March 12, 2012

Matthew 14:13-21

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
   18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. (NIV)

There could have been close to ten thousand people gathered there that day to listen to Jesus' teachings and maybe even be healed by Him. We read that Jesus had compassion on the people and not only met their physical needs, healing and hunger, but their spiritual needs as well.

Once again we read of Christ's power over the created world as well as the spiritual. We also see that He is faithful to provide. One of the things this passage makes me wonder, what types of things might happen if we allow ourselves to be moved to action out of compassion for others? 

What do you find meaningful, confusing, or challenging in this passage?