Loaves and crumbs — what bread in the Bible has to do with you

Matthew 15

Even if we’re still trying to avoid carbs, we love them. With New Year’s around the corner, it won’t be long before we can make another short-term commitment to reduce carbs in our diet. But as long as food exists, we’ll continue to eat them.

Apparently, God loves carbs too, in the form of bread.  In Matthew 15, Jesus Himself makes two references to bread, but in two very different contexts.

A woman pleads with Jesus to heal her daughter.  At first, Jesus ignores her cries on account of her not being Jewish (is He racist?), but she continues to press in.  Jesus goes as far as relating her to a “little dog” to shake her off, but the woman responds to this in a profound fashion:

Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

Recognizing her faith (which He had likely perceived before this whole dialogue), Jesus decides to proceed with healing the woman’s daughter.

When the dinner table is bare, even the bread crumbs that fall off are a huge blessing. Have you ever felt this way?  I think this level of perception of blessing is a big deal for Christians to start to recognize, because, in particular, the American Christian takes this for granted. Even the smallest amount of something on our table should be perceived as “extra” from God, because we deserve nothing more than condemnation.

Jesus just finished feeding five thousand people one chapter earlier.  He pulls off another high-volume bread distribution stunt in chapter 15. This might seem redundant, but Jesus’ words here are no less powerful:

I have compassion on the multitude with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.

Jesus is not inconvenienced by repeating miracles or feats.

In the same way, we should quit shaking off opportunities to help one another, even if we’ve already “given them a handout” before.  We don’t know what our neighbor has endured.  Now, if a person is using you, “stuff” isn’t going to be a blessing at all.

But on a broader scale, this passage points out God’s everlasting resources.  There’s always, always enough to go around.  Don’t be afraid to ask. He’s got you covered.

Overall lesson: if there’s bread in the Bible, pay attention.  Jesus is indeed the Bread of Life. He will not hesitate to distribute life freely today, especially to those in need.

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