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You Feed Them

Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.

John 6:11
You Feed Them Book Cover

full of meaning

One of the few accounts covered by all four gospel writers, the feeding of the five thousand teems with significance, application, and encouragement for us today. When reading this passage, we could focus on the compassion Jesus had for the multitude and how they needed a teacher, so he taught them all day long. We could also focus on the implications of the work of Jesus providing bread from nothing, just like God did for the Israelites wandering in the desert. We could focus on the abundance of Christ’s provision as twelve very large baskets of bread and fish remained after feeding thousands of people. Instead, we will focus on the lesson Jesus gave to his disciples as he prepared them for his departure.

you feed them

Jesus saw that the crowd gathered had no shepherd. In the same way the Israelites would have had no shepherd as Moses inched closer to death (Numbers 27:12–23), Jesus knew he would need to raise up leaders behind him before he departed. Just as Moses prepared Joshua to lead, Jesus would prepare the disciples. As the day grew nigh, the disciples expressed concern for the people’s food and lodging needs. They figured the best solution meant dispersing, but Jesus had other plans. We can imagine when Jesus commanded the disciples to feed the multitude of people, at least one of them rolled his eyes and another threw his hands up in exasperation. How can twelve poor men feed a small city? Yet, if the disciples had remembered the scriptures in 2 Kings 4:42–44, they would have remembered that God already supernaturally supplied food to feed the many.

participants in ministry

Rather than growing irritated with his disciples over their lack of understanding, Jesus included them in this miraculous event. After gathering the small portion they had, Jesus multiplied the fish and loaves and had the disciples distribute the meal. Jesus used his power to provide but welcomed his disciples to administer that provision to the people. Jesus, knowing he would leave the disciples soon, needed to teach them and ultimately us the model for ministry. God provides. We distribute. God uses his power. We rely on his strength. He shows us needs. We partner with him to meet them. While this story began with Jesus’s compassion on the multitude because they needed a shepherd, it ends with Jesus’s compassion on the disciples because they needed a teacher.

compassionate shepherd and teacher

In this brief miracle story, we see Jesus’s multifaceted compassion. He cared deeply for the masses of people who needed someone to guide them and minister to them, and he cared for his closest companions who needed someone to teach them to guide and minister to the others. God’s plan for ministry starts with his compassion and results in our benefit and inclusion.


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Daily Question

In what ways is your life a reflection of the model offered in the Gospel of Luke? Where do you see God providing and using you to administer his provision?

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Comments (7)

There are times when God wants us to go and do things on the basis of faith. We may be praying for someone who has a real financial need and God gives you the funds for them. Be aware of all that God gives us and be ready to give as God directs you. It is such a joy to be used of God to provide for others. This means to always be ready to listen to the Lord.

I have to rely on Him for strength; I know I can’t even begin to handle this life without His help, guidance, strength, direction, and peace.

While He has blessed me with enough funds to meet my needs, I don’t have enough to give as freely as I’d like. However, I can give of myself and my time as He directs.

I hope I reflect God being my provider in my community. Being in charge of our special needs community I have the opportunity to share my testimonies and Gods goodness to them weekly.

God’s provision is amazing. Brent and I look back on our life and see God’s provision everywhere. More recently with my health problems, I have recognized God’s hand in my life. From realizing that I needed to help to sending me to one doctor who sent me to another doctor who helped with my treatment, I knew God was in control. This was the first time in my life where I could not control my health and I had to ask for help. It was like God wanted me to get to that point, so I could lean on Him more.

During my time mentoring to numerous girls @ church, God provided the wisdom to say the right thing when talking with them. I remember a time when one of the older girls tried to commit suicide, it broke my heart. A pastor & I went to the hospital & showed compassion for this young girl so that she would know that not only did we care for her but God also loved her. God gave me the strength to talk with her & not fall apart during our conversation. Week 5 #2

As I was reading the devotion and not looking ahead to see what the question was my mind went to servant leader ship. I am in the process of doing an application for a different job and one of the things I wrote about in my intro letter is how I have a heart to be a servant leader I feel like that is some thing that God has blessed me with in the desire I have to support others and work behind the scenes to encourage others to shine and I feel like that was portrayed in the story where Jesus created a miracle but yet still allowed the disciples to have the accolades of passing around the baskets of food and that’s how we conserve is knowing Our

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