Psalm 107:9 ESV
The story of the Feeding of the 5K is a story of "hungry" people! It bears the marks of seeking solace & respite, pressing demands, and a table of abundance. As we learned in our last blog, this miracle is the only one found in all four of the Gospels. This in itself should call its importance for us as there are many spiritual lessons, truths, and information that lead us to the closing of Jesus' earthly ministry. I have created an interesting retelling of this well known story. Let the Holy Spirit reveal new insight as your watch and listen.
You may view the story on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/9oa439_ctgw
(If you have not read Part 1 of this blog series, you may wish to enjoy it first as it is an introduction to todays blog! Click HERE)
- His Invitation
- His Compassion
- His Provision
(For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)
Mark 6: 31 NASB
To Come Away!
We believe that the Lord wants to restore and redeem the brokenness, the wounds,
and the weariness of our souls, as we find our wholeness in Him.
Can you relate? Do you find yourself hustling...and with good cause? How long has it been since you took some time to restore, replenish, and rest?
Pulling away to be refilled is crucial to the many acts of kindness, love, and the out-pouring of our heart. Ministry is often draining. There is not only a physical exhaustion that takes place with much doing, but a spiritual exhaustion as you pour out and into the lives of others. We must remember that we can only pour out what has been placed within.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
The Bible says, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). “In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!'” (Deuteronomy 28:67).
We are being slammed on every side! Everyone wants a piece of us. Deadlines quickly arise and we find ourselves grasping for every single minute. I don’t need to tell you what it’s like. You are very much aware. We hunger for just a moment to breathe!
It’s sad that I have to remind myself to BREATHE! And I’ll admit my fault, I’m the queen of unrest, but I do know it’s value. I am an example of “a work in progress” as I seek quiet times for restoration.
- Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…”
- Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
- Psalm 91:1 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
As I move about my days and decisions I face, there are times I find myself being hijacked. What is it that is being taken? My peace. My rest. My ability to keep my mind focused on Kingdom purposes and opportunities to display God's glory. Even my joy is often stolen. And I ask myself, how is this possible? Most often, it's because my battle plan is weak. I have not taken to heart the seriousness of resting...and resting IN HIM!
Why Green Grass?
Jesus instructed the multitude to sit on green grass. Actually to recline – rest! And in companies of 50, 100’s.
Green grass denotes the season – spring, new beginnings, the time of Passover.
There is a foreshadowing of this account within the Old Testament 2 Kings 4:42-44
Jesus notes in verse 34 that the people were “Like sheep without a shepherd”, and again this is linking to a whole other narrative, the Old Testament idea that leaders – kings, priests – had a duty as the shepherds of their people, and yet many of them had completely failed in this. Again, we can go back to the birth of Israel to see where this idea comes from – In Numbers 27:15-17, Moses asks God to appoint his successor so that Israel won’t be, you’ve guessed it, sheep without a shepherd. This idea recurs throughout the Bible – Ezekiel 34 is an extended attack on the bad ‘shepherds’ and points out that God himself will act as a good shepherd, which is also a very famous description of Jesus.
And you know it from what scripture? God mentions green grass, shepherding, and provision? Psalm 23!
- Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”
Suddenly the feeding of the five thousand is linked with one of the greatest expressions of God’s love and support ever committed to paper. This miracle is about God supporting his people, protecting them, looking after them, loving them. And it’s tied into a bigger story, that of God’s rescue plan for humanity that culminates in Christ’s death and resurrection. And even this story is a foreshadowing of yet another account in scripture when Jesus serves His disciples in the upper room.
God has a way of making you lie down if you don’t take time for yourself! When you find yourself in a "Holy reclining position," God’s compassion runs warm like a blanket tucked in. Then, you are ready to receive His wondrous provisions!
The Passion Translation
23 David’s poetic praise to God[a]
1 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.[b]
I always have more than enough.
2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.[c]
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.[d]
He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness[e]
so that I can bring honor to his name.
4 Lord, even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
Your authority is my strength and my peace.[f]
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
5 You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;[g]
you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.
6 So why would I fear the future?
For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
Then afterward, when my life is through,
I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!
It is our prayer that you will accept His Invitation to “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while” and allow the Lord to restore and redeem the brokenness, the wounds, and the weariness of your soul, as you find your wholeness in Him.
Sharing in His Feast,
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