The Rest of The Story

Luke 9:12-17New International Version (NIV)

12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”

13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

I remember hearing this bible story since I was a child. This story is told in all four Gospels so I think it is important. The explanation I was given for the story was that Jesus did miracles to prove to the world that he was God. I think there is another explanation.

It is a normal human inclination to fear the unknown and to fear that someday there will not be enough money, food, shelter whatever. I think Jesus was trying to change our mindset. God is generous, bountiful, loving, gracious. Consider the lilies of the field (Luke 12:27). Jesus is trying to get us to live in the mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. When we live with abundance we are free of fear, we have joy and we are generous. We live the way God wants us to live.

As Paul Harvey used to say “And that is the rest of the story”.

Lord, help me to live the life of abundance you provide freely to all of us. Amen.

Mark Autterson

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