Our scripture this morning is Luke 9:10-17.
When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick. Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there. Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.” So the people all sat down. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!
This familiar story shows the love Jesus had for those who came to hear Him. The crowds had followed them to a “remote place” (v. 12), and it’s a long walk back to buy food. The disciples are aware of the problem but instead of dismissing the crowd, Jesus gives them a very short command in verse 13 – “You feed them”. Jesus calls His disciples to do the work He has been performing.
They are noticeably distressed by this instruction and respond out of their lack of resources, telling Him they have only 5 loaves and 2 fish for the entire crowd. Jesus knows they can’t do this by themselves, but He asks them just the same. He wants them to see that “without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
We are all called to continue Christ’s work of ministering to His people, physically and spiritually. He knows that we can’t do it alone, we must count on our faith in Him and each other to accomplish the task of sharing the Good News and caring for one another. Through this connection, we are blessed to serve Him. This fellowship with Him and our brothers and sisters is the only way to show our love for God and His children.
Loving Lord, we thank You for the gift of Your son, the Messiah sent to save us. Help us to see the need, hear the call and go in faith to accomplish the mission we have been given. Amen.