For there were about 5,000 men there. [After the apostles said there wasn't enough food,]
Jesus replied, "Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each." So the people all sat down. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people.
— Luke 9:14-16 NLT
For those of us who have read this story, there is a bizarre element that we often miss because of our familiarity. Jesus went about his task in such an orderly and planned way. Then, right in the middle of executing his orderly plan, he interjected the miraculous. It is like the creation story in Genesis 1, told with such order and precision. Then you look at what was really happening, and it was 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 brought both together with a prayer of blessing to provide a picnic for over 5,000. This story is a powerful reminder of our need for both types of approaches and both types of people. It is also an even more powerful reminder that we need to be open to both approaches in the same event and respectful of both. God brings order out of chaos and provides blessing out of potential disaster, and he does it in an orderly and miraculous way.
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 doing what defies description. Thank you for being Sovereign and gracious. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Romans 12:6-8
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-21
- Ephesians 4:16
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.