As Much as You Want
“And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks,
he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down;
and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.”
The feeding of the 5,000 is a familiar passage of scripture. It’s actually one of those stories that I grew up with. I can remember going to my papaw’s church – Wofford Missionary Baptist – in Wofford, KY and hearing my papaw preach from this text. I can remember VBS object lessons and even the scene playing out before my eyes on the flannel-graph.
You’ll remember the story. Jesus and the disciples are about Kingdom business. For them, the days had been long, and the crowds had been demanding. When the story begins we watch as they get into a boat and cross over the Sea of Galilee. They are crossing over to retreat: To escape from the crowds and recharge. In fact, in Mark’s account of the same scene, Jesus invites the disciples to come apart and rest a while. Everybody needs rest. So, now it was time.
Reaching the other shore, we watch as they get out of the boat and walk up on the hillside, the mountain and sit. There’s no conversation recorded. We just get the sense that they’re looking forward to spending some alone time with their teacher. But, that changes quickly . . .
Jesus looks up and there they are. A crowd of at least 5,000 men. (I say at least because the term ‘men’ is gender specific in the original language. This has led many scholars to believe that the number would have been much greater if you would include the women and children. Howeveryou view it – 5,000 or more – it’s not a small crowd.)
I won’t bother going through the entire story. You probably know it anyhow. In brief, Jesus takes a boy’s lunch (five loaves and two small fish) and feeds this crowd. Not only feeds them but fills them.
It’s an incredible scene. And, I can’t help but think that if anybody left that hillside hungry that day, it was nobody’s fault but their own. If they wanted to be filled, they could be filled. How do we know? Because the text tells us that they all ate as much as they would. Or, in other words, they all had as much as they wanted.
That brings me to what I’ve been thinking about this week.
Do you realize that you can have as much of Jesus as you want? Everything you and I need has been provided. We make a lot of excuses. But, the reality is, if we are not being filled – it’s our own fault. It’s time that we take seriously the responsibility of our own spiritual intensity.
So, let me ask you . . .
Are you being filled? Or, are you settling for a nibble.
Why would we settle for just enough when He longs to fill us with more than we can ever imagine?
Pull up to the table . . .
And, be filled.
There is an abundance for those who would simply feast!