Jn.6:11-13 – Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.
This miracle has been a huge part of our church for many years now. The Lord used this miracle to get our eyes off of our problems and get our eyes back on Him. As a congregation we were going through tough times in 1990. Many people had lost their jobs in NOLA, the oil companies moved to Houston, our regional economy was in the dumper. Many people had lost their trust in the Lord being stumbled by compromising ministers and ministries. The results for us, we were facing bankruptcy (I even had members mad at me over not claiming bankruptcy). The Lord provided a very unusual way out of our dilemma. He led us to start Feed the Multitudes, a giant free food festival. Through the years we have seen the Lord meet us as a congregation again and again as we have reached out to the hurting people in our city through this event. We have seen the invisible God in the midst of this miracle. Here are some thoughts from Augustine on the miracle of the loaves and the fish.
“For certainly the government of the whole world is a greater miracle than the satisfying of five thousand men with five loaves; and yet no man wonders at the former; but the latter men wonder at, not because it is greater, but because it is rare. For who even now feeds the whole world, but He who creates the cornfield from a few grains? He therefore created as God creates. For, whence He multiplies the produce of the fields from a few grains, from the same source He multiplied in His hands the five loaves. The power, indeed, was in the hands of Christ; but those five loaves were as seeds, not indeed committed to the earth, but multiplied by Him who made the earth. In this miracle, then, there is that brought near to the senses, whereby the mind should be roused to attention, there is exhibited to the eyes, whereon the understanding should be exercised, that we might admire the invisible God through His visible works…”
The people who ate the bread and the fish in the gospel story were astonished. To those who had eyes to see they were beholding the glory of the Lord in the miracles of Jesus.