Luke 9:10–17

Read the passage.

After their preaching tour, the disciples return to Jesus to tell Him all they had done. So Jesus has them go on a retreat to relax and discuss their reports. Maybe that was the plan, but it was interrupted by a crowd of people figuring out where they went and following them. Instead of getting mad and sending them away, though, Jesus welcomes them and begins teaching and healing as He had done with everyone.

After a while, the disciples realize that everyone is starting to get hungry, but there isn’t enough food to go around. They tell Jesus that it’s time for everyone to go find food and lodging in the villages and towns that are around, but He outrageously tells them to provide food to the crowd. The crowd had about 5,000 men, plus women and children, so the five loaves and two fish they did have wouldn’t go very far. (By the way, what did the disciples think they were going to eat if the crowds hadn’t showed up? I doubt that was enough for 13 men, and we know from other accounts that this food came from a boy in the crowd to begin with.)

Jesus prays a blessing over the food and has the disciples distribute it anyway. And the food just keeps going until everyone in the crowd has more than enough. The leftover pieces that were picked up were many times more than what they had started with. I expect it was even harder for Jesus to get away by Himself after this. Most of the people in the crowd were surely poor, and living “paycheck to paycheck” or worse. Getting more food than you could eat would be a special day, and this Jesus guy was just giving it out. Lots of people would listen to anything if it meant they’d get to eat afterwards.

Give us this day our daily bread, both to fuel our bodies and to nourish our souls, so that we may do the good works You have prepared for us.

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