Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
John 6:1-21 (NRSV)
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
A “miracle” can be used to describe lots of different things, and the word means different things to different people. As a recently graduated high school student, I believe it was a miracle that I made it through senior year with my terrible case of chronic “senioritis.” I’m sure many of my friends felt the same way. I didn’t want to go to class or do my homework anymore. I was so over being in high school and so ready for college to begin. But I made it through, and at the time, it seemed like a miracle. But my little miracle was not a miracle like the one Jesus performs in John 6.
Feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish and still having leftovers is a true miracle, and through it, a window to God is opened for the people before Jesus. It is an act of God’s love and mercy, yet they immediately want to make Jesus their king—bad idea. The idea sends Jesus, “again to the mountain by himself.” Jesus is not a political figure to serve our own desires and goals, but an offering from God.
It makes you wonder how many times God has extended an offering to us that we couldn’t see because we were so focused on our own plans. But even with our blindness, Jesus continues to seek us in our loneliness and darkness, just as he did for the disciples in the storm.
It’s important to note that Jesus doesn’t make the storm vanish, but shows up to help the disciples get through it. Often when we are experiencing difficult times we ask Jesus to take our problems and our storms away, instead of looking for him in the midst of them. Jesus tells the disciples, “It is I; do not be afraid.” We have no reason to fear any storm if Jesus is by our side. Just because it may not be the resolution we asked for, does not mean he didn’t come to carry us through.
Dear God, thank you for feeding us when we are hungry. Thank you for always showing up when the storms seem unbearable. Please help us to look for you in the midst of our troubles instead of blaming you for them. Help those who are struggling to find you in their heart and trust in your miracles. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
Go with God.