The Miracle Told in All Four Gospels
A Meditation on Mark 6:30-46
BETH-lehem: In Hebrew, it means House-of-Bread (or Sustenance). This is its literal translation. I named my daughter, Margaret Elizabeth Lee, BETH, her nickname, for “house,” and the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Beth, (pronounced “Bait”), and she is my second child.
This miracle, the Multiplication of the Loaves, as it is known, is the ONLY miracle told in all four Gospels. Not only that, here, in Mark, it is recounted twice. Now why is that? And how many women and children were included to the numbers of men counted (5,000 and 4,000, respectively)?
Since I returned from the Holy Land in June of ’99, I have often meditated on a tile I bought there to display in my kitchen. It is of one of the most famous ancient mosaics of Jerusalem, artistically balancing some bread loaves and some fish in circular baskets. It is a beautiful depiction.
When Jesus was asked by his disciples, “What are we supposed to feed the people here?” he made it so everyone could eat—and also have leftovers.
How and why did he do this? Perhaps he was more concerned that his listeners would not be famished while they listened. Or perhaps he wanted us to know that if we listen to him, his grace will always be abundantly supplied. He came so that we might have life, and not just life. Life MORE ABUNDANT.
Soften our hearts, O Lord, do not let our hearts grow hard for any reason. Help us know that you will provide at all times for us, your servants. Help us to multiply our faith in exponential numbers, as you did “(in that) deserted place. . . .”
— Margaret V. Lee