Tuesday in the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13

The Lord Provides

We have before us today one of the key events in Jesus’ ministry, so important in fact that all four of the gospels report it.  The disciples return from their preaching tour which we read about last Thursday.  We do not know how long they were gone, but surely several weeks or more.  When they return they tell Jesus all they had done and taught in his name.  Jesus insists that they come away with him to a “desolate place” to rest awhile.  But that won’t happen.

The people see them leave in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee – and run ahead to beat them to the other side.  When Jesus lands and sees the crowd, rather than moaning about his lost time of R&R with his disciples, “he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”  What a terrible indictment on the ministry regardless of time or place, that God’s people would be like sheep without a shepherd.  After teaching and healing them, John says that he tests Philip (and the rest of the disciples), asking him, “`Where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat,’…for he himself knew what he would do.”  Each gospel reports that there were five-thousand men besides women and children, and that two-hundred denarii (a denarius was a day’s wage) would not be enough that each of them might receive a little.  But Jesus took five loaves and two fish, which a boy supplied, fed the multitude so that all were satisfied, and even had leftovers to spare.

The children of Israel ate manna in the wilderness for forty years, bread right off the desert floor.  It is written that the Lord gave them this manna that they might know that “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).  This is the purpose of all the bread we eat, of everything we eat: to remind us of the Bread of Life who came down from heaven that we may not die (John 6:49-50).  These are the words Jesus said to the people the very day after he fed them.  They wanted more bread, they wanted more healings, they wanted more of what Jesus had to offer.  But they did not want Jesus himself.  The Messiah is a wonderful person who fulfills all of our wants and needs, and heaven is a wonderful place where we can do anything we want to do.  Actually, no.  We live for the Messiah and his Father, not the other way around, and heaven is where we worship Him forever, not float on clouds.  Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me” (John 4:34).  May it ever be the same with us.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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