What Jesus Did! 'Neat, Orderly, and Miraculous' — Luke 9:14-16

Friday, June 5, 2015

(There were about 5,000 men there.) Jesus said to his followers, "Tell the people to sit in groups of about 50 people." So the followers did this and all the people sat down. Then Jesus took the five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus looked up into the sky and thanked God for the food. Then Jesus divided the food and gave it to the followers. Jesus told the followers to give the food to the people.
— Luke 9:14-16
Illustration of Luke 9:14-16 — "Tell the people to sit in groups of about 50 people."

Key Thought

For those of us who have read this story, there is a bizarre element that we often miss because of our familiarity. Jesus goes about his task in such an orderly and planned way. Then, right in the middle of executing his orderly plan, he interjects the miraculous. It is like the creation story in Genesis 1, told with such order and precision until you look at really what is happening and then it is simply miraculous beyond description. We don't often put the "bean counter" side of things in the same context as the "holy hand waver" side of things. We have a tendency to segment people into the empirical, orderly, and predictable OR the emotional, expressive, and excitable. However, the Lord brings both together with a prayer of blessing to provide a picnic for over 5,000. Maybe there is a powerful reminder of our need for both types of approaches and people. Maybe there is an ever more powerful reminder that we need to be open and respectful to both approaches in the same event. God brings order out of chaos and provides blessing out of potential disaster and he does it in a neat, orderly, and miraculous way.

Today's Prayer

Thank you, dear God, for being bigger than my stereotypes. Thank you for calling me to be more than just my preferences. Thank you for bringing order out of chaos. Thank you for providing order and symmetry. Thank you for doing what defies description. Thank you for being Sovereign and gracious. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

But the people learned where Jesus went. They followed him. Jesus welcomed them and talked with them about God's kingdom. He healed the people that were sick. Late in the afternoon, the twelve apostles came to Jesus and said, "No people live in this place. Send the people away. They need to find food and places to sleep in the farms and towns around here." But Jesus said to the apostles, "You give them something to eat." The apostles said, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish. Do you want us to go buy food for all these people?" {There are too many!} (There were about 5,000 men there.) Jesus said to his followers, "Tell the people to sit in groups of about 50 people." So the followers did this and all the people sat down. Then Jesus took the five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus looked up into the sky and thanked God for the food. Then Jesus divided the food and gave it to the followers. Jesus told the followers to give the food to the people. All the people ate and were filled. And there was much food left. Twelve baskets were filled with the pieces of food that were not eaten.

Luke 9:11-17

Related Scripture Readings

We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace (kindness) that God gave us. If a person has the gift of prophecy, then that person should use that gift with the faith he has. If a person has the gift of serving, then that person should serve. If a person has the gift of teaching, then that person should teach. If a person has the gift of comforting other people, then that person should comfort. If a person has the gift of giving to help other people, then that person should give freely. If a person has the gift of being a leader, then that person should work hard when he leads. If a person has the gift of showing kindness to other people, then that person should be glad to do that.

Romans 12:6-8

A person's body is only one thing, but it has many parts. Yes, there are many parts to a body, but all those parts make only one body. Christ is like that too: Some of us are Jews and some of us are Greeks (non-Jews); some of us are slaves and some of us are free. But we were all baptized into one body through one Spirit. And we were all given the one Spirit. And a person's body has more than one part. It has many parts. The foot might say, "I am not a hand. So I don't belong to the body." But saying this would not stop the foot from being a part of the body. The ear might say, "I am not an eye. So I don't belong to the body." But saying this would not make the ear stop being a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, then the body would not be able to hear. If the whole body were an ear, then the body would not be able to smell anything. If each part of the body were the same part, then there would be no body. But truly God put the parts in the body like he wanted them. He made a place for each one of them. And so there are many parts, but only one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the foot, "I don't need you!"

1 Corinthians 12:12-21

The whole body depends on Christ. And all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part of the body does its own work. And this makes the whole body grow and be strong with love.

Ephesians 4:16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.