What Jesus Did! 'Leftovers!' — John 6:12-13

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All the people had enough to eat. When they finished, Jesus said to his followers, "Gather the pieces of fish and bread that were not eaten. Don't waste anything." So the followers gathered up the pieces that were left. The people had started eating with only five loaves of barley bread. But the followers filled twelve large baskets with the pieces of food that were left.
— John 6:12-13
Illustration of John 6:12-13 — "Gather the pieces of fish and bread that were not eaten. Don't waste anything."

Key Thought

Some leftovers I love. Others I can do without. These leftovers are marvelous. I especially love the fact that there are 12 baskets of leftovers, one for each of the apostles! I really don't think Jesus' main concern was leaving a mess. No, I believe he wanted to leave an indelible memory on the men who would be faced with impossible challenges and situations that they couldn't begin to handle. This one memory would remind them again and again that the power was from Jesus, not from them. They had picked up the scraps with their own hands. They had carried the baskets. They had seen the picnic lunch shared by the boy that had fed the thundering hoard. Those leftovers were the tangible grace of Jesus left for them to touch. Nothing could be a more powerful reminder that their meager resources, touched with prayer, could meet the needs of others and much, much more.

Today's Prayer

Father, let me experience the leftovers of your mighty work after having stepped out in faith. I believe you can move mountains, heal diseases, and perform works that I neither can comprehend nor imagine. But, dear Father, I am always happy to pick up the leftovers from such an event! Show me the leftovers. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Later, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (Lake Tiberias). Many people followed Jesus. They followed him because they saw the ways Jesus showed his power by healing the sick people. Jesus went up on the side of the hill. He sat there with his followers. It was almost the time for the Jewish Passover festival. Jesus looked up and saw many people coming toward him. Jesus said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough bread for all these people to eat?" (Jesus asked Philip this question to test him. Jesus already knew what he planned to do.) Philip answered, "We would all have to work a month to buy enough bread for each person here to have only a little piece!" Another follower there was Andrew. Andrew was Simon Peter's brother. Andrew said, "Here is a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish. But that is not enough for so many people." Jesus said, "Tell the people to sit down." This was a very grassy place. There were about 5,000 men that sat down there. Then Jesus held the loaves of bread. Jesus thanked God for the bread and gave it to the people that were waiting to eat. He did the same with the fish. Jesus gave the people as much as they wanted. All the people had enough to eat. When they finished, Jesus said to his followers, "Gather the pieces of fish and bread that were not eaten. Don't waste anything." So the followers gathered up the pieces that were left. The people had started eating with only five loaves of barley bread. But the followers filled twelve large baskets with the pieces of food that were left. The people saw this miracle that Jesus did. The people said, "He must truly be the Prophet that is coming into the world." Jesus knew that the people wanted him to become king. The people planned to come get Jesus and make him their king. So Jesus left and went into the hills alone. That evening Jesus' followers went down to the lake (Lake Galilee). It was dark now and Jesus had not yet come back to them. The followers got into a boat and startedgoing across the lake to Capernaum. The wind was blowing very hard. The waves on the lake were becoming bigger. They rowed the boat about three or four miles. Then they saw Jesus. He was walking on the water. He was coming to the boat. The followers were afraid. But Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid. It's me." After Jesus said this, the followers were happy to take Jesus into the boat. Then the boat came to land at the place where they wanted to go.

John 6:1-21

Related Scripture Readings

Give to other people, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to other people is the way God will give to you."

Luke 6:38

{We show that we are servants of God} by our understanding, by our patience, by our kindness, and by living pure. {We show this} by the Holy Spirit, by true love, by speaking the truth, and by God's power. We use our right living to defend ourselves against everything. Some people honor us, but other people shame us. Some people say good things about us, but other people say bad things. Some people say we are liars, but we speak the truth. To some people we are not known (not important), but we are well known. We seem to be dying, but look! We continue to live. We are punished, but we are not killed. We have much sadness, but we are always rejoicing. We are poor, but we are making many people rich {in faith}. We have nothing, but really we have everything. We have spoken freely to you people in Corinth. We have opened our hearts to you. Our feelings of love for you have not stopped. It is you that have stopped your feelings of love for us. I speak to you like you are my children. Do the same as we have done—open your hearts also. You are not the same as those people who don't believe. So don't join yourselves to them. Good and bad don't belong together. Light and darkness cannot have fellowship (sharing). How can Christ and Belial (the devil) have any agreement? What can a believer have together with a non-believer?

2 Corinthians 6:6-15

We don't tell people about ourselves. But we tell people that Jesus Christ is Lord; and we tell people that we are your servants for Jesus. God once said, "The light will shine out of the darkness!" And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts. He gave us light by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ. We have this treasure {from God}. But we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that this great power is from God, not from us.

2 Corinthians 4:5-7

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.