Scripture reading: Luke 9:10-17, ESV
UNVEILING the backstory
Jesus had spent an extended period of time doing ministryin the Galilean region which was mostly Jewish in population. But His Galileanministry was quickly coming to a close. The feeding of the 5,000 would be thelast act of ministry performed before transitioning to the Gentile territoriesof Tyre, Sidon and Decapolis. Althoughthis was Jesus’s last miracle in Galilee, it was so monumental that the people wantedto make Jesus king by force (John 6:15).
JohnMacArthur writes: “Their plan was for Him to topple Herod Antipas,install Himself as ruler in his place, and then oust the hated Roman occupiers.The result would be a welfare state with no sickness and all the free food theycould eat.”
The apostles had been sent out with DivineAuthority and Power over demons and disease and upon their return they wereeager to give a report. But they wereexhausted too. Mark 6:31 reports …they had no leisure even to eat.
Jesus said: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile.” His intentions weregood, but the crowds would have none of it! When the masses learned where Jesusand disciples were sailing to, they ran ahead and arrived before them. As theystepped out of the boat they found more people clamoring for their attentionthan they had left behind.
Truth Point #1: No one is exempt from weariness, not even Jesus. Ministry willdrain you. Time for rest and communion with God must be planned. If that is notforthcoming, you must rest in the sustaining grace of God.
A compassionate response
Solitude and rest was not forthcoming, but instead of resenting the call for moreself-sacrifice, they rested in The Father’s sustaining grace. Mark 6:34; Luke 9:11
Compassion= …sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help. On a scale from 1-10, where are you on thecompassion scale?
Truth Point: #2: Regardless of our ranking on the compassion scale,all disciples need the ongoing transformationof Jesus, so we can effectively joinJesus in His mission.
Need outstrips apparentresources
No-doubt the disciples were compelled by Jesus’compassion, so they reached down deep and found an extra measure of energy topress forward with The Master. By the end of the day the disciples foundthemselves ready to tap out, so they go to Jesus saying…
“Send thecrowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodgingand get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.”
I can’t blame them. That’s what I would do. I’d belooking for an angle that gets things done, so I could go home.
ButJesus said: “You give them something to eat.”
Truth Point #3: The phrase that people throw around so glibly… “God will never give you more than youcan handle”…isa sappy lie. God specializesin giving us more than we can handle.
Casein point: “You give them somethingto eat.”
Checkout the push back: VS13 “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go andbuy food for all these people.”
The Apostle John writes that Philip informedJesus, “Two hundred denarii (days wages) worth of bread would notbe enough for each of them to get a little.” John 6:7
Why is Jesus pushing them so? Does Hereally expect these men to find a way to feed 10,000 people? Is He being sarcastic to show them how ineptthey are?
Truth Point #4: Jesus is pushing them to do what their pastexperiences were meant to teach them. Ask Him to meet the need.
· Had they not seen Jesus cast out demon spirits?
· …heal leprosy
· …restore a mangled hand
· …give a lame man strength to walk again.
· …stop the a women’s 12 year hemorrhage of blood
· Had they not seen Jesus raise the dead to live again
· …rebuke the wind and waves to calm the sea
· Did He not give them power and authority over demons and disease and didthey not exercise that power to God’s glory and the benefit of others?
These experiences should have taught them that thereis nothing too big nor to small for God… and by now, they should know thattheir Master is God.
“You give them something to eat.” …was intended to draw out the confession… Jesus wecan’t do it, but You can.
Abundant supply with overflowremaining
I find it too easy to rail against the dullness ofthe disciples, but then the Spirit shows me the dullness of my own heart. Despitemy faithlessness, Jesus always remains faithful and He was no less faithful to Hisdisciples.
Jesus took the 5 loaves and 2 fish and offered ablessing. Then He took the loaves and the fish, most likely in a basket, and gave them to the disciples. There were only 5loaves and 2 fish, but each basket was full. When everyone had eaten, therewhere 12 baskets of leftovers.
Who but God could do that? INDEED!
So, what do you need to feed 5,000 men, plus womenand children, when all you have are five loaves of bread and two smallfish and twelve waiters who are skeptical and want to go home?
JESUS– He Is Enough!
Jesusis God! – through Him everything wascreated and all of creation was made for Him.
Jesusis Savior! – Only through Hisblood, shed on the cross, and by His resurrection, can sinners be forgiven andreceive eternal life.
Jesusis Lord! – He is making all things worktogether for the ultimate good of those who love Him and are called accordingto His purpose.
JesusIs King! – He promised to come to earthagain, to establish a Kingdom where He will rule and reign and all things willbe brought under His loving authority and there will be peace and prosperity
Jesusis God, Savior,Lord, King!
The Mission Church is committed to serving God by making disciples in the Des Moines area.
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