Gospel Message & Recording
When heading out on any sort of trip, from the small trip to the grocery store to the bigger trips to another city or even camping, we generally tend to do some sort of planning. Before leaving the house, we generally think ahead, particularly if there are kids involved. Rarely do we just get up and walk out of the house. The amount of planning is usually related to how long we will be gone. Even a child threatening to run away from home packs a bag.
But in Matthew 14:13-21, the scriptures tell us of a huge multitude of people who all failed to do one thing. None of them packed for their journey. Jesus had just heard about the death of John the Baptist and went to a deserted place by Himself. We don’t know exactly why, perhaps Jesus is mourning, perhaps He is hurting, perhaps He wishes to be alone. But the multitudes heard about it, they left the cities and followed Him on foot. When Jesus saw the multitude He was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick. As evening approached the disciples also began to worry about the multitude and asked Jesus to send them away so they can go and buy food from the surrounding villages.
It’s so interesting that this huge multitude of people left home on foot to follow after Christ and they didn’t pack food. They were so It’s so interesting that this huge multitude of people left home on foot to follow after Christ and they didn’t pack food. They were so focused on Jesus, that they neglected their own needs. Maybe they didn’t anticipate this or that, maybe they didn’t know how late it would get. There are many excuses, but such a great multitude followed Christ out to a place that they hadn’t prepared for. It says a lot of about what was going on in their heart at the moment. It’s a feeling in the heart, a seeking out of the Lord that we also have buried deep beneath our many, many, many plans.
“Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”
Following Christ requires a stepping out in faith, it requires an abandonment, a forsaking of the things of the world, a scrapping of our own plans. There are times when we don’t understand why we are going through this difficult time, or why the Lord has placed us in the deserted place, when our well thought out plans have completely fallen apart. Sometimes, we feel our security blankets are all gone. It’s in those times that we need to stop focusing on our own needs, our own struggles, and just focus on Christ. When Peter was drowning, he didn’t try to learn to swim, He just focused on the Lord and said "Save Me!" It’s enough for us to trust in the Lord and say "Save Me!" or "Thy will be done."
Notice what Christ is focused on. While they are focused on Him, He is focused on them. He knows their needs and He provides for them. He provides more than enough, 12 baskets of extras even. Saint John Chrysostom points out that there were 12 baskets left, one for each of the disciples. After feeding the multitude, the disciples had a full basket in their hands staring right back at them as a testament to God’s faithfulness. It’s a lesson that must have sunk in deep, because it was these same disciples who left for many a trip after Pentecost, ill-equipped and unprepared for what may happen. And yet they stepped out in faith, and trusted that the Lord would provide for them again and again, with even a basket full of leftovers. Trust the Lord, follow after Him with all your heart, He has been faithful, and will continue to be faithful to you wherever He leads you