“You give them something to eat” – Mark 6:37
The feeding of the 5,000. It’s a familiar story, and sometimes familiarity with a text leads to dullness of hearing, but not this morning. This morning it felt like the words leapt off the screen and directly into my heart. “You give them something to eat.”
Earlier, Jesus had called his disciples away “to a remote place” so they could rest for a while. Things were so crazy in the ministry at that time that they didn’t even have time to eat!
So they went away. Well, they attempted to, anyway… but they couldn’t get away. Many saw them leaving via boat. They saw where they were heading and ran on foot and arrived ahead of them. And by the time Jesus and his disciples got to where they were going there was already a large crowd there. So much for some downtime!
Jesus looks at this large crowd and becomes frustrated and angry over this change of plans.
That’s not the way the story reads. That might have been my response or your response, but this is Jesus. Rather than being upset, it says that he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And so he spends his entire day that was set aside for rest to teach the people.
Now, to the part that got me this morning. After all this, it is getting late and the disciples are like, “We need to wrap this up, Jesus. This was a great day of ministry but we better send these folks on their way so they can buy themselves something to eat. I’m sure they are starving and if we don’t get them out of here they are going to end up in bad shape.”
And then Jesus, in that wonderful way that he had of not allowing circumstances to dictate his response looks at them and says, “YOU give them something to eat.”
We know the rest of the story. With 5 loaves and 2 fish, Jesus feeds the masses. One of the most incredible miracles in all of Scripture. But what got me today was his statement. “You give them something to eat.”
Our world is hurting. They are coming to the Church for answers. Are we filled up enough with the Bread of Life to give them the spiritual food they are so desperately in need of? Or are we weak and spiritually anemic ourselves? You see the only way we can meet that need is if we ourselves are feeding on it ourselves.
We are living in a day of unprecedented distraction and this distraction is keeping us from spending time with the One who desires to fill us with all good things. To fill us with the fullness of the glory of God! And out of that overflow, to feed the hurting world around us.
My prayer today is this, I want to be so filled up on the Bread Of Life that I always have wonderful spiritual food to give to whoever needs it. This world is hungry!
Jesus’ words to his disciples are his words to you and me today. “You give them something to eat.”