by Pastor Ken Peters, August 10, 2020
It was a big crowd. All totalled — men, women, and children — it was likely at least 10,000 people. Matthew said it was 5,000 men, plus women and children (Matthew 14:21). And they were hungry.
As Jesus spoke with His disciples about what to do about that, the sound of those thousands of people talking together about all the miracles they’d just witnessed probably created quite the hum of background noise.
Matthew simply wrote that Jesus “healed their sick” (14:14), so you can imagine that previously lame people were likely leaping for joy, and people previously deaf and mute were probably jabbering away, and people previously blind were exclaiming at all they could now see! I expect that there was laughter and cheers to be heard while Jesus quizzed the disciples on what their meal plan was.
Two phrases from this story catch my eye due to the contrast they create. First we hear the disciples saying, “We have only…” (14:17), and then we see Jesus as “He looked up” (14:19). “We” contrasted with “He.” “We” focusing on the “only,” and “He” focusing on looking “up.” “We” with our minds on the things of this world, with all its limitations and disappointments and futility — despite all the wondrous miracles Jesus does right before our eyes. And “He” with His attention on His Father in heaven, with all His limitless love and promises and blessings — as all the miracles He’d just performed revealed.
Today, we can focus on the “only” — “I have only” — or we can look “up” — up at our Father who loves us, wants to do us good and grant us “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” that is available in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3).
I’m going to look up.