Miraculous Compassion

Read: Matthew 14:13-21

They all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. (v. 20)

What is less fun than balancing a budget—at home, at the office, at church? The world shows us that scarcity dwells in every corner of our lives. No matter how much we have, it too often feels like it won’t be enough.

In today’s reading, fear of scarcity is the problem. The disciples saw a crowd getting hungry at the end of a long day. They had no food. Trapped and overwhelmed, their responses matched their feelings: “Send the crowds away . . .” (v. 15). Jesus responded differently. He didn’t look at the absence of resources but at the abundance of need. And he had confidence in the wealth of his Father. The disciples collected what was available—just five loaves of bread and two fish—and gave them to Jesus. He blessed them, the disciples distributed them, and everyone had enough.

Jesus did not feed the people in order to prove who he is. He fed them because of who he is. God is a provider, and we are formed as his people as we come to seek our provision from him. In this world, our needs are real, and our resources are limited. This story provides an example to follow. First, recognize the abundance of God our Provider. Then, gather what you do have, use it faithfully, and share it out as you are able.

As you pray, consider a need you don’t have the resources to meet. Ask God to meet this need, and show you his provision for it.

About the Author

Fred Van Dyke is a conservation biologist dedicated to the care for God’s creation. In this role Fred has served government agencies, private consulting firms, and academic institutions doing research, management, and teaching in conservation science. He is also the author of two books on faith and environmental stewardship.

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series The Miracles of Jesus