And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. Mark 6:41
If she can get the family together on a rare occasion, on short notice my wife can whip up a banquet meal in no time. It may take a quick trip to the grocery store down the street, but she can make a quickly devised plan happen. I think of Peter’s mother-in-law as a prime example, who came off her sickbed to serve Jesus and his disciples (Mark 1:31).
Rarely though does all this get done without her Herculean effort, as she shoulders most if not all the load. In time, the torch will be passed to those whose menial assigned tasks now are to ready the table and the high chairs. In this particular case, more is caught than taught.
One thing Jesus was doing with this impromptu picnic on the grounds (Mark 6:33-44) was teaching his men that God can miraculously provide a lot from a very little, or perhaps out of thin air. All you need is a plan and a prayer. He provides the provisions.
We read in John’s account (John 6:1-14) that initially Jesus was contemplating a run into the city to pick up a few things (but he knew full well that wasn’t going to work out! John 6:6). But Philip postulated that even 200 days of wages wouldn’t feed a little to a crowd this big. Always one on the team seeing the bright side of things! What Philip didn’t know was that even if they drained their meager treasury in town, what little they brought back would have done the trick! It’s ironic that Jesus ended up using five loaves and two fishes, a little boy’s packed lunch, for starters.
The important thing to note in this account is that Jesus let his men do the work. This was his chance to teach them not only to be fishers of men, but feeders as well. Not lost in this story is Jesus’ compassion for the people and his prayer to his Father to bless the meal.
In the end, 5,000 men plus women and children were fed, with twelve full baskets of food leftover, one for each disciple.
In a few short years these same men would be called on to do the same thing, with thousands added daily to the church (Acts 2:47), and widows going hungry (Acts 6:1).