SERMON OF THE WEEK
June 23, 2013
Next Sunday is the 5th Sunday after Pentecost. The gospel reading
is from Luke 9:10-17.
Topic: "Feeding the Five Thousand: A Dilemma for the Disciples"
Scripture: (Luke 9:10-17)
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.
"10When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done.
Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called
11but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed
them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who
12Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send
the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and
countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote
13He replied, "You give them something to eat."
They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish
—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd."
14(About five thousand men were there.)
But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of
about fifty each."
15The disciples did so, and everybody sat down.
16Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven,
he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the
disciples to set before the people.
17They all ate and were satisfied,
and the disciples picked up twelve basketful's of broken pieces
that were left over."
Message: Jesus had made it clear that following him would
involve a radical change in one's perspective. The life of a
disciple is different from that of the world or what the world
would expect for a Christian.
Last week we read that the disciples were sent out to preach
in their public ministry alone. They reported back that they
had successfully preached, conducted healing, and even
cast out demons. (Luke 9:1)
Today we will examine the same chapter for the disciple's
new experience in the process of learning what it means to
be a follower of Jesus. The text reveals a new situation the
disciples had to deal with.
A large crowd followed Jesus. As the day ended, the disciples
asked Jesus to send the crowds home for there was no food
to feed them all and getting food was a problem for the
followers. Bust Jesus instructed them to feed the crowd.
The disciples answered, "We have no more than five loaves
and two fish." Jesus had the disciples seat the crowd, blessed
the five loaves and two fish until all the assembled were fed.
They all ate and were filled. Twelve baskets of left over were
taken up by the disciples.
This incident teaches a new perspective of the power of
Jesus that the disciples probably didn't recognize at the time.
For them, it was a deserted place and no food was available
to feed them all. It seemed to be a reasonable request based
on their compassion for the crowd. It also seemed a reasonable
resolution for them.
Jesus' response probably shocked the disciples when he said,
"Give them something to eat", meaning it was their responsibility
to give them food. The disciples through their association with
Jesus knew that they can accomplish things they could never
dream of. The disciples had witnessed Jesus perform many
miracles, but had no expectation that he would meet their current
need. It probably is like us who remain dull to the power of Jesus,
no matter how many times he may have met out needs along
the way. When Jesus said, "You give them something to eat,"
it was an impossible task for the disciples.
They had neither the food nor the money to buy food. The
message is clear. We will never be adequate to meet all our
needs. When we think we are great, that we can do our deeds
without our Lord's input, it's then that we set ourselves for
failure. In the hands of Jesus, if the five loaves and two fish
can be a banquet for the multitude of people,his resources
will help us more than adequately to meet our needs as well.
The incident teaches us that God does not demand from us
what we cannot supply, but only wants us to be his disciples
through whom he can work miracles. As Christians, we should
seek to get help from our Lord to help others.
(Prepared by: Rev. Dr. V KurianThomas Valiyaparambil)