I’m going to briefly tell you this Bible story, but you really need to hear the whole story to understand it. Ask someone to read it to you from Matthew 14:13-21.
When Jesus heard about his friend John the Baptizer’s death, He left in a boat to go where no one lived because He wanted to be alone. But the crowds, who were following Him, saw Jesus leave and went to where the boat landed. The Bible tells us that Jesus had compassion for the people. Even though He was sad, tired, and needed to rest, Jesus healed them of their sicknesses and taught them about the kingdom. Towards the end of the day, the disciples told Jesus that He had better send the crowd away because everyone was getting hungry, and the disciples nor Jesus had anywhere to get food to feed them all. His followers told Jesus that all they had was five loaves of bread and two fish – not nearly enough for a gathering this large.
Jesus asked the crowd to sit down. Then He took the bread and the fish, looked up to heaven, gave thanks, broke the bread, and divided the fish. Guess what happened. There was enough bread and fish to not only feed all the people until they were full, but there were even twelve baskets of food left over!
Nice story isn’t it? But you know what? Jesus’ stories are more than just stories in the Bible. Jesus always wanted to teach us about how we could be better Christians, and this one is no exception. The Bible says Jesus had compassion for these people. Jesus knew they needed His help, so we should also try to be like Jesus and help people who need us too.
Secondly, we always need to have faith in Christ that He will provide what we need, when we need it. And notice another thing: in this teaching, the people were all fed until they were full and there was even lots of food left over! Jesus gives us not just what we need but more than we could ever need if we trust Him and ask for His help.
So let’s remember to always try to help those who need our help and have faith that Jesus will help us do just that!
Let’s say a prayer together. Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Bible stories that also teach us valuable lessons about how we can be better Christians. Help us to always want to help others and have faith in You to help us do what we need to do to accomplish that. Please help all those who are sick, afraid, or upset. Let them feel better! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.