Warning… long post.
This month in CPKidz we’re talking about service, and this past week specifically, we spoke about using what you have to lend a hand. The Bible story was the feeding of the 5000 with the loaves and fish.
There’s Always More to the Story
Something just occurred to me. A part of the story that happens just before the miracle by Jesus with the Fish and Loaves…
The disciples had just returned from being sent out by Jesus, two by two, to heal sick, have authority over demons, tell everyone to repent, and seek salvation. Jesus told them to take nothing to these cities that they went to. No money. No bread. Not even a 2nd tunic. Just their sandals and the truth. Preach/Teach and if you’re not welcomed, shake off the dust and leave (there’s something there that could relate to this whole refugee thing right now… I’m still chewing on this.)
They got back…They were hungry. Jesus told them, “Hey, go over there and eat. Rest a little bit. Just go over to that “Desolate” place and get away from all these thousands of people…. I’ll be with you shortly. They did.
Just when they were enjoying a little bit of peace and quiet… just when they were able to not worry about serving the masses… just when they were putting their feet up and enjoying some sabbath… Jesus came to them and the thousands followed him. The disciples thought that they were going to have a break, but they were put right back to work. No time for burn out here.
But here’s what I started thinking about.
The disciples, who had gone 9ish months traveling to these 200ish cities (2 by 2, 200+ city tour, maybe a week per city + travel time) had to rely on God to provide the food and shelter that they’d need. All of the sudden, these thousands of people have come into their personal space (although it is described as desolate) which Jesus sent them to rest and fellowship… And the crowd is hungry. Jesus tells the disciples to feed them. Basically he says that rest time is up and it’s time to get back to work.
The disciples question this: “Where are we gonna get food?”
They had forgotten that during those 9 months, God had provided for their every need.
Bottom line that our elementary school kids learned was that we are to use what we have to lend a hand.
They had experienced hospitality and generosity for months. They had nothing except the gospel when they entered these towns. God used his people to provide for the disciples.
I think Jesus wanted the disciples to realize that this crown came to them with nothing. Sadly, it was a child with a couple crackers and some sardines who gave out of generosity gave what he could.
We all Have what we Have. Let’s remember that we should give it when needed.