01 Apr

Text and image by Rick McVicar             

     A gospel story of Jesus feeding five thousand people with a couple of fish, often viewed as a miracle story, may have been intended as an environmental justice story instead.        

     After all, food might have appeared from greedy hoarders who were shamed by Jesus to use their own food rather than being served a dinner bought by Jesus’ disciples. 👿    

     The story is told in Mark 6:30-44 (NIV) following the beheading of John the Baptist, who lived as an indigenous person. A lesson on environmental justice immediately following John’s murder would make perfect sense.             

     In the feeding story, a large crowd finds its way to a remote place to meet up with Jesus, who travels to the spot by boat to get away from large crowds. Somehow, the crowd arrives ahead of Jesus by foot (vs 32-33). How they get there before Jesus seems to be a minor miracle.             

     The gospel writer describes the crowd as “sheep without a shepherd” (v. 33). The reference could mean the crowd is either lost or dumb, or both. Either way, the gospel writer takes a low opinion of the crowd. By the way, the crowd comprises only men, according to the last verse of the story, v. 44. The word “men” is used by both the NIV and the NRSV.            

     After the men are fed with just two fish and five loaves of bread, twelve baskets of broken leftovers are gathered (v. 43). Not only is there plenty to eat, but leftovers are abundant as well.             

     Does all this food magically arrive on the scene? Or are the men in the crowd hiding it from sight, holding on to it for whatever reason? Is it from fear of a coming famine? Is it for the pleasure of possessing riches? Either way, Jesus is having none of it, demanding that the food be put to good use without spoilage or waste. 

     The story seems to be saying that there is plenty of food to go around, once greedy, hoarding men empty their shopping carts so wealth can be spread evenly. 😘

     Jesus feeding five thousand men is no miracle other than bringing justice to bear on our food supply.             

     As you break bread today, may you find abundant artful health.

Sunray shining through red leaves.

                "Sharing" Click on image to go to trance music video on YouTube.

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