Trusting God for Bread
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our heavenly Father promises to give us all that we need for our body and life. We are to trust Him because He gives us his Word of life, and that same Word of life gives us salvation and tells us that the Lord will provide for us in this life. Adam taught his wife differently, and that sin has been with us ever since. Rather than having God's Word first, we run around trying to grab all the stuff of this life. Rather that having God's Word as our highest treasure, we think the most important things in our life are the things we can buy. The Devil loves to tell us the lie: "God's Word can't keep your belly full and a roof over your head." And we believe him!
The disciples were all excited to hear Him preach and teach too, until their tummies started rumbling. The Word of God is great…until you've been with Jesus three days and you're starving. Then what? Jesus feeds them. It doesn't matter how much bread or fish there is; Jesus makes it enough. Jesus comes into this world for unbelieving, worrying, ungrateful idolaters who think they need stuff but don't need God's Word. For our worry, for our idolatry, for our coveting, for our unbelief, for all our sin, Jesus hangs on Calvary, giving His body into death. Over and over Jesus gave up earthly treasure to redeem us from our sins. All Jesus had was the cup of suffering and the ashes and dust of our sins. Yet Jesus trusted in His Father's Word, and that sustained Him. Our sins are His sins, our death is His death. And His life becomes ours. And He rose and lives to give us salvation and all that we need for this body and life.
That's why He feeds the 4,000. Why were the 4,000 there? They had been listening to His Word. Their first concern was His Word. After all, His Word saves them. His Word is true food. His Word is life. His Word is life, but that doesn't mean daily bread is unimportant. So Jesus feeds them. My brothers and sisters in Christ, there is such a temptation for us to think that God's Word and gifts are not the most important thing. Gas prices go up. That means food prices go up. The price of everything is going up. With that comes a huge temptation to worry that we won't have enough for what we need. Jesus fed four thousand with seven loaves of bread. Do you think He can’t or won't provide for you what you need? We question His goodness. After all, sometimes that next paycheck seems so far away. Even so, did you go hungry? Did you have no place to live? The Lord has made you His own. Do you think He'll let you starve? And even if He did, you still have forgiveness and eternal life and all things.
It's no random detail that St. Mark throws in when he writes that Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it and distributed it. That reminds us of the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper teaches us that Jesus is our Lord—both for eternal life and for now. He doesn't just give us forgiveness of sins. He provides for and cares for us now. God is not just for spiritual things, but also for bodily gifts. When we eat and drink the Lord's body and blood, it feed our bodies and forgives our sins. Just as He dies to bear our sins and makes us God's children, in the same way He provides for us all that we need to live in this life.
Man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God. From the Words that make you His own at the font to the words that feed you with His own body and blood, Jesus is your Lord for this life and for the life to come. Jesus comes so that there will be One who really does live by God's Word. And that living done by Jesus counts for you. That's what gives you life. Food, clothing, and shelter are no problem for a Lord who can die and rise again and take away your sins. After all, you've got Jesus Himself, and that means you have everything. In the name of the Father and of the Son (†) and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always. Amen.