of bringing food (v 9), Jesus saw in this an opportunity to address the need.
“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people” (v 11 – NLT). Everyone had more than enough to eat, there were even twelve baskets of leftovers (v 13).
It is clear from this story that Jesus is deeply concerned about the multitude’s need for food and that even a young boy’s food parcel can be instrumental in the way He addresses these needs.
For the crowd, Jesus’ miraculous signs were their reason for following Him (v 2) and even for planning to take Him by force to make Him king (v 15).
However, upon reading verses 14 and 15 it becomes clear that Jesus’ ministry cannot be limited to only that of serving people by providing for their immediate needs. Jesus performed these signs as pointers towards who He really is.
To think about or discuss: What needs do you see in the context of the HIV and Aids pandemic? What could God use to address these needs? Will you be able to keep your focus on whom God is when He provides much more than you could imagine?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)