Sunday, May 15, 2016

Luke 9:12-13

Luke 9:12-13
And the day was being spent.  After the twelve came they said to Him, “Send the crowd away in order that after going away into the surrounding towns and land they should stay for the night and find provision.  For we are here in this wilderness space.”  But He said to them, “Give them something to eat yourselves!”  And they said, “Five loaves and two fish are not great enough for us, even if after leaving we should buy food into all of these people.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Let’s give the disciples a little bit of credit here.  The disciples are just thinking of the crowd in this passage.  They know that the crowd is hungry.  They know that the crowd will likely stay so long as Jesus is doing neat things like healing.  They also know that the crowd will eventually get angry as their hunger increases.  They people are going to get tired.  It’s getting dark and they are in a strange and desolate place.  These human disciples understand the humanity of the people around them.  They are just being compassionate.

When have you been able to be compassionate under pressure?  Does compassion come easily to you?  How ready are you to see the needs of others?

Second Thought:

In their compassion, these disciples also experience doubt and perhaps even fear.  They tell Jesus to send them away.  While they are compassionate, they don’t want to deal with the issues of the multitude.  In fact, they probably don’t even believe that they can deal with that many people.  I can’t say that I blame them.  I’m not sure that I could even conceive of dealing with the hunger of the people as well as their lodging.  In the midst of their compassion, they experience fear and doubt because the needs of the people around them are too great to be met by their own power.

When might you struggle being compassionate in the midst of other people’s humanity?  When might your compassion lead you to experience fear and inability to be effective in meeting the needs of the people around you?

Third Thought:

Jesus challenges His disciples.  In the midst of their fear and doubt, Jesus looks to them and challenges them hard.  Jesus tells them to give them food.  There is no earthly way that they could possibly feed all of these people, even if they had the opportunity to prepare for it!  Jesus knows that the disciples cannot do it.  Jesus knows that the only way that they will be able to do it is through the power of God.  But Jesus is not afraid to challenge them with the impossible.  Just because a person is facing fear doesn’t mean that they cannot be challenged.

Have you even been challenged in the midst of your fear? How did you respond in such a circumstance?  Have you ever had to challenge others in the midst of their fear?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 9:14-17
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