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  • Writer's pictureDavid Bent

A Packed Lunch (24-02-21)


Jesus has taught the crowd late into the evening, and now his disciples have suggested that he sends them away to find food in the villages…

Bible Reading: Mark 6:37-42

Jesus answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take more than half a year's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?" "How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied,

A Reflection

Most of us are good at planning for the expected, whether it’s budgeting our finances or whether it’s planning a meal for friends or a holiday with the family (do you remember those days?), but how do you cope with the unexpected? An unexpected bill, the loss of income or a serious illness in the family. Do you stay cool, calm and collected, or rush around in a blind panic? Or do you manage to appear calm on the outside and quietly panic on the inside?

How would you have felt if you were one of the disciples out on a remote hillside, and Jesus asked you to feed a crowd of over five thousand people?

The disciples first reaction is to budget. One of them does a quick headcount, multiplies the answer by the cost of a local meal deal and divides that answer by the average monthly wage. He then comes to the same conclusion that others came to by instinct, ‘You cannot be serious’.

But Jesus was serious and asks the disciples what they have. Five loaves and two fish is the answer; John’s gospel tells us that this was the packed lunch of a small boy whose mother planned for all eventualities!

And that was enough.

Jesus took what his disciples had, blessed it and fed the multitude.

There are many times in life when we feel we can’t cope, when we don’t think we have the ability or the resources, or when we feel a long way out of our comfort zone. At these times human logic will say it cannot be done, but faith will find a way.

You may look at the crowd and think you only have five loaves and two fish, but if you look to Jesus you will find that is enough. Trust him, that is all you need.

A Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me not to be limited by my own inadequacy, and instead to trust in your adequacy.


Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord

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