I was surprised this morning studying the gospel of Luke. Jesus is speaking in the sermon on the plain (Luke 6) and says in Luke 6:25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep." These words are familiar to many of us, but I wondered about the idea of "you who are full now". So I did a quick search of the Greek word for "full" and found it is used rarely. Mary uses it in her Magnificat to celebrate exactly what Jesus is speaking of, Mary Celebrates the coming of the Messiah in Luke 1:53 "...he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty." John uses it in a way that fulfills both the words of Mary and of Jesus, John 6:11-12, "Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, 'Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.'” Those who are hungry eat their fill.
What surprised me this morning was the idea that the crowd in John "eat their fill". Jesus lives at a time when the poor are malnourished, when children regularly are stunted in growth because they don't have enough to eat. But on this day on the hillside people eat their fill--and there are leftovers! Parents say to their children, "There is more than enough, eat all you want." Parents celebrate children who have full stomachs and they can celebrate that their stomachs are full as well. It is no wonder that the crowds follow after Jesus in the rest of John 6.
As you are starting a new church or strengthening an existing one, where do you find those who are malnourished? Where does the good news of Jesus step in and let parents celebrate that their children can eat all they want and that they too, can eat until they are full?