“How many loaves have you?” he asked; “Go, and see.” When they had found out, they told him, “Five, and two fish.”
always it comes back
my care for other’s hunger
threatens to deepen mine
so how much do I have
and how much do I need
for that changes reporting
five loaves and two fish
for twelve or more
sounds about right
now is this after
figuring in our own
evening meal or before
knowing our desire to live well
a calculated response is tempting
and a trigger to recognize a test
learners learn by failing
odds are they had much more
but such details pale in significance
the need is more than
one hundred times as much
where is abundance much less enough
“For Jesus, the desert was a place of testing and formation, as it had been for the Israelites in the Exodus. It would be a place of testing for the disciples as well.” LaVerdiere171.
The test for Jesus, this time, came from the Twelve. How will he respond to their vigorous denial of always being on the road to recognize hospitality in others as an entry point to a life change or to offer it through their healing and teaching.
Jesus stays steady. He doesn’t take the bait to enter into a power struggle by taking back their commissioning.
Rather, Jesus asks a question that brings the Twelve back to the reality of this setting—“How much? Look and see.”
Lo and behold, the money red-herring and personal privilege fade to the background for a moment (yes, dear reader, they will return all too soon).
An assessment is made, “Five loaves; two fish.” For twelve men, not a feast, but enough to see them through the night. No wonder they were resistant to sharing when markets were in the vicinity.
Jesus, shepherding both the crowd and the Twelve, starts with this small amount of food with a remembrance of earlier times when the people were tested by hunger—times still remembered as Manna-time, Kairos-time, Right-time, Providential-time, or Enough-time.