The people sit on the grassy slope, organized into groups of 50. (See Feeding the 5000 – Let’s Get Organized)
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven and blessed them. Mark 6:41a
I like to savor this line as I picture the Son of God lifting these meager offerings to the Father. He looks up to heaven, gives thanks, and gathers in God’s majestic power for what He is about to do. It is a high and holy moment. I imagine a hush falls over the people.
Then breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. Mark 6:41 b
Forgive me, but I tend to wonder about insignificant things and this is one of those times. Do we assume there were twelve baskets, one for each disciple? If so, where did the baskets come from? The disciples had previously been on the sea. Surely they didn’t have room for twelve baskets plus all the men in the boat.
Perhaps we can assume they borrowed some from the crowd. Pardon my need to know all the details! It does help us, though, to immerse ourselves in the setting.
Jesus busily breaks bread into the baskets. The disciples move through the crowd feeding this group of fifty and the next group. I imagine little paths of grass around each group so the disciples can get to everyone and see who has been fed and who hasn’t.
Once again, this all takes time.
What do we hear from those in the crowd? Maybe—”Where did all the bread come from?” “It seems like He is multiplying the pieces!”
And from the back of the crowd—”Will they run out before they get to us?”
“The disciples are running back to get more and more.”
“It is almost like his miracles of healing, but to feed this many, how can it be?”
He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted. Mark 6:41-42
How are the disciples themselves responding to all of this? Maybe they are wide-eyed with wonder as they watch the baskets filling again and again. They may be the only ones who know that Jesus started with just five loaves and two fish. Perhaps they look at each other in amazement and laugh out loud with delight.
After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people. John 6:11-13
One day Jesus would say,
“I am the bread of life.” John 6:48
Indeed He is the one who nourishes us, the one who sustains us and supplies our every need.
But, why did Jesus perform this miracle? Let’s explore that question next week.
~ Joyce ~