Breaking Bread

Feeding The Multitude by Abraham Bloemaert, 1628

A great many people know the story of Jesus feeding of the 5000, even a lot of people unfamiliar with The Bible know it too. It is the only one of Jesus miracles with the exception of the resurrection itself, that is told in all four gospels. What is perhaps not always appreciated about this story, is the circumstance under which this particular miracle took place.

Immediately before the passage telling us of feeding the multitude, we learn of the death of John The Baptist. John was murdered by Herod, who was tricked into beheading him by Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and their daughter Salome’ who had danced at Herod’s birthday celebration.

John’s disciples took his body, buried it and then went and informed Jesus. When Jesus fed the people, his original intent had been to get away from crowds, to find a place where he could think, grieve for John and pray in solitude. His healing, teaching and feeding of the multitude on that day was against a background of setting aside his own grief and sorrow.

A girl dances, 
Celebrating a birthday,
A Trick, a murder, 
A head on a platter,
News is brought.

A time to grieve, 
Searching for solitude, 
A flight, a boat, 
Sailing away, 
Across the lake.

Footsteps on the shore, 
The Son Of Man’s compassion,
Healing, teaching, caring, 

Evening, far from home, 
Breaking bread, 
Thousands fed.


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