REASONS TO BE THANKFUL
Lord, thank You for the way that You provide for us in so many ways.
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.
ReflectJust imagine how wonderful it would feel being out in the open with Jesus—taking in every word, tiring as the time was passing, hungry, but not able to tear yourself away.
This remote Bethsaida setting came alive to me a few years ago. A group of Christians came together to re-enact and celebrate this biblical event in a quirky way—thousands of knitted fish and free fish sandwiches for everyone!
Back in Bethsaida, Jesus welcomes people, talks about the kingdom and heals (11). And the apostles do what they can to try and throw a bit of practicality into the mix. These people are hungry and tired, so they need to be sent back to civilization to find food and shelter (12). But Jesus has other ideas. He blesses the tiny amount of food given and sends it out among the gathering. It really is the gift that just keeps on giving. The crowd are not only miraculously fed (16), but there is much left over and carefully gathered up into baskets (17). Nothing is wasted.
God has other ideas for us too. We often think that it is our task to find practical solutions to our own needs and problems, and those of other people, but how different lives can become when we allow Jesus his divine input.
In the midst of his teaching, Jesus turned his attention to a very practical need. How might we be part of Jesus’ spiritual and practical ministry?
Lord, please bless all that I have to give to You, however small. I pray that I will be given the willingness and the opportunity to share it with others, and to serve them in Your name.