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Monday, November 26, 2007

A Time for Sharing

All four Gospels relate the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. This famous story reveals at least three significant facts about Jesus: (1) He cares deeply about human need. He raised the subject of providing food for the multitude that followed Him (John 6:5). (2) He is the Son of God. His divine power enabled Him to turn two sardine-like fish and five little bread rolls into a satisfying, all-you-can-eat meal for more than five thousand people (vv. 8–11). (3) He richly rewards those who put the needs of others ahead of their own. After the twelve disciples had distributed the food and the people had feasted to their satisfaction, they followed Jesus’ command to gather the leftovers. The tally of leftovers was twelve baskets (v. 13).

Twelve baskets and twelve disciples! Coincidence? Hardly. Undoubtedly, Jesus had planned for each disciple to enjoy a basket of food as a reward for faithful service.

We have entered the Christmas season, and many opportunities to help the needy will come to us. We should help not because we seek recognition or reward, but because we are Jesus’ servants. The apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).

—Adapted from Overcoming Subtle Sins: The Key to Dynamic Discipleship by Jim Dyet and Jim Russell, ©2002, The Amy Foundation, Lansing, Michigan.

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