2nd August 2020 – Out of whose provision?

July 31, 2020 Pastor Matt Bishop

We continue following the Gospel of Matthew consistent with the international lectionary of the worldwide Christian church. Today we are on the shores of the lake with a very large crowd – at least 10,000 it would seem as the writer only notes ‘five thousand men, besides women and children’ (Matthew 14:21). There is much we can take from this account. A few things include: Jesus fulfilling the desert feedings in the wilderness of the children of Israel (e.g. Exodus 16) and Elisha’s feeding in 2 Kings 4:42-44; the way that Jesus breaks the bread foreshadowing the Lord’s Supper and it’s never ending provision for our journey to eternity; the significance of this miracle as demonstrating another aspect of God’s kingdom whereby the hungry don’t stay unsatisfied; and related to that, the associated importance to Jesus of ensuring the hungry in today’s world are fed. However, today I’m going to focus mainly on what it says about our willingness to do as the Lord asks us even when it looks like there won’t be enough to go around. These are important issues in life and church. Indeed, in all the places he has put us. I hear many people wondering how they’ll cope. Or how they’ll continue. Saying they are empty. Telling me there is not enough. I also hear lots of great ideas, but even more reasons why those ideas would not be viable. It seems that all too often we cut Jesus vision off ‘at the knees’. He clearly thinks we are capable of much more than we do – witness him telling the disciples to give the crowd something to eat and their protest “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish” (Matthew 14:15-17). We forget he is the extra ingredient, or piece, that makes it possible… in family, work, church and society. Therefore, factor Jesus in as the extra ingredient in all he asks us to do!