“Jesus said, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.” (John 6:12-13)
A 6-year-old girl asked, “Didn’t Jesus eat lunch?” I said, “What you do mean?
”She said, “The disciples collected 12 baskets, but there were 13 of them. So, didn’t Jesus eat lunch?”
It took a child to point out this small detail, a detail that reveals that Jesus thought about His friends and the hungry people before He thought about Himself.
Some folks might not be impressed that Jesus didn’t ask for His own basket of leftovers, thinking that the Son of God didn’t need to eat. This is false theology. Although Jesus was the Son of God, He was also a human being who got hungry.
The small detail of the 13th basket reveals a lot about Jesus, and it also reveals a lot about how Jesus wants us to live. As His disciples, Jesus calls upon us to think first about others and then about ourselves.
What are some practical examples of what thinking first about others would look like?
On Christmas morning, our biggest joy wouldn’t be about what we receive but about what we give.
If we’re cutting a sandwich to share with someone, we would give him or her the bigger half.
If praise is going around a staff meeting, we would aim the limelight at someone else.
If we’re ahead of a single parent in the checkout line, we step aside and let her or him go ahead.
Although there was no 13th basket of leftovers collected on this day, Jesus didn’t go hungry. Instead, He felt very full. Not full, obviously, with a basket of leftovers, but full with a big heart. He was full from seeing the joy His disciples had when they shared with others.
If we belong to Jesus, I encourage us to trust that He will sustain us. If we want to do the Lord’s work, I encourage us to share what has been given to us like the disciples.
Jesus gives us the “basket” of his love and grace so that we may share it with those who are hungry for God’s presence. When we do so, His heart becomes full.
- What has Jesus given to you to share with others?
- Please look at your relationships. Do you notice anyone who is hungry for hope, support, encouragement, praise, thanks, or love? If so, will you feed them what they need?
- Are you hungry right now? It’s hard to feed others when you are hungry or empty. What do you need from Jesus?