By Sharon Wilhite
"Honey, can you make me a lunch?" "Mom, I don't understand this math
problem." Brrring - "Hi! This is so and so. Do you have a few minutes
to listen?" "Mom, look at what I colored." "Honey, I can't find any
socks in my drawer!" Brring - "This is the church prayer chain, could
you pray right now for so and so?" "Mom, what does 'purity' mean?"
"Honey, let me tell you about my day at work." And on and on it goes.
.Matthew 6:33-46 records the miracle of the feeding of the 5000.
Verses 30-32 give the prelude. The disciples were exhilarated but
exhausted. Jesus had trained and then finally sent the disciples out
two by two to do what He was doing - preaching, casting out demons,
and healing the sick in surrounding villages. Now, they had returned
and reported back to Jesus. They were depleted physically ("they had
no leisure so much as to eat") and spiritually.
Jesus invited them on a private retreat for 12 to "rest awhile," but
when they got there they found 5000 other folks waiting for them!!
Interruption or Opportunity? A time for Compassion or Complaining?
Jesus chose compassion and took the interruption as an opportunity to
teach a great multitude many things.
The day wore on until evening. The disciples were tired and
said,"Send them away." (Let them go and feed themselves!) Jesus said,
"Sit them down and give them something to eat" before they go home
(YOU feed them). The disciples could only come up with a little food,
but Jesus blessed that little amount and used it to feed thousands.
Result? Instead of a Retreat for 12, it became a Revival and Refreshment for over 5000!!
Refreshment for the disciples? There were exactly enough leftovers
for each disciple to have a basketful - a "doggy basket," if you