October 17, 2017. Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9:18-27.
As we begin our reading today, we may recognize some very familiar stories, or they could be totally new for some. Either way God’s word is fresh and new each time we take time to open our mind, thoughts and heart in prayer as we listen attentively. So, let’s challenge ourselves to read each word with a fresh openness.
We are going to start with the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 plus, which is the only miracle recorded in all four of the gospels. This miracle took place after Jesus heard from His disciples of John the Baptists death. Jesus encouraged His disciples to jump into a boat with Him, for some solitude and rest, to a deserted place. But He saw they were being followed by a large crowd that had walked from other cities. Once again, it wasn’t about Jesus’ and His chosen disciples, it was and is always about others! His compassion seems endless as He continued to heal their sick into the dinner hour.
Jesus’ faithful twelve wanted to send the crowd of people away. (Mark 6:36) Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat. But Jesus being the patient teacher that He was, would show them that the mission wasn’t to send people away, but to “Give them something to eat”!
Some principles for the disciples and for us:
- Thank the LORD for and wisely use what you have.
- Trust the LORD’s unlimited resources-He will provide.
- Do not waste what He gives you.
Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. Jesus equipped them to do the work. He will equip us as well.
If you can’t feed a hundred, feed one. –Mother Teresa-
But there were those who rejected and were offended by Jesus along the way. Even those who were from His own home town that had heard His teaching and saw the miracles He had done.
They couldn’t explain Him, so they chose instead to reject Him. (Mark 6:3b) So they were offended by Him. Sometimes the unknown can cause fear and doubt.
So, what does it look like when things come our way that can’t be explained or that cause fear? Who do we say that He is in our lives? Can we say to Him and others that we are not ashamed to call Him “The Christ of God”? Will we choose to trust in God’s provision, even though the options may seem few? Or when we may feel like just another among the crowd, not worthy of a touch from Jesus?
Just as Jesus shared this with His disciples as He was walking on the sea, I believe it is true for us today. (Matthew 14:27) “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
Jesus suffered many things for us to be able to be His followers. Who would you say is Jesus to You?!?