April 20, 2012 Acts 5: 34-42; John 6: 1-15
This Gospel story is a familiar one … almost too familiar … we can easily tune out and miss out on the deeper meanings.
The crowd’s motive in pursuing Jesus was largely self-satisfying … they were intrigued by the “signs He was performing.” They weren’t really disciples … rather they wanted in-on the action!
Jesus, however, sees the crowd and overlooks motivation … rather He sees need … they were hungry … and He asks, “how can we feed them?” Phillip sees no solution … but there is a boy who has barley loaves and fish … maybe his own lunch; but surely not enough to feed the crowd! OR … is it?
Jesus takes what’s available and in a ritual reminiscent of the Eucharist … Jesus distributes life-giving food… enough for all! And … in typical fashion … the crowd saw only another “amazing” thing … another sign … and they misread it … they saw bodily food.
The true sign pointed to Jesus and the food for eternal life which He was to give … but the crowd’s focus wasn’t on Jesus as the Messiah … rather they saw Jesus as provider … leader … earthly king.
Jesus had them “eating out of His hand” … they just didn’t understand that His kingdom was not of this world.
So … what about our focus? We have the true Bread of Life in the Word and Sacrament.
May our focus be clear … on Jesus … to strengthen and satisfy the hunger of our hearts.
Gospel Jn 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.