Sunday, August 3, 2014


Matthew chapter 14 is one of the texts in the gospels that tell how Jesus fed a lot of people. After a day of healing and teaching, Jesus' disciples advised him to check the time and see that it was getting late and they were in the desert a long way from home - so he might want to think about calling it a day and send the folks home. Disregarding their advice, Jesus told them to go ahead and feed the people. Thinking it must be a joke the disciples quickly added up their resources and reported they barely had enough for their own picnic supper. Jesus took their resources and after blessing and breaking the loaves he began to feed the large crowd. Five loaves and two fishes for over 5,000 people.

There were probably a few people eating Jesus' fast food who saw the benefits of hanging around Jesus: food, health care and good Bible teaching. And, I imagine there were some others who were calculating the risks involved. Who is this guy and what does he want from us. There is no free lunch they were thinking. We are even more leery in this modern age. Every day the media recounts stories of scams, frauds and Madoff like promises that what we know is too good to be true. Still, we sign on. It's like spending $100 of our hard earned money on lottery tickets because today our luck may have changed.

While the appeal of Jesus may have generated both of these responses, neither one comes close to what he was doing. He was living the life he came to live and to give. John, in his gospel, called it "abundant life". Which is another way of talking about the Jesus life. It is a full and fulfilling way of life. But, it not just for those who choose to follow the Jesus Way.  It is meant to be shared. That's why there were leftovers. Pick them up and give it away to others. That's the way the Jesus Life is lived.