And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.” (Matthew 14:20, LEB)

From five loaves and two fish, “they all ate and were satisfied.”  All 5000 men, plus women and children making, 8000? 10000?  The ultimate number is not important, the fact that they all ate and were satisfied from five loaves and two fish is what is important.

When we hear this story again and again we become numb to the extraordinary nature of it.  This miracle is the only miracle recounted in all four gospels, so it made an impression on the disciples, and rightly so.  This had never been done before in history–though it looks back to the miracle of manna in the desert.  Who can make a little multiply into a gargantuan amount merely by praying and dividing?  This was no ordinary man, only God could do such a thing.

It’s not clear what the crowd thought about this miracle.  We aren’t sure that they knew that Jesus had done so much with so little, indeed it would appear that they did not know, and Jesus seems not the least concerned to explain things to them.  This extraordinary event seems to have been for the sake of the disciples.

If we are not careful, we can miss God doing this same thing in our own lives.  Are we too busy to notice when God takes a little thing and makes it into a great, big, gigantic, unbelievable thing?  It’s hard to imagine, but I’ll bet we certainly do.

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