Luke 9: 10-22
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. 12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” 13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basket fulls of broken pieces that were left over. 18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” 19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” 20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” 21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
What strikes me about this passage is generosity. Jesus had withdrawn with his disciples, hoping to spend some quiet time with them debriefing from their mission and teaching and sustaining them. Although not mentioned in Luke, it is evident from Mark’s gospel that John the Baptist had just been beheaded. Since he was Jesus’ cousin and close to the disciples also, time out would have been welcome for them to grieve together. But when the crowd came Jesus had compassion on them and spent time healing and teaching them – a generosity of time and energy.
Feeding the 5000 with abundance left over also shows Jesus’ generosity towards us with our daily needs, as well as, of course, his authority on earth. He gives thanks (blesses) God for the food and there is miraculously enough.
God has that same generosity towards us. He is always there to listen, teach and minister to us and he amply supplies our daily needs.
Father, help me to be aware of the abundant blessings you give me – not just materially but in time, love, family, nature, speaking into my life. Thank you.
Written by Megan Cornell