A Swan Dive Out of Heaven

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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Based on Mark 6:30–44 in the New Testament

Dust-caked and baked in the hot Galilean sun, twelve dog-tired disciples straggled back to Jesus with news of all they had seen and done on their missionary journeys. Jesus had hoped to ferry his disciples to a quiet place to rest and talk, but swelling crowds hounded Him like paparazzi. He looked over the hoard—a mass of people like pound puppies peering with hungry eyes at a potential master.

“Shoo them off, Jesus,” the disciples whined. “Do something so we can have our campfire time alone. Send them to local cafes.”

Jesus narrowed his gaze. “Feed them.”

“Yeah, right! Like we have the dough for this mob!”

“Look around.”

One of them chuckled; this was a joke. But Jesus’ gaze . . . his gaze. They moaned and wobbled off to search for a chuck wagon or two.

A couple of them scrounged up five loaves of bread and two fish. And felt darn foolish handing them to Jesus. Several wore “I told you so, Jesus” smirks.

Jesus told the Twelve to get busy and gather the crowds into groups, which they did by scurrying around like sheep dogs. Jesus then looked upward and said a few words, tore into the bread, cut up the fish, and set out the food like pies on a window sill. And all the time the disciples came and went, dealing out the grub.

When folks finally decided to leave the picnic for home, the disciples figured that at least 5,000 men had eaten and waddled away, not to mention their families. No doubt about it: Jesus loved the famished crowd and filled them up on wonder bread. But some folks said later that all the food was more investment than nourishment. Jesus didn’t just hand out bread; he gave himself. The disciples grew to believe that he was the incarnation of a gutsy God who—driven by extravagant love—did a swan dive out of heaven into this puny bucket called earth.

No one could receive that gift sitting on his hands. Jesus had the disciples on their feet doing the very things they would eventually be. Months later, fueled by the fire of God’s Spirit, they were set loose around the Mediterranean to feed others with the Bread of Life that had so marvelously fed them. And more than enough remains still. Plenty for you to invest your life in others the same way God does for you.