The left-over teaching of Jesus
John 6: 12-15
“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”
Was this gathering of all the left-overs a ‘keep the countryside clean’ campaign? Was it because the Jews believed it was sinful to throw food away?
Maybe the reason is found in what Jesus will reveal later when he says ‘I am the Bread of Life’.
What went out to the 5,000 that day was fragments of the Bread of Life.
The Gospel writers gathered the pieces of Jesus’ life and his teachings and they formed them into a narrative, preserving them so that even to this day we feast daily on the left-overs.
Jesus did not want them to forget his miracles and teaching.
John preserved the I am sayings: I am the Bread of Life, I am the Light of the world, I am the Sheep gate, I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Resurrection and the Life, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, I am the True Vine, Before Abraham was born I AM. At the end of the gospel he will say there was simply so much that there are not enough books in the world to record them all.
Today as you read the Bible, as you hear it preached, we are doing what Jesus told the disciples to do. We are gathering the left-overs that remain of his life here on earth. And if like me there isn’t a day when you fail to marvel and be filled to capacity with a fragment then it only serves to point to a feast of knowing Him one day soon.