40 Days with Jesus – October 26th – Luke 9:1-17
I have to admit, I’m usually the crowd leader, but my husband is the kind of guy who sits back and observes quietly. We make a really good team because I need him to balance me out and he sometimes needs a little nudging from me. It’s been this way for 20 years of marriage – it’s a system that works for us. Sometimes it’s a very delicate balance and on occasion has been turned upside down – I’m so thankful for a loving and forgiving husband!
If you want to talk about turning things upside down, let’s look at this story in Luke 9 of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with just two loaves of bread and five fish. It’s a pretty popular Bible story and one you’ve most likely heard before. Luke starts off the story by telling us where this large group of 5,000 had come from. He shares with us that the disciples had been busy going throughout the villages healing people and casting out demons. As you can imagine, this had caused quite a stir and a large crowd began to gather around the disciples. I can’t help but think that if I had been healed or had a demon cast out of me, I would be very curious about who did this and would want to follow them and learn more. I think they were obviously doing what any of us would do – they were telling all their sick family members and friends so that they, too, might be healed.
Even after trying to escape the crowd by going out to a remote area, the crowd catches up with them. It is at this point the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowds away so they could find food and shelter. Jesus has other plans, though, and says, “Give them something to eat.” I’m guessing the disciples were hungry and had already been busy looking for food, because they knew all they had were five loaves of bread and two fish to feed a crowd of over 5,000! Then Jesus, who knew how to remain calm in the midst of chaos said, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each” (my organized friends have to love this passage of scripture). As the bread and fish began being passed around to these 100+ groups of people, it multiplied, and it multiplied, and it multiplied. In fact, it had multiplied by so much the Bible tells us that the disciples “Picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Now that’s truly a miracle!
Jesus fed this large crowd and there was an overabundance of excess. What has Jesus done in excess for you lately? I know for me and my family, God has provided a way for all four of us to leave tomorrow to go to South Africa on a mission trip. Did we have the $8,000+ for this trip? No, I can honestly tell you we did not. But through the generous support of others, God’s perfect provision and our entire family being willing to sacrifice all year, we will leave tomorrow with an account paid in full. God has shown us His favor and took care of all the little things this year. I can’t wait to go and be God’s hands and feet next week. All four of us are humbled and grateful for this opportunity. This is a really BIG thing God did for us this year, but I can think back through the years to God’s consistent provision for our family in just the everyday things. That’s the great thing about God, He never changes. Just as he cared for the most basic of needs for this crowd, their need for food, He cares about every detail in your life. Let me encourage you to surrender it all over to Him, because He truly is a God who supplies all our needs and is the ultimate crowd pleaser!
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