Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday, July 23 ~ tammi

Today's Bible In a Year reading: 1 Corinthians 13; Psalm 125; 2 Chronicles 35-36
Today's scripture focus passage: Luke 9:12-17 - The Feeding of the Five Thousand

Hey, all y'all!  Welcome to Tuesdays with Tammi!  This is my new weekly spot as of today.  Hopefully it won't take me too many weeks to remember I need to post EVERY week now!!  ;)

So today we see Jesus miraculously feeding a huge group of people ~ most scholars figure somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15-20 thousand men, women, and children combined ~ with just five little crusty rolls and two salted, dried fish. The lunch of one young boy.

Two things struck me when I read this story again ~ one that always makes me wonder and one that was a new thought for me.

We know the story: a crowd of Galileans running after Jesus because, essentially, they're drawn to the spectacle of the healings.  They're not particularly interested in the message, but they love the healings.  And Jesus, in His infinite patience and mercy, sees their need for salvation, takes pity on them, and once again spends the day not only healing their sick and casting out their demons, but telling them about the glorious Good News about His Heavenly Kingdom.

And the day wears on, people start getting hungry, and it's really too late to send them all home to eat because they're quite a way from town, and there's really nowhere to buy food even if the disciples had the money to do so, which they don't.  It seems hopeless, but one of the disciples finds a boy with a small lunch, and Jesus miraculously feeds the multitude.

What struck me for the first time is that this is almost immediately following the disciples' "missions trip."  Jesus had just sent them out in pairs to preach the Kingdom of God throughout the countryside.  And He had specifically given them the power to perform miracles.  They had just finished a several-day miracle tour, but now they can't figure out how all these people are gonna get something to eat!  Philip even literally empties out the money bag to see if it might be possible to buy the food.  Makes me shake my head in wonder that it never seems to occur to them that the power Jesus had given them earlier would work here, too.  I guess it's possible they assumed now that they were back with Him that He would once again be the sole miracle-worker, but even so, how could they not have thought He could handle this situation with His special power?

The other thing that I always wonder about was why there was only one person there who'd thought about bringing along something to eat.  Like, really??  Only one mother had the forethought to send food in case her son might be gone all day, listening to and watching the Healer?  Somehow, that seems so unrealistic!  But I guess that's maybe an indication that God planned it that way to make a point.

Essentially, we have here a story of underestimated power and underestimated resources.  And I think those themes continue today.  How many options do we not even consider because, humanly speaking, they are impossible?  And how many times do we not get involved or try something because we don't have the right talent, or enough time, or the required know-how?  But we forget that with God, nothing is impossible.  HE has the power to take what little we have and use it for something far greater than we could ever accomplish.

Oh, that we would be reminded over and over again the importance of spreading the message of the Kingdom of God, and how vital it is that we follow Jesus' example and take pity on the unbelievers around us, taking time from our personal agendas to tell them the Good News.  I forget so often that I am surrounded by people who need to be shown God's mercy and grace, not only physically, but spiritually.  Prisoners who need to be set free; starving masses who need the Bread of Life.

And I have the key!  I have the food!  Maybe not much, but with His math, I have more than enough for those around me.

It isn't about how many loaves and fishes we have.
It's about our willingness turn them over to God so He can use them.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: 1 Corinthians 14; Psalm 126; Ezra 1-2
Tomorrow's scripture focus passage: Luke 9:18-22


Miriam said...

Excellent post. Love that last bit, in particular.

Tammy said...

Yes - our willingness to be used!! His strength is made perfect in our weakness, so when we have limited power an limited resources, that's exactly when God moves for His glory.