FEEDING  6'1m*f RT: Jesus feeds 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

PHILIP -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals, crosses to podium)
Good morning. I know that this press conference was originally
scheduled with Jesus of Nazareth. But he is mourning the loss of
his cousin John the Baptist. He asked me to answer any questions
you may have. My name is Philip. I am an apostle of Jesus and I
have lived and served with Jesus for several months. So, I'm
sure I can answer any questions you may have.

REPORTER -- Is it true that Jesus recently fed five thousand
people with five barley muffins and two small fish?

PHILIP -- That's true.

REPORTER -- Would you describe this event as a miracle?

PHILIP -- Yes, I would. It's proof that Jesus is who he said he
was, the messiah, the savior of mankind from their sins.

REPORTER -- You witnessed this "miracle" yourself?

PHILIP -- Me and eleven other apostles and, of course, the five
thousand people whom Jesus fed.

REPORTER -- This couldn't have been an elaborate concocted hoax,
could it?

PHILIP -- I assure your there was no sleight of hand. All 5000
people were sitting down at the time. The only people standing
were us apostles who were distributing the food. We saw no
trickery. Besides, if each person took only five ounces of food,
someone would have had to smuggle over 1500 pounds of food into
the crowd without anyone noticing. With 5000 witnesses, SOMEONE
would have noticed a 1500-pound shipment arriving.

REPORTER -- But you ate up all the evidence. How do you know
that everyone ate the same few muffins and fish, rather than
some other food?

PHILIP -- After everyone ate their fill, we apostles gathered up
the leftovers. There were twelve basketfuls left over. I didn't
see anything in the baskets except pieces of muffin and fish.

REPORTER -- So, this really was a bonafide miracle.

PHILIP -- That's the way we all saw it.

REPORTER -- Why did you start with so little food?

PHILIP -- The people came with food to last the whole day. But
Jesus taught the crowd all day. Everyone ate all the food they
brought with them. The only person who had any food leftover was
a boy from a small fishing village nearby. He offered his
leftover food to Jesus. So, that's what Jesus fed the crowd

REPORTER -- Are you sure noone else brought barley muffins and
fish with them?

PHILIP -- Quite sure. We apostles each asked dozens of people if
they had any food leftover. Nobody did. I suggested to Jesus
that he send the people away to the nearby villages to BUY some
food. But Jesus told ME to feed them.

REPORTER -- What did you do?

PHILIP -- What could I do? I did a quick calculation in my head
and decided that 1500 pounds of bread alone would cost almost a
years wages. And I told Jesus that the twelve of us apostles
combined couldn't come up with that kind of money.

REPORTER -- Jesus must have known that when he asked you to feed
the crowd, no?

PHILIP -- At first, I thought he was serious. Then, I realized
that this miracle was not for the benefit of the crowd, but for
us apostles.

REPORTER -- A LESSON, you say?

PHILIP -- Yes. I didn't realize it until Jesus told us not to
waste any of the leftovers. He told us to gather all the broken
pieces of muffin and fish. There were twelve baskets of
leftovers and coincidentally twelve apostles. That's when it hit

REPORTER -- So, what lesson did you learn?

PHILIP -- The first lesson was from the boy who donated what
little food we started with. When Jesus asked me to feed the
crowd, I just through up my hands. It was impossible. The lesson
the boy taught me was to give the Lord what little you have and
HE will multiply it and make it do.

REPORTER -- You said that was the FIRST lesson. Was there a
second lesson?

PHILIP -- Yes. Before Jesus fed the people, he took what little
food we had and he thanked God for it. While he was praying, all
I could think about was the riot that would start when people
rushed in to compete for the food. But what I DIDN'T think about
was God's great provision for us. If it wasn't for the Lord,
none of us would even be alive. God created this earth with fish
and grain abundantly. We are alive by the grace of God. We don't
acknowledge that enough.

REPORTER -- So, you think that merely giving thanks is the key
to this miracle?

PHILIP -- If you're suggesting that merely reciting some
ritualistic prayer will allow anyone on earth to perform similar
miracles, forget it. Make no mistake about it, giving thanks is
no lucky charm. The miracle working power that Jesus wielded was
from his faith and confidence in God. Giving thanks without
faith and confidence in God is worthless. And I can assure you
that noone among us has more faith in God than Jesus. He has
faith in God because he came from God. And I am convinced that
Jesus purposely chose this event and these circumstances to
LIMIT our resources so that we would depend upon God for the
solution in order to build our faith and confidence in God.

REPORTER -- Can you tell us where Jesus is now?

PHILIP -- I can, but I won't. Jesus came here to this side of
the lake to get away from the crowd so he could mourn the death
of his cousin. But the crowd followed him here. Before he
continues in his ministry, Jesus will take a few hours alone to
pray and mourn. As soon as he is rested and refreshed from his
time with the Lord, he will join us apostles later at Gennesaret
across the lake.

REPORTER -- You're going to meet him there?

PHILIP -- Yes.

REPORTER -- How will he get across the lake?

PHILIP -- Well, normally I would say I have no idea. But, after
witnessing this miracle, I would say that Jesus might get there
by walking on the water.

REPORTER -- You're joking, right? You're joking.

PHILIP -- I'll let you know when we get to Gennesaret.


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