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

Saturday, April 23, 2022

After everyone [in the crowd of more than 5,000 people] was full, Jesus told his disciples, "Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted." So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
— John 6:12-13 NLT

Key Thought

Some leftovers I love. Others I can do without. These leftovers are marvelous. I especially love the fact that there were twelve baskets of leftovers — one basket for each apostle! I really don't think Jesus' only concern was avoiding waste or not leaving a mess. No, I believe he really wanted to leave an indelible memory on his closest friends. Once Jesus returned to the Father, these men would be faced with impossible challenges. They would find themselves in situations they couldn't begin to handle on their own. This one memory would remind them again and again that the power was from Jesus, not from their strength or resources. They had picked up the scraps with their own hands. They had carried the baskets. They had seen the boy's picnic lunch that had fed the huge crowd. Those leftovers were the tangible grace of Jesus that was 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 can neither comprehend nor imagine. But, dear Father, I am always happy to pick up the leftovers from such events! Show me the leftovers. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 6:38
  • 2 Corinthians 6:6-15
  • 2 Corinthians 4:5-7


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Illustration of John 6:12-13 NLT — "Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.