He gave thanks and broke the bread

Mark 6: 30-34

That Jesus fed 5,000 men with five loaves of bread and two small fish was a popular miracle that astounded all disciples. Prior to this event, Jesus had sent away his disciples to various villages and towns to preach the good news and they had done so well, bringing back to Him such a large crowd of people. They came to Jesus seeking spiritual guidance, having realized that there is something more than the physical world. Jesus looked at them as poor sheep without shepherd. Jesus not only feeds them spiritually today but also provides physical food for them through the miracle.

The disciples ask Jesus to send the crowd away for it is already late but Jesus asks them to feed them. In the face of challenge, we see stark difference between Jesus and His disciples in terms of their attitude. The challenge stands as a nightmare for disciples. They calculate the difficult situation and as a result add more worries which drive them eventually into despair. On the contrary, Jesus does not see it in a complicated way. In a simply way, Jesus looks up to heaven with a thankful heart.

It is easy to praise God in good times but in tough times when we face difficulties or fall into despair we may forget God.

It is not that Jesus has not recognized the almost impossible situation. Jesus has gone through many difficult situations in His life. The difference is that when we are confronted by difficulties, we tend to become skeptical or even cynical and our mind shifted from grace to the situation itself while Jesus still remembers grace and offers thanks for it.

Grace is cornerstone in our faith. We are saved by grace. When we lose grace, we fall into danger and sin. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he says that in the end times, people will be wrapped up in themselves, lost in the power, wealth of the world and in sin. They will have the form of godliness but lose the substance. Christians can be guilty of this sin too. When we lose grace, we fall into sin which blocks us from receiving grace God wants to offer to us. Sin spread in us so powerfully that we might have become the shell of who we were as when we received the LORD.

We started out with grace and gratitude. Have we lost grace and fallen into sin now? Have we become so self-absorbed that we have lost God in our life?

In the difficult situation, Jesus finds things he thanks for. He thanks His disciples who have brought such a graceful gathering for Him. He thanks for those coming to hear Him. He thanks for His teaching them. Jesus’ gratitude overflows from grace. In response to Jesus’ thankful heart, God works mightily in the difficult situation, providing them bountifully and exceedingly with grace.

Have we found it hard to give thanks to God? Let’s start with thankfulness for small things in life to restore the grace we lost. When small things add up, they will grow bigger.

 Jeremiah Chan
Bible Portal Contributor

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