February 19, 2008

Celebration: Enough to Give Away

John 6:1-13

Jesus declared, ?I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.?
John 6:35


Why do you follow Jesus? It seems Philip thought that the five thousand people following Jesus were at best a bother and at worst ill-prepared freeloaders. Before Jesus gave all those people a truly free picnic lunch, he questioned Philip: ?Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?? Philip worried: ?Eight months? wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!?

Well, maybe not eight months of disciples? wages. But Jesus and one generous boy lived on a different economic scale.

Why did that lad follow Jesus? Maybe he liked to hear Jesus talk and watch him work. Maybe he wanted to learn to live like Jesus. The Lord Jesus, who soon called himself the ?bread of life,? accepted the gift of the boy?s lunch and turned it into a huge all-you-can-eat buffet with twelve baskets of leftovers.

Why twelve? Twelve is the number of the tribes of Israel. This meant Jesus could supply more than enough food for all of God?s people. The Lord of heaven and earth can abundantly care for all of his people anytime, anywhere. All who follow Jesus receive enough of his endless supply of blessing and glory to absorb and enjoy?and to hand out freely. Celebrate Jesus? gift of himself with everyone around you today.

You, Lord Jesus, give us so much of yourself every day. Help us learn to share you with the people you place in our pathways every day. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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