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.
Jesus teaches us a pattern that will mean even more to us later – “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves” (v. 19). Jesus reminds us to thank God for what we have been given, no matter how large or small. God is the source of all good gifts and without Him, we have nothing.
Jesus breaks the bread, as is done during the Jewish Passover celebration in order to share it with those attending the meal. Everyone is given a piece of the broken loaf. He shows us that this huge crowd is like the whole world, and we are to treat everyone as a family member at the table and share what we have with them.
Jesus also does something more – “Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people” (v. 19). This is our call to ministry, we are provided for and we must provide for others. Give thanks for the blessings you receive and pass them on!
Gracious God, we are grateful for all our many blessings, and Your loving care for us. Help us to care for all Your children in the same way, sharing the gifts we have received from You. Amen.