You Feed Them
31 March 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 14:15-21 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.” 17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered. 18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children! (Matthew 14:15–21 NLT)
There’s probably not a “Jesus Story” we know better than this one! We may not remember that Jesus was trying to be alone to grieve and that his compassion overrode his grief and weariness. We do remember that Jesus’ disciples came and said, “Boss, it’s late and the people are hungry. You need to send these crowds away so they can get some food and you (meaning we) can get some rest!” We do remember that Jesus said, “You feed them!” And we remember that all they had to work with was five small biscuits and two dried sardines.
The disciples’ suggestion prompted an amazing miracle of God’s power and his practical care for the needs of ordinary people. Here’s how it played out:
• The disciples brought Jesus the meager resources (five biscuits, two sardines).
• Jesus blessed the loaves and fish and began breaking the loaves into pieces.
• Jesus gave the pieces to the disciples and they gave the food to the people.
• Everyone ate (5000 men plus women and children) as much as they wanted (This may have been the first all-you-can-eat buffet!).
• And twelve disciples collected twelve baskets of leftovers (over 300 times what they started with).
Compassion initiated the miracle. The miracle was done with resources they already had. The miracle took place in the hands of the disciples (“You feed them”). It wasn’t a “just barely enough to go around” miracle.
Father, Please teach each of us the lessons from this story we need to learn for the life we’re living today and the challenges we will face tomorrow! Amen.