DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-02-19
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 14:19-21
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 19 Then he had everyone sit down on the grass as he took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up into heaven, gave thanks to God, and broke the bread into pieces. He then gave it to his disciples, who in turn gave it to the crowds. 20 And everyone ate until they were satisfied, for the food was multiplied in front of their eyes![f] They picked up the leftovers and filled up twelve baskets full! 21 There were about five thousand men who were fed, in addition to many women and children!
OBSERVATION: The crowd followed Jesus with hopes of seeing miracles performed, but little did they know that He was also capable of meeting their physical needs – like food. We are such a peculiar people, for we seek Jesus for our specific hurts and ailments while He knows so much more about what lies just ahead, that may impact us tomorrow. Perhaps today we will be reminded that He is God and that He knows what we need, in spite of our human limitations.
APPLICATION: After foot surgery, I remember returning to my Podiatrist and complaining of continued pain. He assessed the problem and remarked that had he known that I also had issues with another part of my foot, he could have also taken care of that while in surgery the first time. The crowd, mentioned in today’s Scripture, followed Jesus because they had similar ailments to those He had already healed, so they were hoping that they might be next in line. Of course they had also heard that Jesus was the promised Messiah, so they wanted to evaluate His ministry and determine for themselves if He truly was, who He said He was. The disciples had been with Jesus for a while now, and they had witnessed many miracles, yet they were still ‘worry warts’. They wanted the approval of Jesus to shoo the crowds away so that they could feed themselves, but just as in our world today, there is little chance that a crowd of 10,000 to 20,000 people would go down a hillside, walk into their homes and prepare supper, for many were probably from miles away. Besides that, what would the crowd think if the ‘miracle worker’ sent them away because He wasn’t capable of feeding them, or didn’t care about their hunger? Friends, Jesus knew all about the thoughts, actions and worries of the crowd, and He knew what worried His disciples. The Scriptrue declares that ALL things are possible with God, so of course Jesus knew how He could deal with the situation at hand. His disciples needed one more mighty act of God to strengthen their belief in their walk with Jesus. They needed reminding that instead of defaulting to a belief that something is impossible, they should run to the Master and seek His direction, or ask for His awesome mighty works. Does that sound a little like how you feel when life hits you head on with overwhelming challenges? Are you more apt to whine, complain and seek pity from your family and friends, or are you strong enough in your faith that you run to Jesus and seek His power over your situation? In our story today, Jesus didn’t stand for the crowd to go hungry – He loved them too much for that. Jesus saw the weakness and lack of faith in His disciples, and He wouldn’t stand for that. So He took charge and told the disciples and the crowd what to do, as He performed yet another miracle in their midst. This was a display of compassion, and a reenforcement of courage and faith for His disciples. I sincerely believe that today God knows what each of our needs are, and I am convinced that He is still all-powerful, all-loving and all-caring, and He will never leave us alone. He wants us to recognize Him as Father, Almighty God, Healer, Forgiver of our sins and our Eternal Father. Let’s me encourage you to place your faith and trust in God first, before you ever begin to worry or fret about life’s circumstances. He loves you dear friend!
PRAYER: Thank You for loving us enough, that You gave the very best available to You – Your one and only Son. Thank You for caring enough that You fed the thousands of people on that hillside in our story today. Thank You for the promises of Your Word in declaring that You will never leave us alone nor forsake us, for You came to rescue us from the evil of this world so that we may assume our rightful place next to You in heaven. Lord, we are overwhelmed with Your goodness and we are sorry that we ever resort to worry over the various challenges here on earth. Please help us to recognize the acts of provision and healing and encouragement that You place inside of us at just the right moments when we need it. Oh that others might see Jesus alive and active inside of us each and every day, so that they too might desire to know You personally. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!