Vessel of Provision

18 November 2013

VESSEL OF PROVISION

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Luke 9:10-17

Luke 9

New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had
done. Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of
Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds found out where he was going, and they
followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of
God, and he healed those who were sick.

12 Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said,
“Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can
find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in
this remote place.”

13 But Jesus said, “You feed them.”

“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they
answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for
this whole crowd?” 14 For there were about 5,000 men there.

Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty
each.” 15 So the people all sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves
and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then,
breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to
the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. 17 They all
ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up
twelve baskets of leftovers!

One of Jesus’ most welcome known miracles today, the feeding of the
5000, comes after an expectation that Jesus places on His followers.
The people have come for spiritual nourishment, but get hungry. The
disciples, meaning well, suggest that Jesus send them home to find
food. Jesus’ response, however, shows us exactly how He expects His
followers to respond to people who are in need: “You feed them”
Jesus said.

There is a responsibility placed on the church of Jesus Christ to not
only meet people’s spiritual needs, but their practical ones too. A
hungry man cannot hear your sermon above the growl of his empty
stomach.

Yet often this task seems to great to us, and an awareness of our
limited resources means that we cannot, and therefore do not, meet the
practical needs of people around us. This would be a reasonable
response had the passage above stopped there. It didn’t though.
Jesus gives the disciples further instructions, and in short, He
provides a miracle so that they are able to provide for the needs of
the people.

All to often we try too hard to fix the world’s problems in our own
strength. We rely on the little money we have, the few extra clothes
we have, the bit of petrol we have in our cars to help others –
without asking God to provide /through/ us. When we ask God for
provision not for ourselves, but so that we can bless others who need
it, both the heart and hand of God are moved and we are able to be a
vessel of His provision in the lives of others. We need to stop asking
for things for just ourselves, but for that bit extra so that we can
bless others. Remember though, God is not a fool that He should be
mocked! Provision asked for so that you can bless others, needs to go
to others. Keep it for yourself and God is not honoured.

A PRAYER TO PRAY

Jesus thank You for caring for every person You created. Thank you for
the way You have provided for, and cared for me. Please help me to
have a greater awareness of the needs of others, and provide for them
through me. Amen.

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