Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Following Jesus to the deserted places

Matt 14:13-16: “When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.’16 But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’"

This is the wonderful account of Jesus’ miracle of feeding the five thousand with meager means. However, in the hands of Jesus, no effort is meager and no person who has a heart to serve is turned away just because they may bring little to the table. Whether that is a small fraction of talent, righteousness, or faith, God can turn the tiny into mighty with one breath. The amazing thing that grabs my heart every time I read this story is not the miracle itself, although that is an awesome display of Jesus’ power as God Almighty, but the people in the story. Jesus departed to a desert place to be by Himself in a boat. The multitude however, followed Him into a desert place without provision and care as to where they were being led to. Jesus was leading them to a place where they needed to be fully dependent on God. They willfully followed Jesus into a situation where provision was not their first concern. They needed Jesus and Him alone. When Jesus saw what they had done and how great a crowd there was He was moved with compassion and healed their sick.

The question for us today, is what are we willing to go through to get close to Jesus? Are we willing to be led into a desert place, forsaking all provision and rational thinking and follow Jesus into what ever circumstance He guides us? Christ-followers are to live a life of reckless abandonment. We are to forsake this world and all of its trappings and to pursue a life of holiness. Christ-followers are not called to pursue the “American Dream” and the definition of success that this world says is right. Jesus’ definition of success is much different then the worlds. He told His disciples, “You give them something to eat.” The world would say keep for yourself, but Jesus says give what you have. Do not be afraid to go with Jesus to the desert place, for you will witness more miracles there than on the mountain tops.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Gen 46-47 New Testament Matt 14:22-36

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