I’m sure we’d all like to thank Hannah for the notes this week. As evidenced in the ‘dreaded comments section’ and in conversations that I’ve had, lives have been touched.
This is the last one from me today, thanks for bearing with me. I genuinely hope you’ve got something from these notes, I’ve found it a real blessing. What an amazing thing to be doing as a church, I’ve learned so much since the 1st January, long may it continue! The passage is available here.
This is the only miracle to be told in all four gospels and probably the most well-known (I’m reliably informed by Google!). We find out in Matthew that at this point Jesus has just heard of John the Baptist’s death. After the disciples return from their mission they intend to ‘withdraw’ and recuperate. Jesus is grieving and everyone is tired, the crowd had other ideas. In Mark, we find out that the business of the place they met caused Jesus to suggest that they find a quiet place. They are unsuccessful in finding one, as soon as they reach the other side of the lake there are huge crowds waiting for them.
Luke says that Jesus welcomed the crowds and healed those who needed healing. What a Saviour we have, so self-sacrificing. He puts his own grief and anguish aside in order to serve others. I could certainly learn a lot from this. When I’m low and upset about something I withdraw, I don’t have time or space for other people because I’m dealing with my own stuff. I should try to be more like him.
The impromptu get together between Jesus, his disciples and the crowd is not very organised (how could it be?! They didn’t plan it). They’re in the middle of nowhere and there’s no food when everyone begins to get hungry. Jesus asks the disciples to feed the people (“you feed them”), when they point out that it would take several months’ wages he asks them how much food they do have. When faced with a challenge from God, it’s so much easier to focus on the reasons we shouldn’t do it or the things we need that we don’t have (think of Moses and his speech impediment), Jesus wants us to focus on what we do have to offer. They did have five loaves and two fish and Jesus could definitely work with that.
We may feel that our offering is weak and lowly but Jesus’ power can do amazing things with that. Our resources are limited and pathetic, if we’re honest, but God just asks that we offer what we have and he’ll do the rest.
Lord help us to offer what we have and to allow you to work with it. Help us to be brave enough to let you help us and multiply the small amount we can bring to the table. We believe in your eternal love for us and this world – help us to live in a way that honours you.