Title: Jesus Provides
Scripture: Matthew 14:13-21 (NIV)
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As evening approached, the 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 villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Explanation: Compassion was the driving force behind Jesus’s miracles. It wasn’t ego, it wasn’t for His disciples’ egos, it wasn’t to gain a following of miracle-seeking followers or to prove a point to His critics. He was fueled by compassion. Jesus was genuinely concerned for the well-being of His people. So, He took care of them. He saw their need, knew He had the power to care for their need, and took care of it. We see this compassion demonstrated two separate times in today’s reading, first when he healed the sick in the crowds, and second in the feeding of the crowd. As we read in verse 13, Jesus was initially trying to move to a private location. We are not entirely sure why he was trying this, but He had just received information that John the Baptist, His cousin, was killed. Nevertheless, Jesus, through compassion, provided generously for His people. We see this throughout the life and ministry of Jesus. Not just in His miracles, but in His teachings, His prayers, and ultimately in His death and resurrection. The Son of God, who was the Son of Man, still to this day knows us, sees us, and has compassion on us in our time of need. We should take comfort in this truth and seek Him continually for our provision.
1. Why is it important for us to know that Jesus was and still is compassionate toward His people?
2. Outside of Jesus, where else do you try and get your needs met?
3. What can we learn about the crowd’s persistence to seek to be near Jesus, and how did Jesus respond to their persistence to seek Him?
4. In what areas of your life are you currently in need of the compassion of Jesus?
5. How can you prayerfully seek the compassion of Jesus in those areas now?