But I’m hungry too!
Posted: Friday, February 23
Verse of the day:
“Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” (Mark 6:35-37)
Reading through this familiar story today I noticed a detail that I hadn’t noticed before. If you read verses 30 and 31 again you will notice that the disciples had just returned to Jesus after being sent out on a ministry tour. After this tour Jesus wants to take them for a time of rest and refreshing. Here is the detail I had never noticed before found at the end of verse 31, “…He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”
I’m not sure how I have missed that all of the times that I have read this story but it sheds some new light on it for me. When Jesus asks the disciples to feed the hungry and very large crowd not only does the request seem outrages to the disciples because of how much money it would take to feed them, but also because it is putting the hunger of the crowd above their own hunger. These disciples were in need of a time to rest and to take care of their own physical needs. They were tired and were hungry but Jesus asked them to give to others even in the time of their own physical need.
Often I find it is when I am tired, or hungry, or not feeling well that God brings the divine interruptions my way. It can be easy to want to focus on our own needs in those moments and let someone else take care of the interruption but it is in those moments that God wants to do the miraculous through our obedience. When you read on the disciples bring Jesus five loaves of bread and two fish. They could have argued with Jesus that they needed the food more than the people and ate it themselves. This would have probably barely made a dent in their hunger but they gave the food to Jesus to let Him do the miraculous. When they continued to give even in their own time of need Jesus met their needs as well. We read on that after all the people were fed and were satisfied there were 12 baskets full of food left over.