Each Sunday in Lent will focus on one of Jesus’ miraculous signs in the Gospel of John.
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your devotional time. Before you read, meditate on John’s words about his Gospel:
But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name – John 20:31.
REFLECT AND PRAY
Jesus is fully human as well as fully God. He understands what it means to be hungry and thirsty. He offers compassion and remedy for our physical needs as well as our spiritual and emotional ones.
In addition to providing for the crowd, Jesus uses this miracle as a “testing” (vs. 6) and teaching moment for Philip and the other disciples. He shows them that they are not limited by what they can see – that they can imagine and expect more. He trains them for the time when they will be doing “greater things than these” (John 14:12-14), carrying out their own ministries and miracles in Jesus’ name.
1) What are some of the ways you are called to meet the needs of those around you, as Jesus did?
2) Ask Jesus to bring to mind a specific time or times when he taught and prepared you to carry out his work in the world. What was that experience like for you? How is Jesus continuing to guide and equip you?
Jesus made sure everyone “ate as much as they wanted” (vs. 11) and that none of the extra food would go to waste (vs. 12). What might Jesus’ miracle look like in today’s world, where both hunger and food waste are global problems? The United Nations estimates that “Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.”
If you feel led to do so, learn more about the problem of wasted food and its relation to world hunger. (It’s a particular problem in the United States.) Ask God if there is some way, big or small, you can contribute to the reduction of food waste and hunger and to the overall care of God’s creation.
If you wish, you may also read or listen to this examen led by James Martin, S.J., who invites us to reflect on the historical connection between Lent and helping the poor.
You are also invited to hear a sermon on this passage. It will be streamed on the Vineyard One NYC Facebook page beginning at 10:30 am Eastern Standard Time. (Previous sermon audio files are available at vineyardone.nyc.)
“Leap of Faith” is a devotional series on the Gospel of John for the Lent season. All readings are available on the Vineyard One NYC app, along with additional resources for Bible reading, worship, and prayer (IPhone app here; Google Play app here).