Jesus Heals Many People:
Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all. The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand:
Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.”
The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?”
Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”
They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.”
So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.
They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.
Matthew 15:29-39 NLT
My Thoughts: Okay, other than the part where the disciples are acting like they are clueless about how to feed 4,000 people, I love our verses today. If you will remember, Jesus just fed 5,000 people in chapter 14, so I’m pretty sure 4,000 more people wasn’t a problem for him!
Uh-oh. As I type this sass, my spirit said,
“CAREFUL CECILIA! Take a close look at yourself because you are pulling the same clueless stunt now.”
Oh dear!!!! Lately things in my life have been somewhat hectic and I have been in a quandary about what to do or how to best handle them. Before I moved further in writing this blog, I knew there was one specific area in my life that needed to get back on track immediately: I had stopped journaling and spending quiet time with the Lord daily. Oh, I was reading my Bible, and I was literally in prayer all day (picture me whining to the Lord endlessly), but I wasn’t writing down what I learned and asking God to speak to me and I certainly was not listening!
“Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:9b NLT)
Why do I do that when things go crazy? I know from past experience that when I take my cares to God he is faithful to show up. This clearly shows I can be just as clueless as those disciples. Not a proud moment for me!
In addition to the journaling there were a few other areas of my life that needed to get back on track, so I sat down at my desk with my journal and a pen. As a writer, this can often bring me back to the basics. Even if you are not a writer, I highly recommend this process.
I wrote down the things that were bothering or confusing me and as usual, when I saw them in black and white, they didn’t seem as monumental. I’ve learned when my problems or issues stay cluttered in my mind they always seem bigger. Does that happen to you too? If it does, I highly recommend you remove their power to captivate you by writing them down and asking the Lord to speak to you and MOST IMPORTANT: shut up and listen!
I participate in an online daily Bible reading and the goal is to read the Bible in a year and to learn more about Jesus as I walk through the Word. There are multiple other people from all over the world who are also on the feed and it helps to read their perspectives too. So many times their revelations have been just the answer or direction I need.
When I opened our reading recently, we were taken to 1 Samuel chapters 16 and 17. That brought a huge smile to my face because in these chapters we are introduced to David, as a young shepherd boy, and we also read about David and Goliath.
Rather than read the chapters again, I went back to my journal from a few years ago. I remember asking God to give me fresh eyes to read those chapters because I’ve read and heard this story about David and Goliath many times. To keep myself from skimming through the reading, that prayer was essential. It’s now one of my favorite stories in the Bible because God revealed so much to me!
The main truth that was revealed to me was perhaps my ‘giants’ weren’t really ‘giants’ after all! Perhaps they were just there to taunt me?
Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion [Goliath] strutted in front of the Israelite army. 1 Samuel 17:8a, 16
Isn’t that exactly what happens when we allow our problems to take control of our thoughts and our mind? They endlessly taunt us and become a huge giant! We might even fabricate endless scenarios about what could happen until eventually our problem goes from an issue that needs to be addressed to a horrifying reality!
In our verses today we see that the disciples knew from experience that Jesus could easily feed 5,000 people but they forgot to take that into account when they were faced with the same task again. They allowed it to become a giant in their minds.
Listen, we have to stop throwing up our hands in despair when we are faced with a difficult situation. Why? Because we have seen the mighty work Jesus has done in our lives so let’s stop acting like he won’t be there for us again. Let’s not forget this ‘giant’ lesson and take away the power of our uncontrolled thoughts to continue to hold us captive!
Finally, in addition to our important lesson today, the most important component we see in our verses is how much Jesus loves us. He shows his patience, his healing, his teaching, and even his feeding. He never complains, even when we act like we are clueless or we assume every problem is a huge giant. No one could or would do that for us unless their heart was filled with abundant and unending love for us!
Let’s stop acting clueless and live how Jesus sees us: highly desired and endlessly loved!
Closing Prayer: Father God, thank you for this amazing lesson today! I don’t normally enjoy getting a kick in the seat to get back on track, but today I needed to hear how I was behaving so I can get back on the righteous path with you. Lord, I pray today that I walk forward remembering your words: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV) May I remember that when I don’t take control of my thoughts, and run them directly again your word, they become a playground for Satan to have his way with me, then he walks me straight into sin. I rebuke his control over my mind because I belong to you, Father God! In the name of Jesus I rejoice! Amen!