“After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”” (Luke 22:17–19, NIV)
The scene is a somber one but filled with love. Jesus knows he must leave his beloved apostles soon. He yet has much to share with them.
Jesus with the twelve apostles prepared to celebrate the Passover meal, sacred because it commemorated God’s great power in freeing his people from Egyptian slavery.
But God was soon to perform an even greater miracle. Through the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus, the whole world might be saved.
It is in the midst of this sacred scene that Jesus gives thanks to his father. Before passing around the cup of wine to be shared, Jesus gave thanks. Similarly, before passing around the bread to be shared, Jesus gave thanks.
In this foreshadowing of his death, offering up his body and blood, gratitude flowed from the heart and mouth of Jesus.
Facing the most difficult time of his earthly life, Jesus took the time to give thanks.
Do you thank God in the midst of trials? I have found that doing so allows me to shift my focus off my trial and to all that God has provided me.
Jesus gave thanks in the presence Judas, the one who would betray him and send him to a painful, humiliating death.
Even in the presence of your enemies, thank God for who he is and all he has done.
“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.” (John 6:11, NIV)
Background and Setting
“Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:1–13, NIV)
The Master’s Plan
After healing many, Jesus was followed by large crowds because of his miracles. He asks a provocative question of his disciple Philip. “How will we feed so many followers?” Sometimes, God asks you a stretch question, designed to get you to go beyond your comfort zone and what you know you can do. The question was based on Jesus knowing what HE was going to do because he has all power. Andrew, another disciple, dares to come to Jesus with a tiny amount of food that can not come close to feeding the crowd assembled. But did he have a mustard seed of faith that maybe, just maybe, Jesus could perform a miracle with a little bit of food? I think so.
Calm in the Midst of Crowds
In the behind-the-scenes with Jesus, tensions were mounting. What about this idea of feeding all these people? What good can the small amount of food from a small boy do? Meanwhile, the multitudes are waiting for Jesus to continue doing his miracles. In the midst of this, Jesus takes his time. He tells the crowd to sit down.
Jesus is in front of a large crowd of hungry people. The situation seems desperate. What will happen? The people are restless, the disciples are worried. But Jesus will not be rushed. He will do things decently and in order. Thanks must be given before the miracle occurs. Jesus will lead them in giving thanks to the One who provides their daily bread.
The text says that Jesus knew what he was going to do. He knew he was going to do a miracle and feed the 5,000. Again, moving patiently and methodically, Jesus gave thanks before he distributed the loaves that miraculously multiplied. He did the same before he distributed the fish. Jesus thanked God in faith for the miracle before it happened.
Jesus Our Example
Thankfulness for food may have been part of Jesus’ daily routine. Is it part of yours?
As you approach Thanksgiving Day, make sure to order your Thanksgiving Day celebration to make time to give thanks. Don’t rush it. Give all in attendance a chance to express their gratitude as well. God’s provision for us is miraculous. Take time to remember that every day, not just on Thanksgiving, each time you set down to eat of the food God provides for you.
It is God’s will that we be continually conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, each day becoming more like him. Christ was thankful. Pray that you become more thankful to the One who provides everything for your nourishment.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8
This verse starts by telling us to keep God’s Word in our mouths. The way to do that is to “meditate” on it day and night. What does keeping God’s Word in your mouth have to do with meditating?
First, remember that God reveals to us how we are to worship him and live our lives before him. Law (“torah” in Hebrew) refers to these teachings or instructions of God.
The Hebrew root word for meditate here literally means a low groan or utterance. It is sometimes translated “meditate”.
Meditation as taught in the Bible is not merely thinking about God’s teaching. In other verses in the Bible, the same Hebrew word for meditate is translated proclaim, utter or speak. God’s Word should be so thoroughly in your heart that it freely and continually comes out of your mouth. As you speak God’s Word, it instructs you and others around you. In this way, you will be careful to obey God’s commands and find success.
This is what we learn about the cherished and successful virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. She speaks with wisdom and the teaching (torah) of God’s faithfulness and kindness is on her lips.
Deuteronomy 6:7 presents this idea. God tells the Israelites to speak of the commandments God gave them at all times.
The apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:16 that we are to “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…”
Speaking God’s Word to one another should be part of who we are as ambassadors of Christ and as we build up the body of Christ.
Act- As you meditate on God’s Word, allow the fruit of your mind to come out of your mouth. Try memorizing God’s Word by speaking it. Freely and generously share with others who God is and what he has done for you. Start at home by sharing with those closest to you.
God wants to guide you today. You have dreams. He has the power to fulfill of all them if you will follow him. Through prayer and listening for God’s wisdom, you will allow him to guide you in the best way. God knows the end from the beginning. You will not find a better guide!
Man was never meant to live alone. From the beginning, God created humans to live in relationship with him and with others that he created. You can successfully live out the dream God has placed in your heart by paying careful attention to your relationships and avoiding the temptation to “go it alone”.
Pray and ask God to bring you godly relationships and to grow your dependence on him.
Reach out to God and others to make your business a success.