At our most recent Wednesday night service (Lutherans often do this during Lent), the gospel reading was the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand taken from the book of Luke. Our pastor had an interesting take on this familiar story. He focused in on the fact that the disciples were whining, telling Jesus to send the crowd away. After all, it would soon be evening, and all these people needed to eat. It made sense. Instead of acquiescing, however, Jesus issues what amounts to a command:
“…’You give them something to eat.'”
As usual, the disciples don’t get it. There’s simply not enough food to go around. What are they expected to do? Jesus just wants them to cooperate with Him, to trust Him. Even though they’ve seen Jesus heal and perform other miracles, they doubt. So, He guides them, step by step. Have the people sit down, He tells them. He blesses the bread and fish and instructs the disciples to distribute it. Lo and behold, everyone there ate–not just a bite or two, either. They ate enough to be satisfied, with leftovers to boot!
The point our pastor made is this: we need to put ourselves in this story. The world is full of hungry people. Some are hungry for food, but many more are hungry for hope and for a purpose in life. We, the church, have the food that they need–food for the body, and also food for the soul. We have the gospel, and Jesus has commanded us to share it with others. Our job is to go and tell–Jesus will make sure that what we offer is more than enough. We can trust Him to do that.
For more about trusting God see these posts: