A VERY PRACTICAL SCHOOL
Heavenly Father, let me be mindful of both the physical and spiritual needs of others as I reach out in your name.
Read LUKE 9:10-17
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat lessons is God teaching you at present?
As humans, we sometimes choose to learn something new. Perhaps we buy a book, or enroll in a class. And then, sometimes, Jesus decides to teach us during real life.
At the start of this chapter, the disciples had been out representing Jesus. Their impact spread extensively. Now there is more multiplication—this time the famous miracle of multiplication (vs 16,17). The disciples were ready for a rest, but instead, they found themselves before a vast crowd (five thousand men, plus women and children).
It is easy to focus on Jesus and try to imagine him performing the miracle. But Luke wants us to focus on the disciples and ponder what they were learning in this situation. They thought they knew best, asking Jesus to send the crowds away to get food (v 12). They did not realize it was time for a very practical lesson.
Jesus told them to feed the crowds (v 13). He made them count off the groups and have them sit down (vs 14,15). They were the ones distributing the food (and presumably having to answer questions about the source of the meal, v 16). And once it was all over, the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of leftovers (v 17).
Perhaps God will put you in the middle of a lesson when you are least expecting it. Pray that your heart will be responsive to what he wants to teach you, even as he uses you to bless others.
I am thankful for your Word and for its instruction; make my heart both teachable and obedient, Lord God.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.