Most of us have read or heard the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. An incredible miracle no doubt. In John 6, Jesus and the Twelve have gone up a mountainside. When Jesus looks up, he notices a huge crowd coming toward them. Huge meaning approximately 5,000 men, plus women and children. Thousands upon thousands.
He asks his disciples how they will feed this crowd. There is some speculation by the Twelve, with the conclusion there aren’t enough financial resources to do so. I wonder if the disciples are incredulous that Christ wants to feed the mob and perhaps even more incredulous that he doesn’t seem to realize they don’t have food or money to do so.
Andrew speaks up and says, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” (Johns 6:9) Does Andrew sense the potential for a miracle? Or is he just noting that one person (a kid at that) out of so many was wise enough to bring along a snack?
What speaks to my heart is that “Jesus took the loaves and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were seated–so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.” (John 6:11)
Another brain twister. Did Christ give thanks because he knew of the miracle to come? Or did the miracle occur because He gave thanks? I’m sure there are biblical scholars who can answer this question, but since I’m not numbered among them, I’ll give you my non-scholarly interpretation: It’s both.
Christ believed in His Father for provision. He knew that if he trusted, the miracle would come to be. He also knew that giving thanks to God and praising His Holy Name must come before all other things. The miracle was on the cusp of unfolding when the thanks given pushed it over the top.
And they filled 12 baskets with pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten. (John 6:13)