But the crowds found out where [Jesus]
was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick. Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, "Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place." But Jesus said, "You feed them." "But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. "Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?" For there were about 5,000 men there. Jesus replied, "Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each."
— Luke 9:11-14 NLT
"You feed them." Don't you wish you could have seen the apostles' expressions when Jesus told them to feed the crowd? "Impossible!" they effectively replied. Their reply was correct, of course, based on human limitations. This realization was exactly what Jesus wanted them to confront. He was calling them to the seemingly impossible. Yet that "impossible" task is precisely what Jesus did through them and their meager resources. You may be hearing that same call from the Lord in your life today. While it isn't a call to feed 5,000 people out in the middle of nowhere, it still seems impossible. It may be a call to give up some secret sin or relationship, it may be a call to persevere under painful and difficult circumstances, it may be to keep loving someone who is unloving, or it could be a host of other seemingly impossible challenges. So the events that follow in Luke 9 were for Jesus' first disciples and are also for you and me so we all could learn that Jesus does the impossible through ordinary folks like us!
Holy God, I'm not sure why I can believe in the resurrection of Jesus yet have problems believing you can do incredible, even impossible, things through me. Father, I need the strength and courage to believe that you can do "impossible" things through me. So please, minister to my heart through the story of the feeding of the 5,000, and renew my faith that your Spirit's working in me can empower me to do more than I can even imagine. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Ephesians 3:20-21
- Luke 1:34-38
- Luke 8:22-25
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.