Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Loving the Saints-Feed the Children

Feed the Children

Matt 14:13-21 is an extraordinary passage of Scripture, particularly for those of us who rejoice in God’s goodness promised to all of His Saints. The disciples had a hard time getting their minds around this. When the children were brought to Jesus, they discouraged the people. Jesus rebukes them for doing so and blesses the little children. Here, the disciples are unable and unwilling to feed the people but Jesus is altogether of a different mind. He desires the multitude to stay and eat with Him. In fact, He so much desires this that He will feed them Himself.

On this occasion, as in every other occasion of a crowd coming to Jesus, Jesus was teaching the people with authority. We have a great picture of a worship service. The people come to God. They hear the words of life. They are healed. They are blessed by the Lord. And then they eat with Him. Jesus wants the people to sit and eat and be filled. These people had not been fed by the hypocritical Pharisees. Jesus is teaching His disciples to NOT be like them. They need to understand that God is not as nitpicky about feeding His people as the so-called establishment that has been designated to feed them. This is why He saw the crowd as sheep without shepherds.

But Jesus does a marvelous thing. He gives thanks. He breaks bread. And He feeds the multitude. He did not make the women and children go away into the outer court. He did not send them off to children’s church. He did not make the babies go play in the nursery. He just fed everybody. And we should remember that it was a big crowd, a big crowd of sinners. No doubt, a bunch of them were not too well behaved. There were probably more than a few hungry toddlers making a ruckus. But Jesus feeds them anyway and seems to want to teach the disciples, the apostles, that this is exactly what they are called to do.

Let all who are weary, all who are heavy laden and desiring rest come unto Jesus. And there were about five thousand of them, plus women and children. They all came, men, women and children. Who would refuse to feed the children with the food of Jesus? Let that man learn the lesson.

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 1 John 3:18-19

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