Today, as in all generations, we’re taught the economic principle of the scarcity of needed resources. Rarely do we hear of Jesus’ more accurate principle of abundance for all our needs. In Jesus’ day, the economists were the Pharisees and those in political power. Each used their authority to control the masses by their own concepts of scarcity. We see this in the world today.
But in this passage – and throughout His earthly ministry – Jesus declares abundance! Abundance allows you to throw off the chains of those who would imprison you through the lie of scarcity. Believing Jesus and refusing to be subject to earthly rulers will result in true abundance.
Jesus reminded His disciples of this abundance when He broke five loaves to feed five thousand with twelve baskets full of pieces left over, and how He later broke seven loaves to feed four thousand with seven baskets of pieces remaining. Remember in Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus taught that we needn’t worry about food or clothing. When we do, we imprison ourselves, turning His abundance to our own scarcity – and we make Jesus a liar.
The deeper meaning is that even though governments and oppressors can do their best to imprison us, Jesus wants us to know that He will provide for us abundantly. Though earthly authority may deprive us of food, we have abundance in Jesus Christ; though earthly authority may strip us naked, we are warmly clothed in Jesus Christ.
“Do you still not understand?” (Mark 8:21) Read Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was not a Christian, but his experience in a German POW camp proves the point. I pray that we’re never tested in such a way, but by being prepared, we’ll never have to bow to men who would use economic scarcity to force us to do their will.