|Our friend Brian in the food bank in Israel|
We continue our journey through the Gospel of Luke. I hope you are as curious as I am about the lessons we can learn. This time I want to stop at a familiar passage in chapter 9: the feeding of the five thousand.
When I was reading that story again, I noticed that Jesus offers His disciples a great opportunity to do something special. The disciples were worried about the large crowd of people that surrounded the Messiah. In the meantime Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom and He healed people with all kind of diseases. When evening came the disciples came to Him with their worried thinking and asked Him to send the people home. And you know what Jesus' reaction was? You give them something to eat! In other words, why ask Me to do something about it, this is your chance, test your faith, put it into practice. Do something!
Luke 9:12-13, 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.” 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.” Their response to Jesus' command was a clear sign of unbelief and doubt: We have limited resources Lord. You don't seriously mean that you want us to solve this problem?
Do we recognize this response? Jesus wants us to do great things, and often all we can see is obstacles and limitations. Jesus sees opportunities; we see limitations and have excuses. In the Old Testament we can find a similar story in 2 Kings 4:42-44. The man of God (Elisha) orders his servants to feed 100 people with 20 loaves of bread. They had their doubts, they found it hard to believe in the impossible: How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked. But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
In the Old Testament we see this great miracle performed by men, in response to God's word. In the New Testament we see an even greater miracle performed by Jesus. And what about us? What does Jesus say to the people who believe in Him? Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father (John 14:12).
What is your excuse?
PS 1: Talking about feeding the multitudes, take a peek at Brian's blog