The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is written by Camilla Morris. Camilla Morris is an adventure seeker, road-tripper and food lover, obsessed with the African continent & good design. She works and lives in London with Alex and their son Sparrow.

Matthew 15:29-39

Jesus feeds the four thousand

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 'I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.'

33 His disciples answered, 'Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?'

34 'How many loaves do you have?' Jesus asked.

'Seven,' they replied, 'and a few small fish.'

35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterwards the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.


Reflection

This passage begins with Jesus leaving the Jewish region of Bethsaida (having miraculously fed 5000+ people) to go to a remote mountainside to the east of the Sea of Galilee.

Such was the impression that Jesus had made upon them, that thousands of people came from far and wide to see Him, leaving their jobs to bring loved ones to be healed and to hear His teaching. This was hugely significant and not without cost - if people didn't work, they wouldn't be able to feed their families.

Jesus rewarded their faith in Him, taking three whole days to minister and pour out His power and love to heal every single person who sought it. In doing so, He demonstrated God's love to all who had gathered.

Following these incredible acts of love and mercy, Jesus was unwilling to send people away hungry.

v.31 - And the disciples (anxiously) said to Him, "where are we to get food in such a desolate place to feed such a huge crowd?"

Jesus gently replies, "Show me what do you have" ... and he simply multiplied what they HAD and provided the miracle. This is Jesus. This is His heart. His love and compassion for us isn't limited and is far greater than yours and mine. This is the kind of God we have. He doesn't stop. So much so in this instance, that there were seven baskets of food left over. He provided MORE than enough for His people!

How easily do we throw our hands up in despair when faced with difficult situations? Like the disciples, we often forget that God has already equipped us with certain abilities and empowered us by His Holy Spirit to be His hands and feet on earth.

In our day to day lives, where we can act in faith in what He has already shown us?

The thing is though, sometimes we have to throw down what we are clinging onto and give it to God first before we see the blessing. Sometimes it's hard to hear what God wants from us, especially in our busy lives, but the best thing we can do IS to make time for Him and listen. When we do our part, developing what He has given us, then we don't hinder what He has purposed to use us for.

God will never leave us empty. If He asks you to put something down, it might be that He wants you to pick up something greater.

The question is, what do we need to throw down today?

Lord, thank you for sustaining us and for feeding our souls. Please show us the areas of our lives that need to be re-aligned with your will. Help us to see more you God as you reveal yourself to us.

Amen

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