He gives thanks for the seven loaves, hands the bread to his disciples, and 4,000 people eat dinner.
The disciples pick up the scraps, but somehow forget to bring any along for the boat ride home.
Well, there is one little loaf….but that’s not enough to feed 12 hungry men…..right?
There is a discussion. “Why didn’t you bring some of that leftover bread?” “Nobody told me to.” “I thought he was getting some.” “I thought you were.”
The Master asks the next question: “Why are you talking about having no bread?” The embarrassed silence is followed by seven more rapid-fire questions. The men manage to answer two of the eight questions.
The easy ones.
“How many basketfuls did you pick up when I fed 5,000 with 5 loaves?”
“How many basketfuls did you pick up when I fed 4,000 with 7 loaves?”
Now the hard ones:
“Do you have eyes but fail to see? Do you have ears but fail to hear? Are your hearts hard? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember?”
I think I’m starting to understand.
Followers of Jesus are called to give and serve and feed and clean up after people. The task can appear overwhelming and some days it seems impossible to satisfy the needs of so many. And then Jesus speaks blessing over the paltry offering and a miracle takes place. It’s amazing, but it’s also exhausting. Servants go home tired and realize they didn’t get to eat the miracle meal.
Jesus says, “What do you mean, there’s nothing left for you? What’s in your hand?”
I say, “A few bread crumbs.”
And He says, “Don’t you remember? Don’t you understand?”
Jesus, the great multiplier, is in my boat, where crumbs become a feast.
I’m beginning to understand.
(You can read the Biblical account in Mark 8:14-21)