On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. Luke 9:10-17
In today’s verses we read about the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. This recounting is a stable of children’s Sunday school classes and books. What sometimes gets left out is that the five thousand was only the men. Luke and the other Gospel writers leave out the women and children. So rather than five thousand there were probably at least ten thousand and possible more. Jesus with His new teachings and miracles was bringing people from all over to hear this new teacher which some were calling a prophet and others Elijah.
SO eager were these people to hear Jesus that it seems most forgot to bring food for the day. Maybe they thought Jesus would only teach for a few hours but as morning turned into late afternoon the disciples came to Jesus asking Him to send the crowd to the surrounding villages to find food and a place to stay. But instead of doing what they asked Jesus tells the disciples “You give them something to eat.” Sounds like Jesus was giving them an impossible task. But wait, didn’t Jesus just send them out with the power over demons and the power to heal?
I think the disciples had the power to do what Jesus did they just lacked the faith to do so. Jesus never gives us a task that we are unable to do. So if Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowd I think they had within them the ability to do so. Jesus asks each of us to do two things. Take up our cross and follow Him and go out into the world and spread the Good News. He gives each of us different abilities and gifts to do these things. It is up to each of us to use these abilities and gifts to further God’s kingdom.
Eventually the disciples will realize the gifts they have and put them to use. In today’s verse they were unsure of what they could do. We need to know that Jesus’ commands to us can be fulfilled by us. Each in our own way have the special abilities to fulfill His commands. All we need do is have faith that He will never ask us to do something we cannot do and then go out and in our own special way do it.
Have a blessed day,