“That evening 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 food for themselves.’ But Jesus said, ‘that isn’t necessary- you feed them.”
In these verses, we can learn a lot from the disciples. We get so focused on time and the places we need to be, that we forget where we are. The disciples realized that this was a remote place, somewhere distant and far from where they thought they needed to be. The disciples wanted to send the people away to get their own food- to help themselves. But Jesus insisted that the disciples feed them. It’s so easy for us to focus on what we want to do but Jesus will take us to places where we need to be; even if it seems to be out of our way, it’s His way that’s perfect.
Love requires action.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
So often we see people in need and recognize that they need food, nourishment. Not just the homeless people we see in town, but the people we encounter every day. Maybe they need love, peace, joy, hope. Do we help them, or send them away in hopes that they will fend for themselves? After all, “help those who help themselves,” right?
NO. We were dead in our sin, and Christ came to us (Colossians 2:13).
People are broken, desperate, searching. We have the answer. We have the hope. We can’t turn them away or simply walk by them. We have to feed them. We have to share the Bread of Life with them. So many times, we don’t want to step out, to be bold. They can’t help themselves, they’re enslaved. We were once slaves. We still sin. We still fall short. But through the grace and love of Jesus, we make it. He strengthens us. But when the broken are beaten down with nowhere to turn, they look for a temporary fix to ease their mind, to un-break their heart. How can they help themselves if they don’t know what they need? Who they need.
It’s up to us to invite them to the table. He has “prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23:6)” so they can see that even though there are enemies all around, things that attempt to break us and paralyze our purpose, there is something greater. SomeOne greater. Fear, worry, and doubt have no place anywhere that Jesus is. We have to feed them from the never-ending supply that we have received. They need to realize that there is an escape. There is a way to “break free from confinement or control.”
Amidst a world of temporary fixes and solutions, our God is everlasting. He is our everlasting escape. Only through Him can we break free from the chains and be changed, forever free.