Living the Risen Life by Sharing

Matthew 14:14 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.

Did you catch it?  “You give them something to eat.”  Imagine the disciples’ surprise at being commanded to feed such a multitude!  They probably felt the same helplessness that we feel when we hear in Romans 12:13 “Share with God’s people who are in need.”

Of what help can my contributions possibly be toward the magnitude of the problems facing the planet?  The disciples looked at what they had in the physical realm (loaves and fish) and a hungry multitude.  What did Jesus say to them?  “Bring them here to me.”

Our material possessions can go only so far to help the poor.  Make no mistake, it is right and proper for us to help those in need.  But note that Jesus didn’t say, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”  Nope.  That’s humanity trying to solve humanity’s problems, which are well-intentioned efforts, but sadly, they are inevitably flawed ones.  Give and create a dependent.  Teach and create a defiant self-reliant.  Jesus wants better than that.  He wants disciples.  So He says, “Bring them here to me.”

Jesus takes the loaves and fish and does a miracle.  What is humanly impossible, God does by multiplication.  He takes what little we can give and when we bring what we have to Jesus, then the Son of God multiplies our efforts for His glory.  The greatest glory isn’t in a full stomach for a meal, but in full redemption for an eternity.  It doesn’t mean we ignore the physical needs, but it does mean we see them in light of the greatest glory.  The greatest glory is not in loaves or fish.  It is in disciples, taught to rely upon God.

Notice the truth that Jesus speaks here: John 6: 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

We should always be on the lookout for how the physical needs of others can be God’s means of our bringing them to Jesus.  Then we will be Living the Risen Life by Sharing—in all the best possible ways.

share with gods people

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 19, 2013

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