Now when Jesus heard (about the beheading of John the Baptist), he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. ~ Matthew 14:13-21
God's compassion and generosity has woven through all the texts this week: God's desire for us to be satisfied, God's love of all creation, God's continued promise to the Jewish people.
And Jesus lived that generosity and compassion. Jesus has compassion for the crowds who are hungry and feeling lost after John the Baptist's death.
And so he feeds them. He satisfies them.
And he doesn't do it alone.
He puts his disciples in charge of handing out the food.
We often read this text as a miracle story, but what if the miracle isn't simply that Jesus provided the food, but that Jesus gave his disciples the means to provide the food.
That Jesus partners with his disciples to provide satisfaction to the waiting crowd.
There are roughly 34 million people in this country who are food insecure, and yet the sustenance is there.
God has provided it.
How then are we partnering with God to make sure those it gets to those who need it?
Give my neighbors their daily bread and move me to do so as well. Amen