Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 14:13-21

"When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food." But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish." He said, "Bring them here to Me." Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. -Matthew 14:13-21

To whom are these commands spoken?

Jesus' disciples

What do these commands require?

These commands fall in the midst of a dialogue between Jesus and the disciples:

D: This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food
J: You give them something to eat.
D: We have here only five loaves.
J: Bring them here to Me.

What truths do we learn through this command?

First, we learn that we can do nothing apart from Jesus. The solution to the hunger problem that the disciples found was small, meager, and inadequate for what they needed. But when they gave the small lunch to Jesus, great things were accomplished. We are much like the disciples. On our own, all we have is a small pittance to offer. Even the most talented and gifted among us cannot accomplish much alone. When we give our talents and gifts to Jesus, we can let Him use them in mighty ways.

Second, we learn that Jesus is interested in people. The disciples wanted to send people away to let them search for food, but Jesus wanted to feed the people. The disciples couldn't think of a suitable solution, but Jesus had a plan all along. Jesus cares about the multitudes and the individuals. He ministered to His disciples here and also the crowds following Him. 

What were the blessings for obedience?

It is always a blessing to witness a miracle of Jesus. The disciples got to witness this miracle and be a part of distributing the food. They were blessed for obeying Jesus commands. There were also 12 baskets of food left over when it was all said and done. I wonder if each disciple got to take home a basket of food and tell their families, "Look what Jesus has done!" 

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