You give them something to eat

Cathy Hurtado

"When he (Jesus) went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”  But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:13-18

Just before this happened, the disciples had informed Jesus that His cousin John had been beheaded by Herod.  Jesus leaves by boat by Himself; I assume so that He could spend some time alone with God and grieve.  When He comes to shore, He sees all the people who had followed Him.  Tired and grieving, their needs are more important than His, and He spends the day healing the sick.  As evening came, a disciple suggested that Jesus send the people away so that they could go into the villages and buy some food.

Jesus’ response was, “you give them something to eat.”  As I read this verse, I was immediately convicted.  I wondered how many times for simplicity, for pragmatic practicality, to avoid stress, focused on my plans or my agenda, had I sent people away that God intended for me to minister to.  It doesn’t occur to us that Jesus’ agenda is not ours.

Father, You have called us to be Your servants on this earth.  I am so sorry for the all the times I seek to carry out my agenda and not Yours.  Help my heart to be in tune with You today.  Help me to be willing to set my agenda aside to do Your will.  Thank you that You want to use me.  Amen.


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