Monday of the Week of Lent IV
And when they had eaten their fill, Jesus told His disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets…”
One of the first things I learned in seminary study of the Bible is that numbers have meaning. Yes, in the Scriptures, sometimes a number is just a number, but usually, these numbers have some special meaning. Just as the number “seven” is the number of divine completeness, the number twelve is always saying something more than just “12.”
What do you think is the significance of the number twelve?
Twelve tribes of Israel. Twelve apostles. Old Covenant, New Covenant. Old Israel, New Israel. The Church of Jesus Christ, as the Lord called twelve men to be His disciples. John tells us that having twelve baskets full left over from the bread and fish is a sign. And what does this sign mean?
Having fed thousands of followers—there’s still more! There is no end to Jesus’ ability to feed His flock! Perhaps the twelve baskets full mean there will be plenty to feed the Church to come, as the twelve disciples make more and more and more disciples in the years to come. Maybe Jesus was thinking about you and me as the leftovers were collected, hoping that we would see the sign and know that He wasn’t just feeding His flock then, but that He provides for us now! We, too, receive Living Bread from heaven—Jesus Christ! We, too, feast on His presence in Word and Sacrament!
Lord Jesus, thank you for feeding us with your very presence! Amen.
Lenten Response: Take a few non-perishable food items to your local food bank or church collection box. Or make a financial contribution to Salvation Army or some other ministry that feeds the hungry and homeless.
Source: NALC Devotions