Many still see these reports of feeding the masses as divine miraculous provision;
Others as examples of how sharing can ensure that there is enough for all.
Yet maybe there is a more practical report concealed in spiritual gloss,
for these could be the story of gathering support in different regions;
of the preparations for revolution.
It seems like a direct repeat of "Feeding the 5,000",
but it is put in a different setting with a different approach
and, probably, sending a different message.
The coded numbers of people, of loaves
and left-overs differ.
So we can see another mass gathering, ripe for revolution;
assembled, inspired and prepared; fed with the word;
and dispersed to await the coming of the Spirit;
the flame of revolution.
Seven is the key number here
perhaps the symbol of completeness
or even the code for future action.
Seven loaves, seven fishes,
seven baskets remaining.
Once again Jesus is shown travelling;
going from place to place and preaching;
preaching to crowds in out of the way places;
safe from the authorities but building support.
All this has to lead somewhere
to confrontation with the powerful;
to glory or defeat, disaster, death;
maybe to crucifixion.