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. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” John 6:10-14 ESV
You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy. Psalm 65:9-13 ESV
There was once a little girl who lived with her mother, and they were very poor. One day this girl went into the forest and met an old woman who gave the little girl a magic porridge pot. When the little girl told the pot to cook, it would fill up with sweet porridge until she and her mother had all they wanted, and then she would tell the pot to stop cooking, and it would stop. Now the girl and her mother had plenty to eat every day, until one day the little girl went out to play, and her mother told the porridge pot to start cooking, but when she had enough she didn’t know how to tell it to stop. The pot kept cooking more and more porridge until it overflowed and filled their house, and the houses of all their neighbors, and the street, and the whole town, until finally the little girl came home and told the pot to stop cooking. Anyone who wanted to come home again had to eat their way home, but no one in the town went hungry for a long, long time!
This is just a funny story, but it’s a little like what Jesus really did for the many, many people who had gathered to hear him that day. He took five loaves of bread and two fish, and gave thanks to his Heavenly Father, then broke them and started giving them to people to eat. All the people–five thousand men and also many women and children–ate as much as they wanted, and then when Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, there were twelve baskets of bread and fish left over! Jesus didn’t just give the people a little food, but he gave them so much that there were lots of leftovers!
The abundant gift of food Jesus gave the people is a picture of God’s overflowing, generous love for the world. God sent Jesus into the world to show how much he loves us, and the greatest way that Jesus demonstrated God’s love was when he gave his life for us on the cross. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have life with him always. This is the greatest love the world has ever known, and it’s ours forever through Jesus, our Savior.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the overflowing love you’ve given us through Jesus. In His Name, Amen.