Jesus abundantly fulfils our needs, and at the same time fulfils the Old Testament.
2 Kings 4:42-44
42 A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.
43 “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.
But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” 44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
When I was in Grade 8 my friend Lucy decided I would be a good fit for house group captain. The role wasn’t too hard really – just reminding the girls of what events were going on, and reminding them that if they forgot to wear hair ribbons one more time then the teacher was really going to lose it.
I should have fallen at the first hurdle. On election day, Lucy leaned over and whispered, “Do you have your speech ready, Maddie?”
I did not have my speech ready. I had not even thought about what I was going to say. I was utterly, hopelessly, embarrassingly unprepared.
Now it’s really not hard to come up with a 30 second speech that is only to be performed in front of a class made up almost entirely by friends. It doesn’t actually require that much effort or responsibility. But somehow I lacked both.
I genuinely wished Jesus would choose that time to return. But he didn’t. And I still didn’t have a speech. But when my name was called and I stepped up to speak, Lucy gave me a wide grin and two thumbs up. “You can do it!” she mouthed. And despite not really knowing what I was saying, even as I said it, I was elected.
I was rescued by 2 thumbs and some silent encouragement and proceeded to spend two glorious terms telling people what to do.
But sometimes a lack of resources is much harder to overcome. And then the overcoming, by abundant provision, is worthy of thankfulness and awe.
The events reported in today’s passage are part of a sequence of miracles that God performs through the prophet Elisha. It’s a pretty impressive set of actions, befitting a guy who asked Israel’s greatest prophet, Elijah, for “a double portion of your spirit.” Here, Elisha feeds a hundred men with just twenty small loaves, and there is some left over.
Of course, it is an event that points to Jesus. In Luke 9, we read that Jesus feeds 5000 people with even less resources, and with an enormous amount left over. The message is clear. Like Elisha, Jesus is from God. But, even more, he is the fulfilment of the promise spoken through Elisha’s story – a bigger and better narrative of God providing for the needs of his people. Jesus’ version of the miracle is one with overflowing abundance. Through this and the other fulfilment stories in Jesus’ ministry we see him as the promised one of God, who fulfilled our ultimate need for a saviour. Through his death and resurrection, we see him abundantly fulfilling needs that we can’t meet ourselves, by being the bread of eternal life.
Head: Read the rest of 2 Kings 4. In what other ways do these events preface Jesus?
Heart: Jesus fulfils the promises – made in speech or action – of the old testament, and he also abundantly fulfils the needs of people. Reflect on the abundance of God, and the different ways that it impacts you.
Hands: Fulfilment and abundance are two great ideas to remember about Jesus. Think of a way that you can periodically remind yourself of them on a regular basis.
Prayer: Father, we thank you that Jesus’ fulfilment of your promises is clear and powerful. Thank you that we can see that he is your chosen one, your saviour. Thank you for the abundance of your love and all the ways that it is shown through him and poured out to us through your spirit. Amen
A song to listen to: Only a Holy God
Maddie Pryde and Geoff Pryde- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina