THE 5 LOVES OF BREAD AND 2 FISH (Fill My Cup O Lord)
John 6:12 “When they were filled, he said unto disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost…
Therefore they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.”
I have always been fascinated by the events in this story. I would want to be very practical as I try to reflect on how five barley loaves in the hand of a lad would result into the satisfaction of 5000 people and still have a leftover of 12 baskets full of fragments.
For a little boy to hold five loaves of bread in his hand, would mean that the bread must be very small.
There is no record in the Bible of these bread packed in a backpack or a school bag; meaning, they must have been held in a polybag – most probable – for the lad to eat while listening to the Master’s teaching: the parents must have been very diligent people to care so much about their son.
These loaves were handed over to Jesus who thanked God and handed them over to the disciples to distribute amongst the people. The people were asked to sit in a group of, possibly five rows of a thousand people each.
The elasticity of the bread started from the distribution point down the chain; for as they were broken the bread to give out to a person, there was an addition to the part in the sharer’s hand and the bread was not getting any smaller in any way.
And as the people munched on the part given to the, it was not also reducing; every bite they took was filled back by the Divine elasticity until they were all satisfied.
So the twelve baskets of fragments left over when they were all filled was the cumulative of leftover from the 5000 people that had eaten and filled.
So, where is this story taking us to? There were a lot of instances in the Bible where there were inexhaustible supplies of the provision from the Divine Spring, or reservoir.
In the book of Exodus 16: 13-15, “And it came to pass that at evening, the quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning, the dews lay round about the host……And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, ‘It is manna: for they wist not what it was,’ And Moses said unto them, ‘This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.’”
So, throughout the long sojourn of the children of Israel through the wilderness, the Lord provided for them an inexhaustible supply of food and meal according to their desire.
This was however quite different from what Jesus Christ had intended for them and for us also who believed in his name.
I John 4:1-14, when he was discussing with the Samaritan woman in the city of Sychar, by Jacob’s well, as the issue of drinking water came up, the woman insisted that the water from the well has a high pedigree as being the well their forefather, Jacob, and his children had drank from.
Jesus drew her attention to a much purer and inexhaustible water he alone could provide; verse 10, “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘If thou knowest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked him, and he would have given thee a living water.’” That is an inexhaustible water to drink.
That threw the woman off balance for a while, but as he concluded that statement in verse 13-14, “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; 14. But whosoever drinketh of the water of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give hive him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’” She concluded that this was much more than a mere flash in the pan talk. Praise God!
At this point, an understanding came unto the woman and she requested of him to give her that water to drink. FILL MY CUP O LORD!
Something also happened in 1st King 17: 1-16. Elijah visited a certain widow at the prompting of God in the city of Zarephath at a time when there was a great famine in that city. The woman barely had a one-time meal she intent to take with her son as the last meal; for she cannot tell where any other one would come from.
But can you imagine what the man of God asked her to do, considering her situation? Verses 13-16, “And Elijah said unto her, Fear not, go and do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth……16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the which he spake by Elijah.”
Here again, we see a link of the inexhaustibility of the Divine Spring upon a people, just like the 5 loaves of bread.
The significance of all these points to what the Lord told the Samaritan woman by the well of Jacob. He said in verse 13 of John chapter 4, that “Whosoever that drinketh of the water that I shall give, shall never thirst…….”
Our interest here is; what is about the water Jesus is alluding to? We will promptly return to the story of the inexhaustible feeding of the 5000 people with the 5loaves of bread.
In verse 27 of John Chapter 6, Jesus told the people that he alone can give a meal that will endure forever; “labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life , which the Son of man shall give you; for him hath God the Father sealed.”
How is that possible, I can hear someone asking? But Jesus referred them back to the food Moses gave to them which was not an everlasting supply but was just a shadow of what Jesus Christ was coming to represent.
Let us check what the Lord said to us in John 6:32, “Jesus said unto them, verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not the bread from heaven, but my father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from Heaven and giveth life unto the world……..
….I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst… And this is the father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day…
…And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him may have everlasting Life: And I will raise him up at the last day….”
At this point, I began to understand the meaning of the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fishes. It is not about the bread or the fish per se; it is all about the 12 baskets that were the leftover of the 5 loaves of bread: It is about Jesus Christ.
If anyone believes in Him, he will become a part of Him and since Jesus lives forever. We that believe in Him will also live with Him in an everlasting Life.