This morning during my devotional time I was reading in Luke and noticed something I hadn’t gotten before. I was specifically reading the story about Jesus feeding the 5000, found in Luke 9:10-17. As I read I came to verse 12 which says,
Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.”
Then I read Jesus’ response in verse 13. It smacked me right in the face. Verse 13 reads: But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
Most of us know the rest of the story involves the disciples collecting a few fish and loaves of bread, in which Christ blesses them and everyone was able to eat their fill, with a lot left over. That part is amazing and I’ll address that in a minute, but today (for me) the main point of the story was not (as it has been in the past) that Jesus can do a lot with a little. Or that even a little faith can be multiplied, or that Christ can do the miraculous. All those are true and I assume others have learned so many other things from that story, but today the message in this story lies in three words found in verse 13 – YOU FEED THEM.
After reading those words I thought back to all the times that I (or someone I’ve seen or known) have come across or had a need brought to me and my first instinct was to send them away to somewhere or someone that could help them. I so easily identify with the 12 that said “send the crowds away.” Unfortunately, I think this is the church's response more often than not and that's not ok.
I’m not saying that it is the churches responsibility to actually feed EVERYONE who is hungry (although we should be trying to make a substantial dent in the number of people that are), but I am saying that it is our responsibility to “feed” those that are hungry for Christ (regardless of whether they know they are or not). What God spoke into my heart today is that those 5000 were out in a "remote place" because they knew that Jesus was there. They may not have understood why at the time (some may have), but they knew that they needed to be in His presence no matter what, even if it meant not having any food with them.
Instead of sending them away, we should be ushering them to His feet. When we do that Christ will not leave it to us to figure out how to feed them. He will provide the sustenance they need, just as He did with His disciples on that day. It is our job to know and understand where the provision comes from, then to lead people to Him, not send them from Him. We have to KNOW that Christ is our provider and through our seeking Him out, He will ensure we are fully equipped to handle feeding our 5000. We also need to understand that He doesn't simply provide "just enough". He overflows our baskets and expects us to serve beyond the 5000 in front of us.
I'll Feed Them,