When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then He slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. But the crowds found out where He 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.”
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. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!Luke 9:10-17
Take note of the flow here. It is fascinating. Jesus starts by bringing the 12 together and talking to them about the power that is theirs. He then sends them out and gives them some practical instructions as to what to do, where to stay and what not to do. How to handle rejection which He knows will come. In the course of that He tells the guys, don’t take a staff, a bag, bread, money or a change of clothes. Shock horror! How do You expect us to survive? Just go do it fellas.
While they go out, Herod’s questions help us as well as Herod to focus on who Jesus is. No, He is not John the Baptist, the austere preacher. No, He is not Elijah, the master of the miracles. Neither is He Moses or any other Old Testament prophet. Luke leaves the question hanging while the twelve are away. They come back and excitedly tell Him all that happened. In Luke 10:17, when the seventy-two go out, they come back saying even the demons obey us when we use Your name. But this time Jesus didn’t tell the twelve to cast out demons, only to preach the good news and heal the sick. Clearly their report was a good one related to those two activities. Notice how Jesus makes no comment. No response to their excited reaction. He simply slips away quietly and takes them toward Bethsaida where Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God and heals the sick. They do it. He does it. Remember before they went out He told them not to take bread or money or anything like that. No resources of our own whatsoever. We rely on God. He told them to take no food for the journey. NOW LOOK WHAT HAPPENS.
Imagine what happened in their minds as they were told to go and preach and heal and not to take staff, bag, bread, money or even a change of clothes. They do it. They come back and tell what happened. I would love to have been there at the debriefing session. I can only imagine what happened. What did they experience? It is for sure they saw the provision of God. It is for sure they preached with power and saw many healed. All their needs were taken care of, I am sure. Why am I so sure. Because I know God. I have walked with Him now for 46 years. I have come to the end of my probationary period. Their stories I am sure would have excited us. I just wish I had heard. Make sure you talk to the guys in heaven when you see them and ask about that reporting session. But Jesus in a low key way, slips away without a word and takes them to Bethsaida. Do you know what Bethsaida means? It means the house of food. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I am sure Jesus could hardly contain the excitement in Him as he leads the guys to Bethsaida knowing what is going to happen there. They have been told in a round about way not to worry about food and clothing. Now where have we heard that before? (Matt 6:25 ff) The twelve are about to get a major lesson on the degree to which God the Father can provide. Twelve men are told to take no bread with them on the journey. But Lord how is that possible? How will we survive without taking bread and bag of emergency rations? Lord, don’t you know there are TWELVE of us. How on earth are we going to eat? They go and do it and come back with their account of what happened. It seems they survived. Twelve came back. They didn’t lose anyone to starvation or dehydration or any such thing. They give their account and Jesus merely slips away; I am sure chuckling to Himself. I know what I feel and think when I am about to spring a spiritual surprise on some person or some group. I can only imagine what Jesus was thinking and further more all this takes place around the “house of food”. No coincidence, rather a carefully planned lesson. You wondered how twelve would get on. Well, lets try 5000 men plus their wives and families. And let’s not do it in the town and around people’s houses. Let take them out to a remote place. Are you with me fellas? You managed the last exercise in faith. Wanna try this one. Let’s step it up a notch or two, or a thousand fold.
Now read the Feeding of the 5,000 with all of the above in mind.
Faith that hasn’t been tested, can’t be trusted.Anon
Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.R.C. Carroll
You don’t have to constantly doubt or defend the faith when you know the Faith Giver.Ian Vail
To grow, faith must be stretched.Anon