When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. Late in the day, the Twelve approached and said to him, “Send the crowd away, so that they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here.” “You give them something to eat,” he told them. “We have no more than five loaves and two fish,” they said, “unless we go and buy food for all these people.” (For about five thousand men were there.) Then he told his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” They did what he said, and had them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. Everyone ate and was filled. They picked up twelve baskets of leftover pieces.
Luke 9:10-17 CSB
The disciples were excited about their mission trip. They had preached the good news and healed the sick, just like Jesus had been doing. But that was only the beginning. It was as if Jesus was saying, “Now, watch this!”
Since the disciples were likely ready to rest for the day, and everyone needed to eat, they wanted Jesus to send everyone who had come to hear him to the villages close by. Sounds logical to me.
But Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.” Jesus had a much better idea!
Have you ever seen someone break up a couple of pieces of meat, and keep breaking them, until they fed thousands of people, with twelve baskets left over?? I have not either. But I have seen God provide when there was a need, and seemingly no answer for it. After earnest prayer, someone showed up at the door with just what was needed, sometimes saying God told them to do it. Or an unexpected check came in the mail that provided what was needed. Loaves and fishes.
And don’t you love that, many times, God doesn’t just provide what is needed, but over and above, in abundance? As Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure — pressed down, shaken together, and running over — will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
I cannot imagine the excitement of a mother or father who not only gets to spend all that time listening to Jesus teach, whose child was miraculously healed of a debilitating or even life-threatening illness, and now sees food being multiplied before their eyes! Talk about Christmas!!
And speaking of Christmas, the Savior who was born in a barn and announced by angels is the same Who preached the kingdom of God and fed multitudes with two fish and five loaves of bread. Who promised abundant life to those who would follow Him. And then stretched out His arms and died for the worst of the worst. For you and me.
The message of the gospel is so simple a child may understand it. In a nutshell, it is this:
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
John 3:16-18 NLT
Categories: By the Book