Fresh Bread (3) Feeding others..

The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand by Jesus has much to teach us today and is told in all four gospels. It’s such a well known miracle but this verse from Mark’s gospel really stood out to me.

“But He (Jesus) answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” Mark.6.37

To set the context. The disciples have just come back from a mission where they have done incredible things with the authority and power that Jesus gave them. Now there’s a problem which they have brought to Jesus’ attention expecting Him to do something. It’s not a miracle they are expecting but something practical. This large crowd of 5000 men (not counting the women and children) need food, so we need to send them away so they can be fed elsewhere.

Jesus has a different plan though. His plan is much bigger.

Jesus said to them. “You feed them”.

I don’t think the disciples were expecting that and it threw them into a bit of a panic. How on earth did Jesus expect them to do that. It would cost a fortune to feed that many people.

Jesus is saying the same thing to His followers today.

Can you hear His Voice. …You, My disciples, you Feed them.

There are principles in this story that Jesus is teaching us:

Firstly, recognise the needs around us. Don’t bury our heads in the sand or navel gaze. Notice what’s going on.

The disciples recognised the need. The people had been with them a long time, there was no food, it was a lonely place. Action was needed. Once the disciples recognised the need they had a choice in how to respond.

They could ignore it, pretend the need didn’t exist, turn a blind eye or turn the people away hungry to go and find food somewhere else. Thankfully, they took the need to Jesus.

Always take the need to Jesus in prayer. He will provide.

Just like the disciples, we need to recognise the needs around us. I think we can agree that there is so much need in people and society today. They are hungry. Not just in real hunger terms but also an emotional and spiritual hunger too. People try all sorts of things to satisfy that hunger. Jesus is the answer.

Isaiah 55 says “why do you spend money for the things that don’t satisfy?”

Sometimes the real need is not so obvious. The disciples noticed the physical hunger but Jesus saw the deeper need in the people. The people were lost..that is why they were following Him and sacrificing so much to listen to His words. They wanted more. They needed a shepherd…Jesus had such great compassion for them which motivated His desire to help them.

Who can we be a shepherd for today? We have our chief Shepherd in Jesus, our Pastors who shepherd us but God may be calling you to be a shepherd of some lambs or sheep.

Jesus broke the bread that was brought to him.

There are some things that have to be broken first in our lives before we can meet the needs of others. It could be pride, fear, apathy, anxiety, greed, insecurity or many other barriers to stepping out to help others. Sometimes, we can have the wrong attitude towards people…thinking they don’t deserve our help but the Lord has compassion on all. Who are we to stand in the way if the Lord wants to minister to that need.

The Psalmist understood how many people today feel: ‘No one is concerned for me … no one cares’ (Psalm 142:4 NIV).

Jesus does care though and wants us to show His care and compassion to the world around us today. We are His disciples.

Who do you know who is hungry today? Let’s be the ones who feed them this Holy Week.

Bless you my friends.

7 responses to “Fresh Bread (3) Feeding others..”

  1. Amen. “Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread” (Ruth‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬). People need both the spiritual and physical bread to sustain life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the message you share here Nicola. We are meant to look around and see the need and take it to the Lord. We might not understand all that the people need but when we take them to God, he will meet their needs in a way we do not expect or anticipate.
    I had written a piece on this passage a while ago and I love this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! May we recognise the needs of others before us, and bring them (and their needs) before Jesus. May we have a servant’s heart for those God brings before us today, Amen 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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