Sharing What You Have with Christ

July 31st, 2012
Image © by Wonderlane | Flickr | Used under Creative Commons license.

The feeding of the multitude on the grassy hills near the shore of the Sea of Galilee was obviously a very important event in the life of Jesus inasmuch as it is the only miracle of Jesus recorded in all four gospel accounts. At the time, the popularity of Jesus was booming. Wherever he went, throngs of sick and hurting people followed.

On the day before the box-like dinners were passed out, Jesus had crossed over the lake to find peace and solace from the masses of people. It was not to be. There was no getting away from the crowd. Even though the walk around the northern edge of the sea was ten miles, the people swarmed in upon him. The gospel of Mark says that “ . . .he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” So instead of spending the day being spiritually and physically restored, Jesus continued the healing and caring for the needs of the people.

The day was growing long. The crowd was huge. The subject of food came up. “Should we go off and buy bread worth almost eight months’ pay and give it to them to eat?” We can only imagine the discussion among the disciples as to how the huge number of people could be fed. Buy food? No way! Out here on this hillside? Look at all the people. One of the disciple did observe, however, a young boy with a lunch in his pocket.

It was time for Jesus. “Have the people sit down.” Jesus took the lunch, held it before God, blessed it, and began sharing it. Mark’s gospel brings the story to an abrupt ending by saying, “Everyone ate until they were full.” That’s it! They all ate until they were full. End of story.

I don’t know of any Jesus story that has been analyzed more than this one. Apparently there is a fascination with how he did it. Some bore into it like trying to solve a Houdini magic act. I’ve heard and read scores of unraveling attempts.

We are not privy to the conversation between Jesus and the disciples, but in my imagination, I can hear the disciples telling Jesus about how much was needed and how little they had at their disposal. “Lord, it’s only a lunch – a squashed-up lunch at that. It’s all we have.” And even though the story is recorded in all four gospels, I am sure they left out one of the meaty lines of Jesus. I know he said it. “Listen, followers of mine. Don’t tell me what you don’t have. Just bring me what you do have and we’ll work with it together.”

I’m not a dreamer—too old for that. But I believe if we offer Christ what we have, good will follow.

That doesn’t mean our laundry list of desires will suddenly be satisfied.
That doesn’t mean we will have the job we wish for.
That doesn’t mean we will automatically have financial independence.
That doesn’t mean we will be free of life-detours or pot holes.

It does mean that sharing the gifts of your life with Christ will lead you far beyond anything you can ever imagine on your own.

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