“Come And Eat The Bread Of Life…!”


“Come And Eat The Bread Of Life…!”(Jn.6:1-15).
Today we are reflecting on the miracle where Jesus fed five thousand people – according to the gospel of John.
The difference between the miracles of Jesus and today’s publicized miracles is in the motive. Jesus’ miracles were miracles of need, while today’s tele-miracles are miracles intended to demonstrate power, knowledge and closeness to the divine.
In our text Jesus expressed worry to Philip as to where they could buy bread to feed the more than five thousand people. John in his usual way of correcting the other gospels, says Jesus asked Philip “only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.” Philip told him that “eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Andrew spoke up that there was a boy around with “five small barley loaves and two fish.”
“The Jewish Passover Feast was near.” This means that in all probability there were wealthy and influential personalities among the crowd. Even though it is not mentioned, we know that some Pharisees and experts in the law were always around to see where Jesus would falter.
Even though Jesus asked for them to be seated, not all of them say. Otherwise it would not have been said, that “Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.” “Those who were seated” presupposes, some were not seated. Barley loaves was cheap bread, food for the poor. But on this occasion surely the rich ate it too.
When they had finished eating, Jesus told the disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” What was gathered filled twelve baskets. Sometimes we think that what we have received through grace should just be wasted as long as our immediate needs were met. But no! Jesus teaches by this that Waste not, for waste brings in wants!
Having seen the miraculous signs of Jesus the people hailed him as the expected Prophet.
Jesus knew they intended to come and make him king “by force,” he “withdrew to a mountain by himself.”
What a rich text! But for now we can make do with the following:

  1. If you want to follow the miraculous which are done today in the name of Jesus, take time to find out if it is intended to satisfy a pressing human need. If not, then watch out!
  2. As you follow Christ, check again to see if you are a Philip or a Andrew. Philip thought eight months’ wages was not enough for everybody to have just a bite. On his part Andrew said there was a boy with five barely loaves and two fish. Andrew inwardly felt that with God little is much.
  3. Jesus gave thanks before the food was distributed. Always thank God before meals.
  4. Jesus asked the disciples to gather the leftovers which amounted to twelve baskets. Manage your leftovers well. Those of us who have old cars know that you do not quickly throw away an old part. It comes in useful someday.
  5. This meal was a foretaste of the heavenly meal. Barley loaves were cheap food; food for the poor. In the heavenly meal there is no class distinction.
  6. I reserved the best for the last. Exegetes and Bible scholars sometimes bring all kinds of arguments as to how possible it is to feed five thousand people with five barley loaves of bread and two fish and still have leftovers. As if that is the strangest miracle. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry…” I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world”(Jn.6:35&51). Hundreds of years over, billions of believers have eaten and are eating and will eat of that bread of life. Yet they are always full and the leftovers always more than what has been eaten. Indeed; Jesus, our bread of life is the greatest of all food miracles!
    Therefore my friend, come and eat of the bread of life so that you won’t be spiritually hungry again.
    Sunday prayer: Bread of heaven, feed me till my want is over. Amen!
    Have a blessed Sunday! Peace be with you!
    Rev Babila Fochang.


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