Bread and Fish
Holy God, You are sovereign, faithful and generous. On this new day I affirm Your goodness and grace.
Read LUKE 9:10–17
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
One of the Names of God is Jehovah-Jireh, “Jehovah’s provision shall be seen.” Our God is willing and able to provide.
Luke moves from a general account of ministry (1–6) to a specific instance of the disciples being asked to take responsibility. They are invited into partnership by Jesus to do something extraordinary. It’s a large-scale version of his earlier commission (1,2). Then, they were to trust God to provide food for themselves (3). Now, they’re to trust for food for well over 5,000 hungry people! Sadly, as in the storm-threatened boat on the lake (Luke 8:24), all they could think about was the impossibility of the situation (13). They had forgotten seeing Jesus provide far more fish than they expected (Luke 5:1–11). Despite this and despite their recent personal experience of provision, their faith didn’t stretch to this new challenge. Jesus had to show them how to do it (14–16)—and with what generosity (17)!
This is the one miracle, apart from the resurrection, recounted in all four gospels. Clearly it had special appeal to the early church. The common motif of loaves and fishes in early Christian art bears witness to this. Certainly, this story expresses several important truths. It is an undoubted miracle, an event that can’t be reduced to human dimensions, speaking of Jesus’ power to take the stuff of everyday life and transform it into something extraordinary. It demonstrates God’s strong commitment to provide for those in need.
This miracle also has a historical perspective, both backwards and forwards. It is a reminder of God’s miraculous provision of food and water when Moses led the Israelites in the desert (Exod. 16:11—17:6), and it anticipates the promised Messianic banquet at the end of the age, a banquet which is for all peoples (Isa. 25:6–8; Luke 14:15-24; Rev. 19:6-9)!
Consider how you might help feed the hungry locally, e.g., by regularly supporting a food bank.
Lord, thank You for being my provider. You have given me more than I ever imagined, provision for my every need.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.