Matthew 14:13-21 is this Sunday’s scripture and can be found here.
Typically, this story is called the “Feeding of the 5,000”, but women and children were also present as we’re told in verse 21, so the number is probably closer to 20,000. Regardless, that’s a lot of people Jesus feeds in an isolated area.
This story happens after Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was beheaded by King Herod. Jesus is grieving and he needs some alone time. But, the people follow him anyway and he can’t be alone. His compassion takes over and Jesus heals those who are in need. The crowds get bigger and bigger and the disciples take notice. “How are we going to feed these people? We should send them away, Jesus!”
But Jesus commands the disciples to give the people something to eat. Yet, all the disciples can find are five loaves of bread and two fishes. Obviously, that’s not enough to feed the masses, right? For Jesus, he takes what’s available and he makes a feast out of almost nothing. Whomever had this food originally gave what they had and Jesus blessed the bread and fish and everyone was full, plus there were leftovers!
This story tells us that no matter what we think we have or don’t have, God’s going to use it and, ultimately, use us. God doesn’t call only those with deep pockets, God calls each of us with varied talents and other resources. Because God is abundant and freely gives, we are not to hoard our resources, we are to give. Give of ourselves, give of our money, and give of our time. Even when things are tough, like the moment each of us are facing in this global crisis, it is easy to fall into the trap of scarcity, yet, even if we think all we have are five loaves of bread and two fishes and we want to keep them for ourselves, Jesus looks through our eyes and into our souls and says: Bring them here to me.
Beloved in Christ, believe this Good News!
Pastor T. Wes Moore