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Today as one of our readings, we look at John 6: 11-15:
11 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. 12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14 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.” 15 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.
Today in our readings, we read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. But today when I read it, I noticed something a little different about it, or maybe something jumped out at me that never had before. It happens in the end.
Jesus had just fed the crowd and given them everything they could have possibly wanted. It says they ate until they were satisfied. In other words, they had everything that they could have possibly have wanted. They were completely satisfied by God. Then it says that they took up twelve baskets of food. Twelve is an important biblical number, it always stands for the completeness of God’s work. How many tribes of Israel? Twelve. How many Apostles? Twelve. It means the completeness of God’s work. So, today, how many baskets? Twelve.
Everything is great. What do the people want to do then? Make Jesus a king. What does Jesus do? He withdraws. He is about doing what they want to do, He is about completing His mission.
Several times throughout the Gospels the people try to grab Jesus and make Him a king. But that was not His plan.
That poses a question for us. What do we do when Jesus’ plan isn’t our plan? So often, what we want Jesus to do is just bless our plan, do what we want, and then leave us alone. Just bless what we want, but don’t ask any more of us. That isn’t what Jesus’ plan is about. He came for a specific purpose, to redeem us from our sins. They wanted an earthly king like David.
Jesus’ plan wasn’t their plan. What do we do when that happens to us? When His plan for us is not our plan for us? Will we follow Him? Or will we turn away? Jesus’ plan for our lives is always better than our plan for our lives. Even if we don’t understand it or like it. His plan is always the way. His plan is always life. His plan is always for our best. Even if we don’t understand.
Jesus wasn’t what they wanted or expected. But He was life. What do we do when Jesus’ plan isn’t our plan? May we follow, even when we don’t understand.
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