The fish man came yesterday. Not a big deal, you might say. In fact up to three weeks ago he called every Wednesday. Sea fresh fish delivered right to the door. Living as far away from the sea as we do, fresh fish was always a treat. But we took it for granted.
Then came the bombshell. The fish man wouldn’t be able to come round with fish any more. Not for the foreseeable future anyway. Circumstances beyond his control, he said. We were disappointed, but not dismayed. It’s only fish, after all.
We had recently opened an account with a large supermarket, which made regular deliveries of a wide range of products in our area. We’ll order our fish from there, we decided. No problem. Fish was available, and there was a reasonable variety of choice. We ordered some. Just a small quantity, to see what it was like.
What a disappointment. Although of a reasonable quality it fell far short of the standard we had been used to. We thought we would give them one more try, and put in another order the following week. We were expecting to be disappointed again, and we were. Panic set in. What were we to do? Good fish is hard to come by in our area, and there wasn’t much choice. We would have to get used to the supermarket fish, or cut it out altogether. But yesterday there was great rejoicing. The fish man came back.
My wife likes to make her own bread and she normally buys her flour locally. Suddenly it seemed that everyone was making their own bread, and bread flour was scarce. She delegated friends and neighbours to try and get some for her, but without success. We would have to make do with ready-made bread for a while, which we did. It was OK, but it wasn’t the same. Last week however, she found a local supplier of bread flour, and is now able to bake her own bread again. More rejoicing.
Why am I telling you all this?
‘My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19). 5000 people on the hillside were hungry. Feeding the people was an important aspect of Jesus’ ministry.
Consider the miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5:6). This is a physical miracle, but also symbolic and prophetic. The fish they caught represented potential converts for the Kingdom, as Jesus said to Peter, “I will make you fishers of men” (Luke 5:10). In the same way as the fish became a metaphor for people, later on, bread became a metaphor for Jesus Himself, as He said to the people, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35).
As the the wonderful aroma of baking bread wafts through my kitchen, I am reminded of the aroma of Christ, penetrating every part of our lives. In the same way, the delicious fresh fish reminds me of the call to go out into the world and preach the gospel. People are hungry. Jesus had two small fish, but that was enough. He said, “I do not want to send them away hungry" (Matthew 15:32). ‘It’s not God’s will that any should perish, but that all come to repentance’ (Peter 3:9).
I get excited when I think about it.
Prayer: Give us each day our daily bread.This, Lord, is my prayer, although I take much for granted. Please forgive me. You do supply all my needs, for which I am so grateful. But I don’t want to live on bread alone. I need spiritual food, that I might taste and see that the Lord is good. Help me to live by Your Word, and enter into the fulness of your Kingdom, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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