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Focus Verses: Matthew 14:13-16
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to
a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot
from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15
As evening approached, 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 themselves some food." 16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
story of Jesus feeding the five thousand is better known than the
circumstances that led up to it. I think it is important to notice that
this event took place at a time when Jesus was trying to get away
from the crowds. Why? Because he had just been told about the murder
of John the Baptist and wanted to be alone.
of being indignant, when the unrelenting crowds managed to find him,
Jesus was "filled with compassion." Rather than being upset with the
people for their lack of regard for his needs, he focused on their
needs—healing their sick and providing them with food.
Response and Action:
selfless love Jesus displays in this event is more impressive to me
than the miracle of multiplying a small amount of fish and bread. The
way he was able to produce feelings and acts of compassion out a
heart that was grieving and longing for solitude is, to me, a greater
miracle than producing abundant food from a little boy's lunch.
that's the most important point of this story. None of us ever
really have what it takes to meet the needs of others. We don't have
the emotional strength, the time, the answers, or the patience to
really meet needs. I need to depend on God to multiply the little I
have. Through Jesus, I can be a blessing to others, even when my
circumstances and limitations leave me with little to offer on my own.
God, give me a heart to look beyond my own needs and to see the
needs of others. Dear Jesus, bless and multiply my meager resources
so that I can bless and help others. When I feel too empty or weak to
share, fill my heart and hands with good things to give. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Psalm 145:15-18
15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Transforming Power: Biblical Strategies for Making a Difference in Your Community
by Robert C. Linthicum