Thoughts: In these 21 verses, Jesus speaks briefly four times. He asks one question; he issues two directions; he give reassurance to his frightened disciples.
First, he asks Philip a rhetorical question. He already knows the answer. “How are we going to feed these people?”
Next is the first direction. “Tell the men to sit down.” If the men in the crowd sit down, the women and children would follow suit. Food could be distributed more efficiently and more evenly.
The second directive pleases those of us who were reared with thrift as a guiding principle. “Collect the leftovers.”
Jesus leaves to have some time alone in the mountains. Left to their own devices, the disciples get into a boat to go to Capernaum. A sudden storm erupts over the Sea of Galilee, and the disciples are frightened.
Jesus has miraculously fed thousands of people. Now he walks across the sea to save his chosen twelve. With meticulous grammar, he reassures them, “It is I; be not afraid.”
Discussion: In the course of a day, how many questions do we ask? How many directions do we issue? How many assurances do we give?
Activity: Remember the words of the hymn: “Let me no wrong nor idle words unthinking say.”
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