As you read through John 6 and the other readings below, what draws your interest? What stands out to you today that you either never noticed before or you have noticed previously but never found to be of significance before this reading? Do you have a question about this story that no one has ever adequately answered? What do you take away from this telling of the story?
After each reading, I will share my thoughts and responses using italics. I invite you to share your questions and reflections in the comment section below.
Jeremiah 23:1 - 6
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. 3 Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
5 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness."
“Baal-shalishah” is translated roughly as “master of three” or “three masters/lords”
Typically, the first fruits offering is taken straight to the Temple. It seems significant that this unknown man deviated from this tradition (requirement?) and gave a portion of it to Elisha.
Considering that one person would travel with 2 or 3 loaves (read – dinner rolls) for a day’s journey, this offering of 20 barley loaves could feed 7 – 10 people without the Lord’s intervention.