This week, in the course of my Bible work for Unity, I found myself focused on the great expression of infinite Spirit in Jesus’ ministry that is commonly known as the Feeding of the Five Thousand. The question was simply this: Do I/we believe this ‘miracle’ actually happened? In the process of answering, I found myself turning again to the Twelve Powers, defined by Charles Fillmore, that have been my focus this year in my talks at Unity in the City in Brookline, MA.
Jesus was all about teaching; he didn’t do or say anything merely to impress his followers. He knew his time was limited, so he didn’t mess around. What, then, are we to learn from this expression of infinite abundance—which is the only demonstration recorded in all four gospels?
For openers we should note—as many people do not—that Jesus did not feed the 5,000 hungry people (probably more if you add the women and children who didn’t count as ‘people’ at the time). According to the Gospel of Mark, when the disciples asked him to somehow feed them, his reply was almost rude: “You give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37). Jesus didn’t want to solve every problem; he wanted his disciples—and, by extension, us—to realize that we’ve always had the Power within to solve them ourselves!
We simply need to learn how to use our innate creative Self to manifest good in this mortal experience. In this startling demonstration he moved in an instant through all the Twelve Powers Charles Fillmore was to define and explore many years later. Faith, imagination, understanding, will, zeal, power, love, discernment, order (he told them to sit down, Mark tells us, and “they sat down in groups’”), strength, elimination, and life—they’re all a part of the expression of abundance that fed the people..
What happened? Well, I have a theory about that. I think perhaps what the disciples did was to create the first church potluck! The food they did have was “set before the people” (6:41). And as the potluck took shape, people began to realize that they each had something to share; by putting it all on the table what seemed insufficient for each individual became abundance in the collective consciousness of love and faith. There are other possibilities, of course, but the potluck works for me!
So the question, I think, is not so much whether we believe Jesus did it, but whether we believe we can do it ourselves! Sometimes we hold back from expressing our true identity as Spirit out of fear that it might not work, or that people will take offense. The Twelve Powers help us overcome that fear and claim our Good.
Today I gently dissolve my fear-based belief in limitation and embrace the fullness of my true spiritual Self.