You feed them!

It had happened again. It was one of those moments where, from a familiar passage of scripture, something new jumped out at me.

It was early one morning when I was reading through Luke and came to the familiar story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand where Jesus said,

“You find them something to eat.”

Why did Jesus ask this question, I wondered and what did he expect from his disciples?

Reading back through the earlier verses in the chapter I noted that Jesus had, not long before, called his chosen twelve to him and given them special power. The Holy Spirit had not yet been given to all believers but here Jesus fills these men with a power they’ve not experienced before. How amazing this must have been!

I tried to imagine them reporting to Jesus all that had happened! Can’t you picture it… all talking at once… all eager to tell the story of the miracles and wonders they had performed and witnessed?  Perhaps Jesus saw a weariness amidst their excitement for he took them away to a quiet place but, as was often the case,  the crowds followed.

No doubt the disciples were disappointed to have their peace disturbed. Why couldn’t Jesus do as they suggested and send the crowds away? It was late; they were tired and they all needed food.

“You give them something to eat.”

Why would Jesus ask his disciples to feed those thousands of hungry people when all they had was a few bread rolls and a couple of small fish? They had no money, no place to buy food and they themselves were tired and hungry!

It was at this point I recalled the previous verses where Jesus had empowered these very same men with his Spirit and given them power and authority to do amazing things. But now, just a short time later, all they thought of were the problems and their limited resources.

Oh Lord God, I’m so much like these disciples! You lay something on my heart and the first thing I do is worry about the problems and how I’m going to ‘do it’ instead of allowing your Spirit to work through me that your power may be revealed, your kingdom preached and your name glorified.

Those thousands of people were still fed. They still witnessed a miracle but those twelve men, nor I, ever did get to see what would have happened if they’d responded differently when Jesus said,

“You give them something to eat.”