“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over” (Matthew 14:20).

One can imagine how doubtfully and grudgingly the apostles doled out the bread at first, and how the portion of each was increased as group after group was provided, and no diminishing appeared in Christ’s full hands, until all the five thousand were fed. The leftovers proved how sufficient had been the share of each. May we not see in that scene a picture of the full supply for all the needs of the whole world that there is in that Bread of Life that came down from heaven? The gospel proclaims a full feast, which is intended for all mankind, and shall one day satisfy all mankind.

This adaptation of the message of the gospel to the whole world arises from the obvious fact that it addresses itself to universal needs. It commits itself to no transient human opinion. It brushes aside all the surface distinctions that separate us from one another and goes right down to the depths that are the same in every person: the obstinate willfulness of a nature separated from God and the yet deeper-lying longings of soul that flames with the consciousness of God and yearns for peace and rest. To the sense of sin and sorrow, the conscience is never wholly stilled. The desires after good are never fully eradicated. For every soul on earth, the living, dying love of the Lord Jesus Christ addresses itself to and satisfies our deepest needs. It is the bread that gives life to the world.

Adapted from In His Presence