Matt. 14:16 – “They don’t need to leave,” Jesus responded. “You can give them something to eat.”
Those were exactly the words the disciples didn’t want to hear, “You give them something to eat”. After all, they had been promised a break; you know, a mini-vacation, a four day week end, and now this inconvenient interruption. The timing couldn’t be worse. Jesus had to be kidding, but He wasn’t. He had seen what the disciples couldn’t see yet, Jesus was moved with compassion. What had gotten the Lord’s attention in the wilderness that day? While the disciples were distracted with thoughts about missed vacation days and where their next meal would come from Jesus had been distracted by something else. Maybe it was the single mom trying to herd in her brood, or possibly the leper sneaking around the edge of the crowd, or even the paralyzed guy who would not have the luxury of working another day. Actually it was all of them, Jesus saw hurting people and He was moved with compassion. Some day the disciples would see but right now they were still thinking about their own issues, how could they help others when they had their own fish to fry.
Does this story sound familiar? I thought so. This is my story and your story, this is our story called Feed the Multitudes. It seems like yesterday when the Lord told us to give the people something to eat. All I could think of was how terrible the timing was and we have our own problems to handle. The Lord was persistent so Feed the Multitudes it was. I had no idea that FTM would be where our miracle would begin. The Lord wanted us to be moved with compassion. He wanted us to see the single mom trying to survive. He wanted us to see the homeless veteran who had forgotten and forsaken written all over him. He wanted us to see the loneliness in the eyes of the elderly and the hopelessness in those that rolled up in a wheel chair, thinking “is this all there is left to my life”.
The Lord wanted to put His disciples in an uncomfortable position that would define the rest of their lives. He wanted them to look into the eyes of the hurting and also be moved with compassion. This is what Feed the Multitudes is all about. You may be uncomfortable and out of your comfort zone at first but when you see what Jesus saw you will be happy to just give them something to eat. After all, this is about more than just fish and bread.