Jesus said: “You feed them.” — Excerpt Matthew 14:16 (NLT)
Jesus wasn’t just concerned with the spiritual state of the people He met, He was concerned about their physical state and their well-being. He healed many of physical ailments, as we shall read in the next few weeks, but He also made sure that they didn’t go hungry.
Of course, He did this in miraculous ways. In Matthew 14 and 15, we read about how Jesus feeds first 5,000 men (“as well as women and children,” however many that would have been) and then in chapter 15 feeds 4,000 men (“in addition to all the women and children”). Nobody went hungry.
And, of course, when He started His teaching ministry with the Beatitudes, He made a promise:
God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied.
Excerpt Luke 6:21 (NLT)
But, you know, the most astounding statement that Jesus made, to my mind, is just before He fed the 5,000. There is no doubt that Jesus provided the food in the most miraculous way on each occasion, but when His disciples told Him that the people would be hungry, He answered:
You feed them.
Exceprt Matthew 14:16 (NLT)
Yes, He turned to His disciples and said, “You feed them.” What? Us? We feed them? How? With what? We don’t have enough food!
And that’s the point. That’s the point to us today too. As Christians, we are the hands and feet of Jesus on earth here today. He does not walk among us today, as He did almost 2,000 years ago, although He is coming back (but that’s another story). It’s down to us. You will realise this as you follow our Discipleship programme – the responsibility has been passed on to us, and we have a responsibility, not only to do what Jesus taught us to do today, but to pass it on to the next generation too.
You feed them
This was one of His commands. It’s not implicit, but it is implied. We are His disciples, and as we pray about the thousands and millions of people all over the world who are hungry today, He answers, “You feed them.”
Then He provides. You see, God provides today just as He provided in practical ways almost 2,000 years ago. He is the same God. He never changes. He always provides.
So, the question is not whether we should feed those who are hungry, but it’s how and when will we feed the hungry, and where?
You can read more about the horrifying statistics about hunger in the Discipleship series module on The Beatitudes. It’s a problem that is found all over the world, even in our own community. It’s not just a problem in third world countries, it is here amongst us today, wherever we live. And Jesus says, “You feed them.”
May we pray: Thank You, Lord, that You provide. Thank You, heavenly Father, that you care for and feed the hungry. As we are challenged to take practical steps to feed the hungry, please show us the way. By Your Holy Spirit, encourage us, cajole us, and impel us to find a way to do just that, either in our own community or further into the world. Help us in our endeavors. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.
If you’re already feeding the hungry, or if you are looking for ways to feed the hungry – please get in touch. We would love to hear from you. May God Bless You.
Have you had your copy of ‘DARE to Hope!’ yet? You can download it here.