Monday, March 25, 2013

The Good Word: Jesus’ Multiplication

Reading God’s Story plan: current
Lent for Everyone plan: current

The past couple of weeks, the readings have been mostly in Deuteronomy and Joshua. For the Lent plan, the readings come from Matthew and the Psalms.

Today’s note comes from Matthew 14:15- 21 (NKJV)

[15] When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” [16] But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” [17] And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” [18] He said, “Bring them here to Me.” [19] Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. [20] So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. [21] Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

This is the feeding of the five thousand plus. At least for church-goers, this would be a very familiar story and you’ll probably already know some of the points I got out of it. The note I wrote (3/5/2013) says:

“Here, the disciples are only seeing what they have, the 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus does the multiplying. How often do we look at what we have, or who we are, and think that is not enough? Yet Jesus calls us to heal the sick, to feed the poor. Maybe if we prayed and looked to Jesus, we might find that he has given us more than we thought, more than enough to do the task which he has set before us.”

What I noticed from the feeding of the five thousand plus:
  • Jesus gave the disciples instruction: You give them something to eat. He didn’t have them go to the crowd and search out what they had.
  • The disciples only saw what they had: 5 loaves of bread, 2 fish. On their own, they didn’t have enough to feed the people.
  • Jesus blessed and broke the loaves; he did the multiplying.
  • Jesus multiplied to overflowing, feeding the crowd and having more than enough left over. I wonder at this point whether Jesus and the disciples ate with the crowd or ate from the left over. I kind of like thinking that the disciples ate from the left over, as if Jesus were to say not to worry about themselves for there will be more than enough for them also, so that those who do the work will be taken care of as well.

I’m also thinking, just at this moment, that 5 loaves and 2 bread wouldn’t have been enough to feed the disciples. Maybe they asked about getting food because they were hungry?

Anyways, it doesn’t take away from any lesson. When God has given us a calling or a job to do, he will provide what we need to get it done. We might think it's beyond us, and it is, yet it will never be beyond God.

Once, I heard God call me to start a ministry. He told me to lead it. I doubted myself, I questioned God, “Why me? Who am I?” I didn’t hear anything after that and so I ended up wavering in the dissension and disrespect.

What could have happened if I had remained steadfast, if I had kept this lesson in my heart, if… if….

All I can do now is pray that this lesson is kept in my heart for the next time, however big or small. God will provide; Jesus will do the multiplying; I just need to trust and give it out.

What has God called you to? 

Forgiveness? Reconciliation? Provide? Witness? 


Thank you for reading,

Disclaimer: I am a Christian layperson. I may or may not be extrapolating from the Bible accurately, though my aim is to be accurate or at least to not misconstrue God’s word, yet this is a reflection of where my faith journey is at the moment. I hope that further journeying will bring greater insight.

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