Meridian Star

June 8, 2013

From the Shepherd’s heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     “Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.” — John 6:13

One of Jesus’ miracles was feeding 5,000 with the lunch of a little boy. Earlier, one of the disciples expressed dismay at the thought of providing such a meal. However, one boy willing to share what he had more than covered the multitude.

    Scripture reveals that everyone ate until they were filled. Then Jesus asked the disciples who served the meal to gather the scraps. Amazingly, there were twelve baskets of food left after all had eaten their fill.

    So, why do you think there were twelve baskets? Some commentators say that the twelve baskets represent the twelve tribes of Israel. They see great symbolism in the number of baskets left. I think the reason for twelve baskets is much more practical. I think there were twelve baskets so each of the twelve disciples could sense the surplus God provides.

    Note one thing; those who were served made no note of the excessive provision of God. It was those who serve that experienced the over abundance God gives. It is in service that we realize how big and wonderful our God really is.

    What do you think they did with the surplus? I think the twelve disciples took them to the house of the little boy. I know I’m guessing, but one thing I know. God always blesses the giver. The blessing of his gift would logically come to the little boy, not someone else. Can you imagine the look on his mother’s face if these twelve men came home with the little boy to help him bring home the scraps from his lunch?  

    Some things are difficult to explain. One thing easy to see is those who join the Lord in what He is doing see blessings others never know. 5,000 men went home full. Twelve disciples and a little boy went home with a blessing you cannot explain.

    The moral is: When you join Jesus in serving is when the abundance begins to show! Why not give Jesus what you have. It may seem like so little, but little is much in the right hands.

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.