As He [Jesus] stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.
When evening came, the disciples approached Him and said, “This place is a wilderness, and it is already late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
“They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.”
“But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to Him.
“Bring them here to Me,” He said. Then He commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples [gave them] to the crowds. Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets full of leftover pieces! Now those who ate were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Matthew 14:14-21 (HCSB)
God has been about feeding His people since He provided for Adam and Eve, Moses and the Israelites, and Elijah and the widow. Jesus repeated God’s promises for food and drink many times throughout the Old Testament. Then Jesus took it all to a new level.
Jesus spoke of bread and water as His Word and His Spirit. He said this provision would be Living, not like mold or a stagnant pond. Jesus said that His flesh and blood would make it so I wold never hunger and thirst again.
Jesus’ miracle that fed possibly 8-10,000 people has, frankly, been a story that I read quickly and moved on. (Note: Matthew says the 5,000 were men and didn’t count the women and children that were also fed.) But there is much for me to learn about discipleship when I read how Jesus did ministry.
Jesus thought first with compassion. He identified what the people really needed â€“ healing and food. He didn’t worry about church buildings and padded chairs to sit on. Jesus took care of the needs that were both immediate(food) and eternal.
Jesus’ first plan for meeting the needs of these people was that the disciples would do it. They, however, gave up and said it was impossible. I wonder what would have happened if the disciples had looked at the few loaves and fish and said, â€œIf You will show us, Jesus, we could feed these people. With God, all things are possible!â€
I, the LORD, also promise you a terrible shortage, but not of food and water.
You will hunger and thirst to hear my message.
You will search everywhere– from north to south, from east to west.
You will go all over the earth, seeking a message from me, the LORD.
But you won’t find one. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Amos 8:11-12 (CEV)
As I read this I felt…sadness…fear…and a gut-wrenching desire to spend more time not only knowing God’s Word in my mind but that it would take root in my heart, my spirit. If we are counting on receiving God’s Word only in our churches, we surely are going to starve to death. Our spirit craves fresh Bread and Living Water. Jesus didn’t teach people what they wanted to hear. He didn’t say what made them comfortable. Jesus gave them what they needed. As His disciple, that is my Marching Orders also. To do less, is to be disobedient, disrespectful, and dishonorable to my LORD.
Thank You, LORD, for the miracle of Your Word. May I be found faithful to passing it to everyone I meet, just as You gave it to me. Fresh Bread.