MUSINGS – October 14, 2018
When it was late, his disciples came to him. They said, “No one lives around here, and it’s already late. Send the people to the closest farms and villages to buy themselves something to eat.” Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Should we go and spend about a year’s wages on bread to feed them?” He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” When they found out, they told him, “Five loaves of bread and two fish.” Then he ordered all of them to sit down in groups on the green grass. They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. After he took the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed the food. He broke the loaves apart and kept giving them to the disciples to give to the people. He also gave pieces of the two fish to everyone. All of them ate as much as they wanted. When they picked up the leftover pieces, they filled twelve baskets with bread and fish. There were 5,000 men who had eaten the bread.
Just a few verses back we read that Jesus and the disciples had no time to rest or to eat. I think they were becoming hangery. Recent commercials by Snickers have made great use of the ideas of being so hungry that you become angry. Maybe they needed a candy bar.
Here is the scene. The disciples, with stomachs growling, come to Jesus and say, “it’s late and THE PEOPLE are tired and hungry. Send them away.” The disciples didn’t want to appear self centered before the Master. So instead of saying that THEY we hungry and tired, they appealed to his concern for THE PEOPLE. “Send them away.”
Jesus turned the tables in them and said, “YOU feed them.” This was the work for which Jesus was training them. “Feed my sheep,” Jesus would later repeat to Peter three times. (John 21:15-18) Out of the thousands who followed him, Jesus hand picked twelve for special training. These were the ones who would continue his work once he was gone from the Earth. “You feed them.”
“But we can’t.”
“What do you mean, ‘you can’t’? Have you tried? Have you looked? What do you have?”
How often have we come to Jesus and said, “We have nothing with which to help.”
He whispers back, “Nothing? Have you looked? Have you tried? You bring what little you have and I will multiple it!”
Maybe all you have is a dollar, a smile, a shoulder to cry on, an arm to lean on, a word of encouragement, a few tools, a gallon of gas, or a loaf of bread. Whatever you have, give as if you are giving to Jesus. He can turn a little into more than enough. They can be twelve baskets left over.
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