22nd February 2019

Use Your Loaf 

“And he told the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
Matthew 14:19-20 (NIV)

The feeding of the 5,000 is one of the best known miracles in the Bible. But have you ever considered the leftovers?

Verse 20 tells us the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers, which in itself is something to ponder over. When you think about it, that probably meant there was more food left over than there was to start with!

Later in Matthew 16, Jesus reminds his disciples of the leftovers. When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. Be careful,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They discussed this among themselves and said, ‘It is because we didn’t bring any bread’” (Verses 5-7).

The gospel of Mark continues the story, “Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’ ‘Twelve,’ they replied. ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’ They answered, ‘Seven’” (Mark 8:17-20).

The yeast or teaching (Matthew 16:12) of the Pharisees and Sadducees was false and hypocritical. They pretended to be Godly but in their blindness they were unable to see what God was doing all around them. Here Jesus tells the disciples they are in danger of the same folly. They were worried about having no bread, when only days earlier, they had personally participated with Jesus as he miraculously filled the stomachs of two huge, hungry crowds with bread.

They worried that they had no bread, but they had forgotten that, right there with them, they had all the bread they would ever need in Jesus Christ, who is the bread of life (John 6:35).

Heavenly Father, strengthen our faith and help us to see and remember that Jesus is the bread of life. He is always with us and he performs miracles right under our noses every single day. In his holy name we pray.

Study by Peter Mill


About the Author:
Peter Mill is part of the National Ministry Team of Grace Communion International, UK and pastors the Edinburgh congregation.

Local Congregation:
GCI, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Mill
Email: edinburgh@gracecom.church

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