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Beyond Our Need

By Joseph Parker

      "Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten" (John 6:13).

      It was like Jesus Christ to give ten thousand times more than the people really needed. At the wedding feast they said there was no wine, and he gave them firkin after firkin of wine, a whole Niagara of the wine of the kingdom of heaven, that never made the judgment dark, or the knees tremble in weakness, or the mind play the tricks of the fool. He began well--"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee." There never was so much wine in the little town before. When does Jesus do just enough to save the sinner? He saves the sinner with an eternal salvation, with an everlasting redemption; his Cross is not able simply and only to lift the world a little, it can lift the world to heaven.

      What a different meaning is this! We began by seeing the disciples sweeping up the crumbs, gathering up the little pieces that had been left over, and putting them into baskets; whereas Jesus Christ did not call them to this kind of work, he said, "Gather up the broken portions," he took the bread and brake it, and there was ten thousand times more than the universe could eat: and he said, Take care of the broken portions, my finger prints are upon them; these may be unto you some day as my broken body Whatever Christ did he did sacramentally; he never uttered a word in any language without sanctifying that word, making it the gem of speech, the diamond of eloquence.

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