And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” Genesis 17:15-21 ESV
Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” John 6:5-11, 15, 25-27 ESV
Once Jesus had a crowd of five thousand men, and also many women and children, who were hungry. He took five loaves of bread and two small fish and fed them, and everyone had enough to eat. They even had 12 baskets full of leftovers! When the people saw this miracle they wanted to make Jesus their king. With a king like Jesus, they thought they’d never be hungry again. But they missed out on what Jesus really had to give them, eternal life with God. All they could see was the bread.
Abraham’s son Ishmael was now 13 years old. Abraham loved his son. He had waited for the son God had promised for a long time, but he couldn’t see that son. All he could see was Ishmael. When God repeated his promise once again, Abraham wanted Ishmael to be the son of promise. But this wasn’t God’s plan. God loved and blessed Ishmael, but he reminded Abraham to wait for the promise to come true. Jesus would come from the family of Abraham through the promised son, whose name would be Isaac.
Sometimes we only see the blessings from God that are in front of us. We are happy to have our home and family, food and clothing, friends and good health. All of these are wonderful blessings to thank God for. But often God needs to remind us to see that he has even more for us. We forget the best blessing of all, the eternal life with God that Jesus won for us on the cross. All the other blessings won’t last forever. Only life with Jesus is forever. He is the best blessing of all.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all the good things you give us, and especially for forgiveness and life through Jesus. In His Name, Amen.