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September 15, 2015, 4:02 PM

From the Rector

In last week’s readings we noted many verses were skipped in the gospel. We read Mark 6:30-34,  53-56. The missing story between those verses is the feeding of the five-thousand. Today the gospel before us comes from John and it is the story of the feeding of the five-thousand.  So as we skip the Mark’s account of the five thousand and read the one from John, let us see if there is anything distinctive that would stir us to a deeper theological thought.

In Mark's Gospel the disciples came to Jesus and ask him to send the people away to find something to eat, but in John's Gospel Jesus takes the initiative and ask Phillip where could food be found for the crowd. This was a test for Phillip. Jesus testing Phillip about food was more theological than simply physical food. Jesus knew what he was going to do, but he wanted Phillip and the rest of us to know that God is big enough to supply our needs. Everything is to be entrusted to God. This may seem insignificant but this is the essence of the difference between how the disciples thought of the seemingly impossible, and what Jesus makes possible. This is the difference between the one who responds with limited vision, and the true provider in the midst of the people.

John's writing is simply a theological gospel about God and his human creation.  When reading the gospel of John we ought to remember his book was written so that those who read it would believe that Jesus is the Messiah and by believing in him one may have life in his Name.  In the Gospel of Matthew and Luke, known as the synoptic Gospels, we find the teaching on the Last Supper and how the body and blood of Jesus will be our strength going forward, but in this gospel before us today, the feeding of the five-thousand demonstrates a theological understanding of the last supper.

The feeding of the five-thousand is not just a need for physical food but a need for the whole of Jesus and who he is and what he has done. John makes clear that Jesus protects, provides, feeds, and teaches. The disciples must know that there is more than food for the stomach, but there is also food for enduring nourishment: There is comfort in times of treachery and fear, and yes, when in doubt, he will reveal himself to us all. My hope and prayers is for us all is to treat the test of Phillip as a daily example of his providence.

I am yours, for the building up of God’s kingdom.

Fr. Chris


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