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  • Writer's pictureEarl Pomeroy

The World Record Catered Dinner

As the day was ending, Jesus put the disciples to work as waiters, serving more than 15,000 hungry people. Let’s see now --- five loaves divided into 12 equal parts is approximately 4/10 of a loaf per disciple. Two fish divided into 12 equal parts is a little less than 2/10 of a fish per disciple. The gospels don’t give us any details about how this worked. I guess the writers didn’t think that was important. Come on guys, why won’t you tell me how this all came down?

Since they left us guessing, here’s how I visualize it might have been. Jesus transformed the 4/10 of a loaf into a full loaf for each disciple and the 2/10 of a fish into a full fish for each disciple. Then he told them to go get busy feeding the people, as he had previously commanded them.

I think the best part of this miracle was that Jesus empowered the disciples to fulfill his command to feed the people themselves. He gave them the resources, the multiplied 4/10 of a loaf and 2/10 of a fish and sent them out to keep the multiplication going and feed everyone. The miracle started in the hands of Jesus. But it continued through the hands of the disciples as they took what Jesus gave them and continued breaking and distributing it to an estimated 15,000 people. That was, perhaps, the largest catered dinner in the history of the world. And the disciples were the waiters – no tipping please.

Jesus gave each disciple an allotment of bread and fish and sent them down the hill to feed those groups of 50 and groups of 100 people impatiently waiting. They broke it and served it, broke it and served it, broke it and served it, broke it and served it, trying not to step on anyone, or run into any of the kids playing Frisbee, and making sure each person got all they wanted.

That’s a great picture of how God empowers us to complete impossible assignments. He puts the resources in our hands and then empowers us to do whatever needs to be done. We are amazed that things got done. But He was the divine provider. We were just the obedient waiters.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You are the divine provider. I know that You are not concerned with how much it’s going to take to get the job done. You will take what I have (or, perhaps more accurately, what You have already given me) and multiply that into what I need to finish the task.

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