MDB 37: Luke 9

What is the meaning of the miracle in Luke 9:10-17, when Jesus fed more than five thousand people?

The most obvious meaning of this miracle is that God will provide. As he provided for his people in the wilderness, so he will provide for us--not in the same miraculous way, perhaps, but by the same powerful grace.

We need to remember this because sometimes we are tempted to forget. God has promised to provide for our needs. He will give us our daily bread, providing food, clothing, and shelter.  He will meet our needs for friendship and fellowship. He will give us the guidance that we seek in faith. He will provide a way for us to serve him. And when God gives us the opportunity to serve, he will give us all the resources we need to fulfill our calling. We are not limited by what we have on hand, or by what we are able to provide for ourselves; we are enabled by the power and providence of God.

God's provision is also abundant. The disciples kept going back to Jesus for more food, and every time they went back, there was always more. Even after everyone was fully and finally satisfied, there was still more left over: twelve full baskets of broken pieces (Luke 9:17). In other words, there was one basket of leftovers for each and every disciple! This was a powerful object lesson in the abundance of God's grace. The weight of those baskets would help the disciples remember that Jesus had provided far more than they ever expected. 

Every time God meets our needs, we should savor the abundance of his provision, so that the next time we find ourselves in need, we do not forget to trust in him. God has provided for us in the past, and he can be trusted to provide for us again in the future. How long will his provision continue? All through life, and then on through eternity. In the words of one little poem, "Yesterday, God helped me, / Today He'll do the same. / How long will this continue? / Forever--praise his name."