The Holy Gospel according to St Matthew 14:13-21
14:13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14:14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had
compassion for them and cured their sick. 14:15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for
themselves." 14:16 Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." 14:17 They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." 14:18 And he said, "Bring them here to me." 14:19 Then he ordered
the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 14:20 And all ate and
were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 14:21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. The Gospel of the Lord......Praise to You O Christ!
When Jesus wants to Feed the Crowd...no one can discourage God's Plan. But we are practical...we don't have large enough vision or Faith – MOST OF THE TIME!! It's not that we don't care about the Hungry Multitudes, but that
we simply cannot foresee how the Feeding of the 5000 – let alone Caring for 100 or even 10 members of our Community can be accomplished because we don't think big enough and we do not have a FAITH FIRST Spirituality.
When we are confronted by a Challenge, like the Disciples of Jesus were when the Lord Said, "YOU FEED THEM" ..... we are immediately placed on the defensive. This is because of our logical and Scientific nature. We can easily
calculate what we have and quickly can add up what is nencessary to feed the Multitudes, in fact,
Here at Elias...we are very good at knowing the amount of food to prepare for whatever Crowd we may be anticipating...and in fact, we are GENEROUS with our PROPORTIONS!!! If We had been the Disciples that day on the hillside, we
would have been most-likely, Telling Jesus. . . .
We're going to need 2500lbs of Beef, 1500 lbs of Turkey, 30 bushels of Potatoes, 20 bushels of Cabbage and maybe 200 gallons of Ice Tea!! To Feed Five Thousand here at Elias....and,
By the Way...we need to get all the Churches in Town to help cook and serve and Clean up!!
And, Oh, By the Way Jesus..... "Who is going to supervise this Event?? Who will carry the Liability Insurance?"
Well....you can see how we would handle feeding the 5000 in our modern days.....fact is, it could be done....
However, Our ways are not God's Ways -- God's Ways are Not Our Ways..... Fortunately – Jesus does not require our herclean efforts to accomplish feeding people with the Word of God and the Nourishment that comes from participating in
the Kingdom of Heaven. No, THANK Heavens.... a "Jesus Banquet" is one that is provided for by the Father......
Just keep in mind that our Presence and Participation at the Banquet are requested and Necessary.
We note from the Gospel story that the disciples did not walk away when the request was made by Jesus that they Provide Food for the Crowds. Surely, they were stimied by his request....but at least they engaged the Lord with
questions and comments and Jesus listened to their concerns.
They could not understand what Jesus was about to do,....
But then they Listened and followed his Instructions. Jesus himself would take charge to See that Everyone was served who had gathered that day....Jesus Himself gave the Orders and then the Disciples carried out the tasks in
Supposing they had become utterly skeptical or discouraged and had desserted Christ over this request? If they had left the Hill and the People . . . then they would have Abandoned Jesus -- the Hope of Salvation, and they would not
know the Power of God working through their humble and rather simple efforts. Friends, let us never Abandon the Lord when we feel the task requested of us is overwhelming or impossible–let alone when it is as simple as handing out some
bread or pieces of fish! But instead....let us follow the Lord's Guidance and Instruction. ‘You give them Something to eat."
Notice that Jesus did not specify Roast Beef or Turkey! But that he left it up to the Disciples and what was "On Hand" to provide for the Crowds that Day. *Not that roast beef and turkey wouldn't have been Crowd pleasers!!!
In Kenya, the Staple Diet of the area where we resided on the mission trip is Corn, Beans and Greens. These three Food Items support the masses. And when any one of these staples becomes in short supply – the other may suffice. Right
now in Kenya there is Famine in the Northern part of the Country. Also, where we were, the Bean Crop was not as productive as was hoped for.....with excessive moisture causing spoilage of some of the crop.
So there is scarcity in the land and the migration of more Hungry People from Somalia and other people groups is only adding to the Crisis. I heard from one pastor whose Church we conducted a Medical Clinic in that he and some of his
church members had driven up to the North to deliver a pickup Truck full of Grain. But what was one Pickup Truck and 10 Bags of Corn going to do to feed 90,000 or today 400,000 refugees suffering from Hunger. Nevertheless, this Pastor
and his little Faith Church called GOSPEL EXPLOSION......delivered what they could.
I don't tell this to solicit your guilt....indeed, when I saw the Pastor's photos of the starving masses, I felt guilty that we could not add to his mission....nevertheless, we were being faithful to the tasks and people to whom we
were called to serve. Jesus will bless our efforts as a Church and as Individuals when we respond to his requests..."You Feed Them" or You Care for Them or whatever it is that the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do. . . . Just Don't
Dismiss his Request, Don't blow off the Spirit's Promptings .... lest the Spirit depart from you. "You Feed Them."
Just take what you have been entrusted with and share it as this boy with the Five Loaves and Two Fish did. Christ himself will bless the Offering and Make it stretch to feed the Multitudes beyond our IMAGINING. We are People of
Calculation and we are People of Faith. May Christ indeed be glorified by our Offering and our Service in his name.