open hands Matthew 14:13-21
Reading the first half of Matthew 14 I find two stories, one I dread and one I love. Up first is John the Baptist’s beheading. And next comes a great unplanned banquet for 5000. It strikes me most how this meal that revealed Jesus’ power came at the end of an absolutely awful day. Jesus heard the terrible news. His co-worker in the kingdom, his cousin, the man we call John the Baptist, was dead. His head was chopped off at King Herod’s order at the end of a great palace banquet Matthew 14:1-12.
Matthew says Jesus went off to solitary place. I assume he went away to grieve and pray alone. And a huge crowd came on foot seeking him out Matthew 14:13. When Jesus saw other hurting people searching for healing he came ashore. Matthew says compassion moved Jesus to come back and heal the hurting.
Jesus’ followers came along with the crowd. A troubling “reality” dawned on the disciples. They were in a isolated place. The crowd was huge, hungry, and they needed to be sent away soon. As a sometimes hardened cynic, my perception of “reality” limits me. Perceived “reality” limits me and maybe others from seeing all God could possibly do. Jesus heard the disciple’s worries—but he didn’t share their limits. He said there was no need for them to leave. He invited his friends to be part of a miracle with the words, “You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:16.
Jesus friend told him what little they had, just five loaves of bread and two fish. And Jesus said, “bring them here…” Jesus didn’t see the situation like His friends did. He didn’t see the same limits. They brought what little they had with open hands and a miracle began. Jesus invited the crowd to sit down. He blessed and broke the bread. He passed it to his friends to pass on to others. Everyone ate and they were all satisfied. Everyone in that huge crowd and it all started with five loves and two fish.
May we see the potential of what God can do and not just the limits of what we can do. AMEN
Peace, and thanks for reading. John
“None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”
— Psalm 40:5 NIV
“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.”
— Psalm 40:5 NIV
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock …”
— Psalm 40:2 NIV
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.”
— Psalm 40:1 NIV
“Do not now be stiff-necked, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary.”
— 2 Chronicles 30:8
“for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.”
— Psalm 49:17 NIV
“the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough”
— Psalm 49:8 NIV