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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Feeding the 5000 (Part 4: The Passionate Disciple)

Luke 9:10-17

“10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. 12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” 13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”

I have a friend who came back from a conference, related to the issues of recycling, very excited.  What made him so excited was the fact that the people involved in recycling were passionate in their presentations, and looked forward to each session so much that they literally ran to the meetings.  My friend changed his career and entered the field of recycling after that conference.

The crowd that followed Jesus into the isolated, solitary place we read about in the scripture above, must have been a motivated, excited group of people.  These people knew that they were going into the wilderness to meet Jesus.  It is not like they stumbled upon Jesus and His Disciples by mistake. And without any food, without any thought of their own physical needs, they followed Jesus.

What would it be like if our members ran to church and vied for seats at the front of the sanctuary?  What would it be like if they were so eager to hear the Word that they abandoned all thought of their physical comfort?

Are we hungry?  Do we believe that Christ can feed us and satisfy our hunger?  

Will we follow Him to that solitary place?

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

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