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The Scriptorium

Food Abounding

He is the Lord of every need.

The Gospel of John: John 6.1-21

Read and meditate on John 6.10-13.
As you read this story, try to imagine what the disciples must have been thinking. What was going on in their minds about Jesus? About His purpose in calling them? About your own discipleship?

                10Jesus said, “Now tell them, young
and old alike, to sit down in the grass.”
And so they did – 5,000 men amassed
there on that hill. 11And Jesus took the bread,
and broke it, when He had thanksgiving said,
and His disciples took it all around,
the fish likewise, to those who on the ground
were seated, just as much as they could eat.
12When all were finished, and the meal complete,
He said to His disciples, “Gather all
the leftovers, each piece and fragment, small
and great, so none of it is lost.” 13They did,
and filled twelve baskets right up to the lid
with food.

- John 6.10-13

1.  In some ways, this work of Jesus was like the creating work of God in Genesis 1 and 2. Explain. Do you suppose this thought might have crossed the disciples’ minds?  Complete this prayer: Lord, You are the Word of God! You have power to create out of nothing, and this means that for me…

2.  I find the mention of “much grass in the place” a curious insertion from a writer who was willing to overlook a whole year of Jesus’ ministry. Why do you suppose John mentioned this? Does it matter? Did it matter to Jesus? Why? Lord, every day You surround us with little comforts and delights, such as…

3.  Meditate on Ephesians 3.20, then on John 6.10, 11. How would you apply these verses to your own needs as a follower of the Lord Jesus? I believe, Lord, that You can do everything! Help me to believe You for…

4.  Why was it important that Jesus involved the disciples in passing out this food? What was He teaching them? What were they learning? What were the people learning about them? Is there a principle of disciple-making to be observed here? Explain. You have called me to be and to make disciples, Lord. From this story I see that…

5. As if feeding 5,000 men – not to mention women and children – from such meager fare were not enough, John reports that 12 baskets full of food were left over! Jesus could make more food by snapping His fingers, but He instructed His disciples to save the leftovers. Here’s a principle of ministry: How would you explain it? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you wrote for questions 1-4.

“He therefore created as God creates. For, just as he multiplies the produce of the fields from a few grains, from that same source of power he multiplied in his hands the five loaves. There was power, indeed, in the hands of Christ. And those five loaves were like seeds, not indeed committed to the earth, but multiplied by him who made the earth.” Augustine (354-430 AD)

Jesus has power to meet your needs, exceedingly abundant power, more than you’ve ever dared to ask or think. So, why not dare to think it, and to ask for His power to help you with some challenge you’re facing today?

Closing Prayer
I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the LORD;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the LORD, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the LORDheard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Psalm 34.1-8

Psalm 34.1-9, 3 (Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You)
I will bless the Lord at all times; I shall praise Him evermore!
My soul makes its boast in Jesus – Him we gladly all adore!
    Magnify the Name of Jesus!
    Let us lift His Name in praise!

When I sought the Lord, He answered, and from fear delivered me.
Those who look to Him are radiant; shamed their face shall never be.
    Magnify the Name of Jesus!
    Let us lift His Name in praise!

When I cried to God, He heard me, and from trouble rescued me.
‘Round their camp His angel lingers that they may delivered be.
    Magnify the Name of Jesus!
    Let us lift His Name in praise!

Taste and see how good is Jesus; blessed are all who in Him hide.
None shall lack for any blessing who in Christ will e’er confide.
    Magnify the Name of Jesus!
    Let us lift His Name in praise!

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better overall understanding of the focus, themes, narrative, flow, and application of God’s Word. Study at your own pace in this free, online course. For more information or to register, click here.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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