Loving Lord, I pray for strength for today to think clearly, serve creatively, and to follow you consistently.
Read Matthew 14:13–21
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
13 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.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
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.
ReflectDo you feel in need of provision or thankful for abundance in your life? Bring these feelings before Jesus and trust in his compassion for you.
We’re moving on from the series of parables to see Jesus at work through miracles as he brings the kingdom of heaven alive with his compassion and authority. Take a moment to imagine all that isn’t recorded in Matthew: all the meals, decisions, interactions that happened on the way during Jesus’ ministry. Imagine the travel and movement: the walking, talking, journeying, and the crowds hearing about Jesus through hundreds, thousands of individual conversations. Of course, the crowds in this passage didn’t want to rush away from him – he had just healed their sick (v 14). There would be so many stories of changed lives to talk about.
Jesus’ leadership of the disciples (v 18) and the crowds (v 19) is remarkable as he orchestrates a spontaneous mass feeding of thousands that leaves every single mouth completely satisfied (v 20). And yet, there is a humility about this extraordinary, miraculous meal. The food is simple, and Jesus breaks the bread, looks to heaven and thanks God (v 19), which would have been normal for the head of a Jewish household to do. Jesus has drawn people away from the villages to himself, gathered them together, and now presides over them, providing abundantly for their needs.
Write a grace to say at the beginning of mealtimes. Who might you invite to share a meal with you?
Lord Jesus, you have wonderfully provided for me. I thank you that my physical and spiritual needs have been met. My heart is overflowing with thanksgiving to you.
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