October 7 – Luke 9:10-17

Monday, October 7, 2013

Luke 9:10-17 – Feeding Five Thousand

The disciples have returned from their mission and Jesus takes them away so they can come together again as a group. When Jesus withdraws, it is for prayer and intimacy. He would know that their experiences had drained them and offers them an opportunity to renew themselves. They no longer need to be in charge and on their own. He is with them again and offers his strength to them.

Before long, however, the crowds found the group and rather than sending them away, Luke tells us that Jesus welcomed them, taught them about the kingdom of God and healed those who were in need.

It is the disciples who are concerned with the needs of the people. Again, Luke’s story is written to the Church and since these are the men on whom the foundation of the church rests, it is from their perspective he relates this story. But, they react poorly when Jesus tells them to take care of the people. It’s as if the journey they had just returned from never happened. They have forgotten that in Jesus Christ, nothing is impossible. They lost touch with the power that had infused them as they traveled.

No matter how long they had been with Jesus, he still needed to remind them of the power God wields through him and through them. He blessed the meager offering they brought to him and then asked the disciples to distribute food to everyone. He put the power back into their hands and asked them to care for the people who sat before them. It is into the hands of these twelve men that Jesus entrusts the growth of the kingdom of God on earth. Even though they still do not understand, he trusts them.

They asked for enough to feed the crowd and God pours out more than they needed, so much that they gathered up twelve baskets – a number corresponding to the twelve disciples … to the twelve tribes of Israel. There is more than is needed. God’s love and power overflows our needs.