The Story of Jesus Feeding the Multitudes Heals

Worried about your diet? Consider Jesus' feeding of the multitudes.

By Genelle Austin-Lett

Categories: Abundance, Health

One night when I was preparing for a Bible study session, I read about Jesus feeding the 5000 in John 6. The story took on new meaning for me. Jesus posed an economic problem when he asked Philip where to buy bread. It was a trick question. Jesus was really inquiring whether or not Philip knew he didn't have to buy bread. Philip's response expressed his concern that even if we had a couple hundred dollars, it wouldn't be enough to buy bread for a group of 5000 men plus women and children. Jesus gave him a choice to stay with the "earthly" limitations (not enough food in town, not enough money to buy it if it were available), or to see the situation from an entirely different -- spiritual -- perspective. Instead of expecting limitations, Jesus recognized limitless good that is ever available.

Andrew found a boy in the crowd who had packed his lunch with a sardine sandwich -- five loaves of bread and two fish. The disciples lamented that that certainly wasn't enough to feed that many people. Then Jesus instructed the disciples to have people sit down. The people settled in a grassy area. Perhaps this location reminded them of another wilderness in which God had fed a different multitude of people for forty years -- namely, Moses and the children of Israel.

As I thought about this Bible story, I realized that I needed to take my concept of the planet higher; I needed to lift my thought. The world appears to have lots of people with little to no food. So what am I spiritually doing about it to see that their needs are met? Am I sending money to make a difference humanly, or am I, moment-by-moment, insisting on the abundance of good pouring into their lives? Jesus prayed. He gave thanks, and then he fed the multitudes. There were twelve baskets of food left over, one for each disciple.

Not finding food I could eat comfortably had been a challenge for a few months running. I had prayed with this statement from Psalm 119:89: "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." And I had found comfort from time to time. When I read this story about Jesus feeding the multitudes, I noticed that he didn't ask if anyone was allergic to the bread or whether or not they liked fish. He simply fed them. I finally understood that I had no need to look for a comfortable food source.

I started to examine the Bible story from the perspective of what we are truly to digest. Jesus claimed he was the bread of life. Revelation tells us to "take [the book] … and eat it up" (10:9). I was limiting my ability to eat as much as the disciples were limiting their ability to feed the multitude -- God's ability. After our Bible study that night, we had all kinds of snacks. I was able to eat them all. I was also able to eat pizza the next day without difficulty. Nothing has been difficult since I realized my true nourishment isn't in the food but in understanding that my bread -- nourishment -- comes from heaven.

I am especially grateful for Bible lessons. But more than the physical healing, I was grateful to open my consciousness to the need to pray right here and now for those in need of food in our country and throughout the world. The demonstration of supply for the five thousand wasn't only for Jesus' time but for us to practice today.