They all ate and were satisfied. . . . — Luke 9:17
I can remember the best meal I ever ate. My wife and I went out for a nice dinner to a fine restaurant with close friends. My steak melted like butter in my mouth. We laughed and talked about life and ministry and whatever else came to mind. We enjoyed everything about that evening so much—the food, the company, the setting, the emotions.
I remember leaving that meal totally satisfied—not just because I had enjoyed an incredible steak but also because everything about that night was amazing. I was full; I had amazing companions; I knew I was in the right place in my life; I felt blessed by God.
Jesus looked out over the crowd he had been teaching all day and knew that they were hungry. They were hungry for physical food, but I think they were even more hungry for purpose and meaning. So Jesus fed them—completely. He stretched a few loaves and fish far enough to feed a massive crowd. But even more, he satisfied their need for the sustaining bread of life that comes only through him.
The only food that sustains our faith forever is the food that Jesus gives: the fullness of life that comes through his presence and mission and Word in our life. If we try to fill up on anything else, we will be hungry again. But if we fill ourselves with the bread that comes from God, we will be satisfied.