A message from Melissa Wilkinson, Pastoral Associate at St. Mary's Church
“Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip,
‘Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?’
He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, ‘Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.’
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?’
Jesus said, ‘Have the people recline.’
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.’
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, ‘This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.’
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Do you remember last week’s Gospel where the disciples were so busy and overwhelmed that they didn’t even have time to eat?
And, do you remember how the disciples had to escape to find rest? Well, by the time they got to Capernaum, they were inundated with people who were craving the Presence of Jesus.
And while the disciples were hungry and tired, they had to help take care of the crowd.
The disciples had to trust that Jesus knew what He was doing. There were no drive-thrus on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, nor take-out restaurants in the mountains. What were they to do? They were obedient and did what the Lord told them to do.
After they located the young boy with the five loaves and two fishes, Jesus told His disciples to have the people recline in the grass while He performed the miracle. There is something so compelling about this to me. Jesus asked the people to recline and rest, while He worked out this beautiful miracle!
Have you had a time in your life when you had a burden so big that you just couldn’t figure out how to solve it? Have you worried about an obstacle or issue in your life, and then in the evening gone to bed distracted and concerned?
And then, while you took some time to rest and pray, or ever went to sleep at night, the Lord handled it and made everything better? What a blessing that the Lord wants us to rest, and helps ease our burdens.
Our Lord certainly provides for us. He didn’t just provide for the Twelve (who must have been famished by now after their travels); He provided food for the over 5,000 gathered together. The people were so amazed by this miracle, that they believed in Him and spread the word of His deed.
Peace be with you.