When Jesus was in the world, the Jews were very poor. While 5,000 people were listening to Jesus’ words in the wilderness, they were hungry so tried to find food. But just one boy had food among the people. Five loaves of bread and two fish were all he had. Jesus didn’t come to give bread or flour to the Jewish crowd. He let the people experience God by raising the dead, healing the crippled, curing the blind and forgiving our sins. When the Jews realized their spiritual hunger and thirst, he solved their problems with the word of God.
He didn’t perform many miracles that fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. He showed himself as the Almighty One who can feed five thousand people with the five loaves of bread and two fish, not as one who gives food for the flesh. We know this from seeing Jesus ordering His disciples to gather the twelve baskets of leftovers after the Jews had eaten their fill.
There was no food because they were poor. They probably wanted to take the leftover food home since the twelve baskets were left after they all ate and were satisfied. But Jesus ordered them to gather all the leftovers against their will. His words sound cold-hearted, in some way. They could have taken and given them to their kids and relatives. Why did Jesus pick up all the leftovers?
We can guess why Jesus did this. It’s because they might have followed Jesus with worldly desires while misunderstanding, “Jesus gives us bread. I will be rich when I believe in Jesus. I will live my life not dying of hunger during the famine.”
Jesus told the disciples to give them food to eat after a full day working. When the spiritual hunger and thirst were quenched, that is, when the kingdom of heaven and righteousness of God is in us, worldly things will turn out well.
Pastor Seok-Jeon Yoon
Extracted from Yonsei Newspaper #584(July 21, 2018)