10 On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured. 12 The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did so and made them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. Peter’s Declaration about Jesus 18 Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” 20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” 21 He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
In this passage we find Jesus and the disciples with a huge crowd of followers. They were so desperate for more of Jesus that they had followed him to a remote place (v12), and hadn’t considered their need for a meal! We aren’t told whether the crowd was concerned or not, but we know that the disciples definitely were. However, Jesus wasn’t concerned.
Often I find that following Jesus leads me to what I would consider to be a remote place – whether that’s a place where I feel alone, a place where the elements are harsh, or a place where there seems to be no means of provision. But in these moments I need to keep learning to switch on my faith and cast away fear. I’m with Jesus – my source and my strength, my provider, my friend. The truth is, once we have Jesus in our hearts, we are never alone, never lost, and we have all that we need.
Jesus, I love You with all my heart. Thank You for leading me and for being my constant companion and friend. You are an amazing provider, gracious and faithful in all Your ways. Help me to remember this each day, and to never let the remote places make me lose sight of You.
Written by Matt Samperi