Faith & Reflection
The record of how Jesus fed 5000 men, plus women and children, with just five loaves and two fish, is found in the John 6:9-13.
As an aside, some who have difficulty accepting the miraculous have suggested that Jesus and His disciples, without being noticed, stocked a nearby cave the night before with enough food to feed several thousand people. Then on the occasion of the feeding, Jesus backed up to the cave and under cover of His robe, He cunningly slipped food out of the cave behind Him. I would suggest that to accept that Jesus would be that deceptive and the crowd that dumb requires significantly more faith than simply believing the biblical narrative!
Jesus provided this meal out of compassion for the hungry crowd, but also to set the stage for a primary and crucial truth that He was going to present just a few verses later. And in these verses Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes in me shall never thirst”(John 6:35).
If you continue to read the passage you will find that Jesus’teaching on and explanation of this topic created a significant spiritual watershed. He told them that they should work for things that last and that to truly follow Him requires commitment. Consequently, many turned back (vs. 66), but conversely Peter makes his declaration of faith affirming that Jesus“…has the words of life…”and that He is the “Christ, the Son of the living God” (vs. 68, 69). He’d discovered that Jesus is indeed, the bread of life!
There is a touching story that took place near the end of WW II. Allied troops had gathered many orphans and placed them in camps where they would be cared for and fed, as many of them were starving. The orphans received excellent care and good food, however their sleep remained restless and inadequate.
An Army psychologist observed and studied the situation carefully. Discovering that their favorite food was fresh-baked bread, he told the staff to give each child a piece of bread to hold when they went to bed…just to be held, not eaten. The results were remarkable! The children went to bed clutching that piece of bread knowing that they would have bread for the next day. Having that confidence gave them a restful and contented sleep.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” Those who believe in Him as the bread of life, find rest and discover that He is enough…not just for the next day, but for tomorrow, the day after that and on into eternity!