I believe the story is recorded in all four gospels, but this reference is taken from the 6th chapter of John. An unprecedented manifestation of miraculous power was about to unfold before the 5000 men (and no doubt, also, before their wives and children) who had gathered in that grassy spot. Jesus spoke to His disciples; “Make the men sit down.”
What a story! Minutes before, as the disciples agitated over the feeding of these people (and as Jesus tested them–see verse 6) Andrew had discovered a small boy whose thoughtful mother had prepared a box lunch for her child’s noontime meal. The five loaves and two fishes were coaxed (?) from the child, and had been handed over to Jesus.
Verse 10 “Make the men sit down.”
Verse 11 “And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.”
I wish I had been there. I wish I could have seen the astonished reaction of those favored people as the barley loaves and small fishes were divided… and divided…and divided…always enough, an inexhaustible supply. Would that my ears could pick up the astonished murmuring that surely rippled through that mass of humanity, as the people dined on ordinary food, now made heavenly, until at last, their appetites were satisfied, their bellies were filled, and there were baskets-full left over. Wide-eyed, surely, was that little boy who had given away his lunch. (If he had been trusted to go alone to hear Jesus, think of the story he told his mom and dad that evening!)
And to the people earlier, Jesus had said, “Sit down.” Sit down! Give attention! Something marvelous is about to transpire.
Perhaps no message is more pertinent to us of the 21st century than this one. Slow down, relax, listen, hear My Words, consider My Laws, and My Commandments. Commune with Me, observe Me, and reflect on My ways. Understand My power, My peace and My authority.
Maybe–just maybe–a miracle will unfold!
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