“Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?” He said again, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’ ” So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.”
II Kings 4:42-44 NKJV
“But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Matthew 14:16-21 NKJV
The more time I spend in the Old Testament, the more I marvel at the sovereignty of God. I am able to see that in Him there are no accidents, no unplanned occurrences, and all is part of His divine plan. The types and shadows in the Old Testament texts offer great insight to what we believers in the New Testament age know about God.
Working my way through II Kings this morning, and I read of Elisha feeding one hundred men with twenty loaves of barley bread. I immediately thought of one of the miracles of Jesus, as He fed 5,000 men with five loaves and two fish.
I noted the similarities of the miracles, but was taken aback by the shear scope of the feeding of the five thousand. As I pondered this, I inevitably found myself considering the law of God as compared to Gospel of Jesus.
The Law was limited in its scope and could save no one. It was merely a school master, showing lost sinners the truth of their debasement and their inability to follow the rules. The Gospel brought the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice that He would endure for the payment for our sins. Whereas the Law was for the Jews, Gospel was for the whole world, and could cleanse one from sin.
“And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.””
John 6:25-27, 32-33 NKJV
The bread that Elisha provided, like that given by Moses through God, only fed the body. What Jesus offered was a forshadowing of the the true bread from Heaven, which offers everlasting life.
In many ways, we have a choice of the bread we are to consume. In Christianity, one can be religious, doing the acts of a church goer, projecting a seeming godliness, or we can go for the bread from Heaven and choose to walk in the spirit. Many people opt for the former, as they focus on going to church or identifying as a Christian, but not really being transformed, or even saved.
The spirit filled walk is not tied to church affiliation or even attendance. It is the very nature of the believer, as they go through life reflecting the reality of their salvation in their actions, their thoughts, and how they treat others. The Holy Spirit is infused throughout their lives.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Galatians 5:16-18 NKJV
We are living in a world where there are few genuine people, few who reflect Jesus in their lives. Some of the self professed Christians I have encountered, show all the outward signs, but offer many “tells” of the true rotteness within. The world needs to see genuine Christians. The world needs to see people feasting on the bread of life. People are groaning under the weight of their sins.
“For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
Romans 8:22-23 NKJV
Let us demonstrate our love for one another, showing kindness. Let us be like those in the early church, breaking bread from house to house and taking care of each other with one heart.
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:46-47 NKJV