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Bread. It is the single most common symbol of sustenance in life.
When we get together with friends, we break bread. Our livelihood is sometimes referred to as our “bread and butter.” It is so tied to basic human needs that money has at times itself been called bread. So it is no wonder when Jesus refers to Himself, He can say the He is God’s very bread of life. The most basic need of human soul. Apart from which, true life, life connected to the Living God cannot be sustained.
It’s not incidental that Jesus’ breaks bread to the multitudes more than once. That’s our focus today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m Reid Ferguson.
We have 3 sections to consider today, 1 Corinthians 16:1–11; Mark 8:1–13; 1 Samuel 8–10. And I’d like to take us back to the passage in Mark 8, where Jesus feeds the 4,000.
You’ll remember that just 2 chapters earlier, Jesus performed this very same miracle – but feeding 5,000 there.
Repetition was a common way in ancient texts of emphasizing things. The writers of the New Testament knew nothing of conventions we see every day like bold text, underlining, exclamation points or italics. They most often used repetition. So it is Jesus’ miraculously feeding the crowds must hold some unique importance the Holy Spirit is drawing our eye to.
What is it? Well, while there may be other reasons, but there is one we dare not overlook – even though those who were present at the time – even the Disciples, seemed to miss.
I’ve become convinced over time that this miracle of multiplying the bread just may be Jesus’ greatest miracle during His incarnation – and the one which makes His deity the most evident.
The simple reality is that here, right in front of their eyes, Jesus acted as Creator.
You see, to multiply those few loaves and fishes required that He bring material into existence, that wasn’t already there. He had only so much material to work with. Only so many atoms and molecules. In order to do what He did, at that moment, with no fanfare, no great pronouncements, no grand flourishes, in the simple act of breaking the bread into pieces, He created new bread molecules on the spot. He brought into existence that which did not exist a moment before. What He did when He spoke the physical universe into existence in Genesis 1.
And nobody got It. No one. Not even His closest friends. The very ones who put the loaves and fish into His hands and then carried them to the crowds. He sat before them in that moment as THEIR Creator, but in the blinding light of the commonplace, they missed Him.
And I have to wonder if we do the very same thing every day.
Living in a universe of amazing regularity. On a planet so finely tuned to sustain life that so far, it is the sole example we have in the universe. The seasons as they come and go. Our necessary cycles of rest and activity. Our suitedness to live and thrive in this environment with all of its stunning provision and variety.
The perpetual hum of the human machine with its innumerable processes and functions from the cellular level on up. All these incredible systems working in perfect harmony. Breathing. Eating. Sleeping. Moving. Coordinating. Thinking. Inventing. Selfawareness. Love. Knowledge of right and wrong.
To consider all these most basic realities of human existence, and then to contemplate them apart from a Creator, designer and sustainer, defies the imagination.
But like with the feeding of the thousands, His miraculous work in the midst of it all gets lost in the blinding light of the commonplace.
But He is here. Working. Sustaining. In the ordinariness of everyday life.
Oh Father – open our eyes.
Let that sink into your soul today beloved.
God bless, and God willing, I’ll be back tomorrow.