Day 12 - Tuesday, March 10 A Theology of Abundance DAILY READING - Jn 6:1-21 In today’s reading, we see Jesus perform a miracle for the masses. This is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. It is significant. Jesus seems to have a predicament. A great crowd of people is now following him. John says people are following Jesus because: The signs and miracles are beginning to draw large crowds. The crowds are curious. Wouldn’t you be, too? If you heard about a man that claimed to be the Son of God, sent by God, and he was performing massive miracles, would you be curious? Or, would you think he was crazy? Would you want to go see him? Or, would you write it off as insanity and move along? What would draw you in if Jesus came to earth today? Large crowds begin to gather around Jesus. Apparently Jesus feels the need to feed the people. Why does he feel this need? Is there anything in the text that reveals why there is a need to feed the people? Read Mark 6:33-35. What does Mark say about the need to feed the people? The disciple, Andrew, finds a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish. The barley loaves were like small flat breads, probably the size of large crackers. John distinguishes them as made of barley for a reason. Barley was a rougher grain and more affordable for the poor (Carson, 270). The two fish were likely pickled sardines (Carson, 270). It was a small lunch for a small boy. Jesus took what was meant to be meager and multiplied it for the masses. Jesus said that he multiplied the meal to the extent that everyone had as much as . (John 6:11, NIV) What does this tell us about Jesus? John is describing the Lord’s profuse providence. The theology of abundance thinks of God as one who provides lavishly. God always provides. Read Jeremiah 31:14. God’s people will be filled with . Read Matthew 6:25-34. How does God clothe the flowers? How does God promise to clothe us? Read Exodus 16:11- 34. What does this say about God’s providence? What does this say about God’s abundance? The theology of scarcity says the opposite of the theology of abundance. The theology of scarcity thinks of God as limited in His providence. The theology of scarcity says that God does not always provide what is needed. Can you think of a time in your life that God did not provide what you needed? Do you tend to operate out of a theology of abundance or a theology of scarcity? What circumstances in your life might have contributed to this way of thinking about God? In Jn 6:12, Jesus instructs the disciples to gather all of the leftovers. Read that again. Five small loaves, two small fish, and Jesus provided enough food for well over 5,000 people. And, there were left-overs. What does this say about Christ’s ability to provide with abundance? Jesus also says, in 6:12, “Let be wasted”(NIV). Grab onto this for a minute. Jesus wastes nothing. Jesus wastes nothing in your life. Nothing. All of it will be used. Your life is a woven tapestry of threads and not a single thread is without purpose. Read Romans 8:28. What is the promise of God? After the people saw the miraculous sign of providence and abundance, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Read Deuteronomy 18:15-21. The Israelites would know this word from God by heart. How does this word from God affirm Christ as the awaited Prophet? At the end of the reading today, Jesus walks on water to the disciples. They freak out. Wouldn’t you? Once Jesus is in the boat, the boat “immediately” reaches the shore. What does this say about the way Jesus provides?