Our scripture this week is Matthew 14:13-21

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

In this lesson, Jesus teaches us about faith and responsibility. When He withdraws to “a solitary place”, the crowds follow. The disciples are worried and ask Jesus to send the people away. Are they concerned for Jesus or themselves?

Jesus however has compassion on the crowd and heals the sick among them. He shows us that we are to love each other and care for their needs even when we don’t feel like it. Our personal feelings toward the responsibility God gives us won’t change the obligation.

Being aware of and dealing with the problems others face is difficult; don’t we have our own problems to deal with? The two people who passed by the injured man in the Parable of the Good Samaritan had other things to deal with and did nothing. Jesus calls this out as an example of ignoring our responsibility, and that we will be held accountable for our lack of action.

Loving Lord, we are sorry for the times we have shirked the duty You have called us to and not done as You would. Help us to see our responsibility to each other and live as You have taught us. Amen.

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