Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Open Hands John 6:1-21

In John 6:1-21 Jesus' friends were used by God as part of a miracle.

Open to Receive: Jesus wanted his friends to feed the thousands who had gathered to hear him teach.  His friends saw a problem--a considerable shortage of food John 6:1-4.  Jesus was testing them.  With a plan in mind He asked Philip about food for the crowd of 5000 John 6:5-6.  Humans look at situations based on the limits of what is currently in hand.  Philip told Jesus that 200 denarius, or 200 days of labor, wouldn't be enough to pay for that much bread John 6:7.
Simon Peter found a boy ready to share 5 loaves and 2 fish; but Simon Peter wondered how far this little bread would go John 6:8-9.  Jesus told them to seat the crowd.  He took bread, gave thanks and broke it.  He did the same with the fish John 6:10-11. 
The disciples came with open hands and took the bread breaking it giving the pieces to the crowd.  A miracle happened as the bread left their hands.  They had more to give.  God moved and they kept on breaking bread and giving away and God kept on providing more to give.
Open to Give:  Jesus' friends opened their hands to take bread and they kept them open giving and miraculously receiving more to give.  Keeping their hands open allowed them to participate in the miracle.  It was Jesus' will to feed the crowd and He found a way to give away more than enough.  As the disciples kept their hands open they were blessed to participate as channels for the miracle.  Had they stopped he would have found another way--but the miracle continued through them because they didn't stop.  Contrary to our selfish nature they kept on giving.
It's difficult to catch anything with clenched fists, but soft open hands can receive many things.  The great fielders in baseball and receivers in football are legends in no small part because of what they can do with open hands. 
God gives many good blessings to us; and a recent lesson for me me is to keep my hands open to keep on giving that I might later receive to give again.  It's not a simple formula like giving guarantees receiving.  Rather it's simple faith receiving from God and giving away as God keeps on giving that opens us up as channels through who God works to build his kingdom.
Pax, John


Anonymous said...

thanks for these thoughts. i, too frequently, grasp onto whatever i have, fearful that i'll loose what i have if i loosen my grip. however, Jesus teaches us just the opposite, that it's by loosening our grip when we are truely filled.

John, an unlikely pastor said...

You say it so very well. When we loosen our grip we will be filled.
thanks for reading, John