After Jesus fed the 5000, he instructed his disciples to collect the leftover food. He had so multiplied the five loaves and two fish, that there were 12 basketfuls of uneaten food. Jesus wanted to make sure that it was all gathered. "Let nothing be wasted," he says (John 6:12).
That's one detail I had never noticed before. I wonder why that mattered. Why is Jesus concerned about waste?
Did Jesus want to make sure they knew how abundantly he provided in the miracle?
Did Jesus plan to share the food with people in a nearby village?
Did the disciples need to save the food for their own consumption?
Was Jesus teaching an indirect lesson on stewardship?
We never learn what happened to the 12 baskets. Maybe Jesus sent them home with needy families. Maybe they gave the food away in a neighboring town. Maybe the disciples kept the food for their own use.
When Jesus does something significant, he wants us to recognize his work. His work is never wasted, but sometimes we forget to look around and see the details of his goodness. We shouldn't let the details of his work go unnoticed, be wasted.
Gather it all up. Let nothing be wasted.