A Banquet for 5000 (Part 2)

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

A practical demonstration of the abundance mentality

John 6.10-11 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

In yesterday’s article, I explored the difference between the scarcity mentality and the abundance mentality. In short, when we look at what we have, it is tempting to believe that there is only so much to go around and we have to make sure to get what we want or need.

The abundance mentality looks to the Creator of all and realizes that he can create what is needed. Jesus demonstrated God’s abundance by taking a little boy’s lunch and turning it into a feast for 5000 people.

Let’s be very clear at this point. Jesus initiated this entire scene. The abundance mentality is one that is rooted in Jesus’ generosity and compassion for people. If selfish human motives are in play, we will pervert the entire principle.

Still, when Jesus calls us to do some loving act and our first thought is to think about what it will cost us and whether we will have enough for ourselves, let’s remember he is the Creator who can supply what is needed.

From our little to Jesus’ abundance

John 6.12-13When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.

Philip said that if we give the people all we have, they will only get a little (John 6.7) and Andrew despaired over the small number of fish and loaves (John 6.9).

Jesus took the offering, however small, and turned it into enough food that 5000 people feasted until they were fully satisfied with leftovers filling twelve baskets.

I have often used this episode in my prayers. I have said, “Dear God, I am giving you my best and I know it is not enough for the occasion. Please turn my little into your abundance.” I have often rejoiced to see God do just that. Why? Because he loves people and wants to give them his very best.

How long does it take to turn miracles into self-centered striving?

John 6.14-15When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

15 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Notice the phrase, “take him by force,” (verse 15). This is nothing more than self-will run riot. People have just experienced a dramatic miracle. Now, they seek to force their own nationalistic dreams on him.

If we want Jesus to withdraw from us, we can be just like the people in this story. Instead of listening to Jesus and following his directions in faith, we attempt to force Jesus to fulfill our own self-centered desires. Not only will we not get what we want, but Jesus will withdraw his presence from us too.

Today’s Prayer

Dear Jesus, I will be attentive to your direction today. I bring you my “little,” so you can turn it into abundance for people whom you love. I reject any attempt on my part to turn your power into selfishness on my part.

Your Turn

What do you have in your life that God can multiply and use to benefit other people? Let’s listen to God today and see how we can experience him and be used to bless others.

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