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Jesus fed a hungry crowd. Bullet points:
- Big crowd. Remote spot.
- The disciples express concern for the crowd’s welfare.
- They ask Jesus to send them away…to get food.
- Jesus isn’t worried.
- He says, “You give them something to eat.”
- The disciples don’t have enough – five loaves and two fish they brought for themselves.
- Jesus says, “Bring them to me.” He gives thanks, breaks them, and returns them to the disciples.
- The disciples feed the people.
- There’s plenty for everyone, plus leftovers.
The huge need overwhelmed the disciples. They cared, but compassion likely turned to fear as they imagined a crowd of hungry, desperate people.
Jesus told the disciples to meet the need. The disciples wanted them out of sight, so it wasn’t their problem.
There wasn’t enough. What difference could their small dinner make?
Jesus asked them to bring what they have. Hand over all their food? At night? In the middle of nowhere? What will they eat?
After He blessed and broke the food, Jesus returned it and instructed the disciples to feed the people.
Would have been easier, and more impressive, to simply drop some tasty manna into the crowd. That’s not how He operates.
He chooses to invite us into the process, to take whatever we have, mysteriously multiply it, and make it sufficient. But we must accept the invitation.
We must be willing to bring what we have, to trust Him to meet their needs – and ours.
Don’t know about you, but this is one of those “nice Jesus” stories – except for the part about handing over everything and trusting Him to meet my needs.
I don’t do that. I like my comfortable life and my retirement account.
He and I need to talk.
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h/t Tim Mackie for his podcast that helped me understand this story in a new way.