Jesus and the Five Thousand (First World Style)

February 26, 2010

Jesus and the Five Thousand

Jesus withdrew privately by boat to a solitary place, but the crowds continued to follow him. Evening was now approaching and the people, many of whom had traveled a great distance, were growing hungry.

Seeing this, Jesus sent his disciples out to gather food, but all they could find were five loaves of bread and two fishes. Then Jesus asked that they go out again and gather up the provisions that the crowd had brought to sustain them in their travels. Once this was accomplished, a vast mountain of fish and bread stood before Jesus. Upon seeing this he directed the people to sit down upon the grass.

Standing before the food and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks to God and broke the bread. Then he passed the food among his twelve disciples. Jesus and his friends ate like kings in full view of the starving people. But what was truly amazing, what was miraculous about this meal, was that when they had finished the massive banquet there were not even enough crumbs left to fill a starving person’s hand.

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Pretty shocking to have Jesus do something like that, huh?

One theological line of thought that I really resonate with is the idea that from the moment of creation until now God has wanted representatives on earth. This is why humanity is made in God’s image; why God called Israel out of Egypt; why the Prophets raged about Israel’s iniquity; why God incarnated; why there’s a church. As a preacher I once heard put it, “God wants friends.”

The world is not an endlessly abundant, bottomless resource to be taken advantage of. It is incredibly bountiful, no doubt, and there’s enough for everyone. It needs to be distributed properly. If Christians are the vision of Jesus on earth, then what does it say to the poor and starving when Western Christians gorge themselves on the resources they’ve taken away from the poor, in full view of the starving people, all to feed insatiable affluence? What does it say about Jesus?

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2 Responses to “Jesus and the Five Thousand (First World Style)”

  1. Bearss said

    For a second I was confused, because that’s not how the story goes, then I realized you were talking about something else. I felt smart.

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