This Sunday’s worship concludes our Healing Hands series exploring miraculous healing stories of Jesus.
We conclude this series with a different kind of healing. I wonder if this story of receiving a meal is not only the kind of physical hunger that some experience – remember our weekly Project Grace meal that serves anyone who is hungry – but also a spiritual hunger. I would suggest that the satisfaction of both of these kinds of hunger is an act of healing. When we are able to meet the needs of those who hunger, we offer tangible and profound healing.
John 6:1-14 (CEB)
1After this Jesus went across the Galilee Sea (that is, the Tiberias Sea). 2A large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miraculous signs he had done among the sick. 3Jesus went up a mountain and sat there with his disciples. 4It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival.
5Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” 6Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7Philip replied, “More than a half year’s salary worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.”
8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, 9“A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?”
10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. 12When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.
14When the people saw that he had done a miraculous sign, they said, “This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world.”
Consider these questions:
- What does it feel like to be spiritually hungry? What does it feel like to have that spiritual hunger satisfied?
- What is the source that makes it possible for the crowd in this story to eat?
- Where might we feel inspired to “feed the world?”