SCARCITY THINKING

MUSINGS – July 23 2018

SCARCITY THINKING

John 6:3-9
“Jesus went up a mountain and sat with his disciples. The time for the Jewish Passover festival was near. As Jesus saw a large crowd coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?” Jesus asked this question to test him. He already knew what he was going to do. Philip answered, “We would need about a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each of them to have a piece.” One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter’s brother, told him, “A boy who has five loaves of barley bread and two small fish is here. But they won’t go very far for so many people.”

Passover was near and multitudes of Jewish men (some with their families) had made the pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem. It was one of the three holy days commanded by God, in the Torah, to come to the temple. It was very busy time with people making preparation for the eight days if celebration.

And yet, Jesus fame as a healer, teacher, and prophet had spread, so many followed him to the hills outside the busy city.

Evening was coming and the people had been there for hours. Having compassion for them, Jesus asked, “Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?”

Philip answered first that they had no money to purchase bread. Andrew had a partial solution, a boy’s lunch of bread and fish, but it would never feed so many.

Jesus asked what they could do. And was answered with what the could not do. The disciples suffered from scarcity thinking.

How often to we (you and I) respond with what we don’t have and what we can’t do? The third chapter of the book of Acts tells the story of a lame beggar asking Peter and John for a handout. Peter responded, “I don’t have any money, but I’ll give you what I do have. Through the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, walk!” This is what Jesus wants from us, give what we do have, in the power of his name.

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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