Genesis 17:15-27; Hebrews 10:11-25; John 6:1-15
In seminary, I was taught that numbers held secondary meanings in the Hebrew world. The number 7, for example, not only represented seven items, it also stood for completeness and perfection. In the book of Genesis, we learn that creation consisted of six days of work and one day of rest — seven days total. The creation was completed and perfect.
In our gospel text we read the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand with two fish and five loaves. Feeding so many people with so meager an offering is an amazing miracle. Had there been just enough to feed them all, the testimony would still be astounding, but there were twelve baskets of food left over to display the abundance of the Lord.
That’s where the number seven comes in to this story. The five loaves plus the two fish were all Jesus needed to provide, in abundance, for the five thousand who were listening to him. More than that, it shows that the one who performed the miracle is really our completeness and our perfection. Jesus is all we need in this life. If we have him then even the meagerness of what we have will be more than enough.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for being all we really need in this life. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by William E. Maki, Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, St. Marys, OH.