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You Feed Them: Divine Food for the Journey

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Jesus demonstrated his compassion in supporting the weak, healing the sick, comforting the bereaved, feeding the hungry, finding and forgiving sinners, and giving rest to the weary soul. We are most like-Christ as we emulate Jesus’ ways of compassion.

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Jesus took time to be apart from the people since John, his cousin and friend, was just beheaded.

The people had followed him from town, without preparing to take along a meal.

They were so hungry for God to work among them, they forgot to take food with them.
Matthew 5:6 NIV
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Food took much more time to gather, to prepare, and then made ready to serve.

There are no quick meal stops, exits off the bypass, or fast-food restaurants.
The disciples saw that the people did not have food and, with reasonable compassion, they told Jesus that he should send the people to buy some food for themselves.

What did Jesus answer? “You give them something to eat.” (You Feed Them)

Jesus seemed not to have food to eat also, but someone did.
The disciples had something to give, but they did not see it.
Even when they found the meager portions of five loaves and two fish, the disciples protested that they only had so much to give.
5,000 only describes the number of men. There could have been 20,000 people to feed there that day.

But, it wasn’t just about the hunger for food, this was about hunger for the things of God, a hunger for righteousness.

It was going to take a miracle.

Trouble in the World: Sometimes, we become hungry, seeking the strength to live.
Grace in the Text:
There Jesus was doing his ministry as usual, but people were so desperate, they would find him in his time alone, and even forgetting about how they would eat.

Nevertheless, Jesus had compassion on them and healed the sick.

Matthew 5:7 NIV
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Jesus also provided for their bodily hunger and their hunger for peace and hope.

Even as small as the meager portions were:

Jesus took them as they were.
Jesus had the people sit in small groups.
Jesus gave thanks for the food that was provided. (custom)
Jesus broke the bread. (custom)
Jesus gave the portions to the disciples to distribute to the people. (custom)
They all ate and were satisfied.

Jesus literally gave them their daily bread, as God provided manna in the wilderness.

Even after they had all had their fill, there was plenty of leftovers.
He did not leave the givers destitute but restored them with an abundance for what little they had to give him.
Even though 12 baskets sounds like a lot, it isn’t a lot for 5,000 people, it seems they had just enough.

Jesus supplied them this Messianic meal supplying his people with good out of his compassion, the “shepherd king” who cares for his flock.

This is true “Soul” Food.

God calls together his people together to meet the needs of others.

God provides enough for all of our needs, but greed and waste can never be tolerated by a just God.

This is Yahweh Raha (meaning God will see that our needs are taken care of)
Grace in the World:
When we are hungry, our bodies are in pain.
When we are hungry for righteousness our souls are pained.
When we are hungry, only food will satisfy.
When we are hungry for righteousness, only the grace of God is sufficient.
When we are satisfied, it is a pleasure and delight.
Jesus demonstrated his compassion in supporting the weak, healing the sick, comforting the bereaved, feeding the hungry, finding and forgiving sinners, and giving rest to the weary soul.

God sees to it that we are taken care of, and in return for receiving our blessings, we take care of others in the same way.

Think of those who we have found to be the most loving and compassionate, did not they give of themselves for us to be taken care of? Is this not evidence of the Spirit of God moving in hearts, even when they do not recognize it themselves.
We are most like-Christ as we emulate Jesus’ ways of compassion and introducing them to the one who sees to the needs of all our neighbors.

May God fill us with his grace that we might continue our faith journey.

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