More than Enough?

March 19, 2021

And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left (Matthew 15:36-37).

It is to be noted that the baskets that were used to gather up the scraps of food left over from this miracle are different from the baskets used in feeding the 5,000+ (Matthew 14:20). The baskets used in Matthew 14:20 were kophinos, small baskets used to carry a person’s lunch. It was probably the size of a fisherman’s creel bag or pouch worn around the waist or over the shoulder and used to store fishing gear, or a wicker fish basket used to store caught fish. The baskets used in Matthew 15:37 were spurids, large baskets used to carry pots, pans, clothes, etc. In Acts 9:25, the Apostle Paul escaped the Jewish mob by being lowered in a spurids down the city wall by the disciples. So these baskets were large enough to hold an adult.

It would seem odd that the disciples used smaller baskets to collect the leftovers from a larger crowd and larger baskets to collect the leftovers from a smaller crowd. And the scraps from the larger crowd filled 12 smaller baskets, while the scraps from the smaller crowd filled 7 larger baskets. You can experience a brain cramp trying to figure that out. But that’s not the point.

In both miraculous events, the Lord Jesus Christ provided for the needs of the people: He healed their sick and He fed their hungry. Jesus said (Matthew 6:31-33), Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. The Apostle Paul wrote (Philippians 4:18-19), . . . I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

This is not an easy lesson to learn, given the culture we are raised in. We are taught to believe in ourselves and depend upon ourselves to take care of ourselves. “Pull yourself up by your own boot-straps” is what my father use to say. “Learn to take care of #1.” Our Lord teaches us to believe in and depend on Him. This does not mean we ‘let go, and let God’; we are to do what the Lord enables us to do trusting in Him always to provide what is necessary for that enablement.

“I praise You, Lord Jesus, for the many ways in which You have provided for me and my family, my friends, my church family, and many others in my life. Your grace is always sufficient in every need, in every crisis, in every situation. And in some instances, Your provision in my life is more than enough; You give above and beyond what I ask. Thank You. Amen.”


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