A little water to the soup

Anyone who has had to entertain unexpected guests knows what this feels like. Ever had to add water and seasoning to stretch a soup or stew? Ever had to add much bread to a meatloaf or burgers to make provision for six stretch to feed a hungry twelve? Ever been challenged by the hungry stare of your children’s visitors and the excited assuredness of your children? Want to stay for lunch? My mother will feed you. Is it okay?
This is that on steroids multiplied by Jesus’ determination to teach the disciples at every opportunity. Like us they easily lost lessons along the way. By the time of the second feeding, recorded in Matthew and Mark, they’d forgotten the first feeding and were just as perturbed as in the beginning.
When they told Jesus what they’d found, he instructed them to prepare the people to share a meal together. Even at this they had no idea how the little they had could possibly be stretched beyond anything their minds could imagine.
And the peculiarity in John is that he put the “found” food in the hands of the little boy. Apparently his mother had sent him off well prepared to follow Jesus all day long. She’d given enough food for himself and to share with someone else. He surely couldn’t have consumed seven loaves of bread and five fish by himself. Somehow the Spirit of God gave her a push that day to make sure she’d pack exactly what Jesus would need to feed every one of the five thousand who found themselves unable to tear themselves away from the powerful words Jesus shared with them.
So the disciples instructed them to prepare to eat. I’m sure they were equally curious as to how, great teacher that he was, Jesus was going to feed so many people. {An excerpt from Jesus in the Key of St. John. PreOrder now on Books and other things page. Publication date April 20.}

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