“Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.”
Luke 9:16-17 (KJV)
So where did the empty baskets come from which were then filled with the remains of the five loaves and two fishes? Surely no-one would have been carrying baskets with them when they followed Jesus across the countryside, whether full or empty. Why would they?!
Maybe it followed this type of scenario: The disciples come back from walking amongst the thousands of people, having given out bread and fish until everyone was well and truly filled to the brim. They are a bit worn out.
Then Jesus tells them to go and collect up all the left-overs. The disciples can’t believe he’s asking them to go through all those people again! But then ….. they think they will be let off the hook as they have nothing in which to collect the left-overs.
They are wrong ~ Jesus tells them to use the baskets. They think the sun has got to him, as they knew there were no baskets, and so they ask, ‘What baskets?’
He, probably with a smile on his face, tells them to use the baskets which are right behind them. They turn and are startled to find there are enough baskets for them to have one each!
To me, that seems a logical way for the baskets to have appeared. And God only asks us to do that for which he knows he’ll provide all the little things involved for doing the task. He would be an unreasonable God if he asked us to do things for which we didn’t have the means. And he’s not in any way unreasonable.
As I think of the things Jesus asks me to do, through the four Gospels, , I sometimes wonder, ‘And with what am I to do that?’ I feel sure he answers, ‘It’s behind you!’ Because, sure enough, I find I have all I need right there, behind me where I hadn’t looked. If in no other way, I find encouragement and strength in Jesus, who stands behind and beside me, to accomplish the task.
As an aside, I also think of the disciples’ faces when they saw there was no way out but to trudge through the people all over again and do as they were asked. That provides me with a smile as I seek to do his will myself.
Dear loving Father, thank you for providing all that we need for carrying out your will ~ and also for using our sense of humour to help spur us on.
Study by Ruth Edwards