There was a multitude of people who were interested in what Jesus had to say. Now I say interested, remember that just because they were following Jesus doesn’t mean they believed shit. They were interested or perhaps they were lost just following the crowd.
Jesus looked out at the people and knew that they must be hungry. Jesus felt that there existed a responsibility to feed the people. How are we to respond when we know people are hungry? Do we have the same burden to feed as Jesus did?
Jesus talked with the disciples about feeding the crowd and they complained that they didn’t have enough money. I hear a similar rebukes often. The excuses run the gamut.
I wanted to feed the homeless but… I wanted to call the police when I saw the abusive racist man but… I wanted to confront that woman who was being a homophobic asshole but… I tried to get the courage to say that I am sorry but… on and on and on…
Indeed it is the buts that often get the better of us…as we spend more energy figuring out ways not to help rather than helping.
I am sure that most of the disciples really didn’t want to feed the people and just made excuses. Do you?
There was one who stepped up. Peter remarked that a little boy just gave him five loaves and two fish. Jesus said to pass them out.
Now you know at this point somebody stood up and declared, “Now wait just one second, Jesus that is all the food that we have. What are we going to eat if we give it away?”
Ultimately, the food lasted to feed the five thousand. Sometimes we need the simplest lessons in life. We need to remember that when you begin to sacrifice and give your life for people things begin to multiply and people begin to be fed.
It is a beautiful story, but to stop here and not dig further would betray perhaps the strongest hidden beauty of the story…that which lies behind and beyond the text.
Out of all those five thousand people… you know there had to be some turds that were skeptical of Jesus and making hateful remarks.
I can hear them.
“Fuck Jesus what has he ever done for me?”
“Jesus is a fraud.”
“You can’t believe anything Jesus says.”
“I bet Jesus is probably sleeping with all of those men.”
“That Jesus doesn’t care about anybody but himself.”
“Jesus brought us out here and didn’t bring no food…what a dumbass.”
If what people who seek to love and serve people hear today is any indication, then people said these things and much worse.
I bet there were even people who were hungry and wanted to eat…but who complained about the taste of the food. Maybe there were people who got their fish and sent it back because they said it wasn’t cooked correctly. After the miracle happened, there were probably people sitting there who went hungry because they were too busy trying to explain the physics of how the fish and bread multiplied. I bet there were some people in that crowd who later betrayed Jesus and stood by as he was crucified.
Jesus knew all of these things were going on and yet Jesus still fed them. You see when you become about feeding people…you don’t just feed the ones that you like…you feed everyone.
Now for clarity sake, the story makes it clear that Jesus didn’t hand out the food to everyone. Some people got a delivery from a distance. There are certainly times in life when people are so toxic that we have to get the food to them by having it delivered by someone else.
Regardless, the message of the story is to be about feeding people…even the ones that you don’t care for that much.
The disciples made excuses and Jesus fed.
Will you dwell on the shit or be a feeder?