AMAZING JESUS: I often find the wisdom and teachings of Jesus utterly amazing……..treasures found in a lost world. Today I want to share one of those deep thoughts that changes the face of what we do. In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6 the apostles are gathered around Jesus and they take off in a boat to a solitary place. However, there would be no such luck in finding a solitary place as large crowds followed Him and gathered where they tried to go. Jesus saw this and had compassion on the people. Like us, He recognized that they were “like sheep without a shepherd” and began to teach them many things. As more and more people gathered and as the day wore on, thousands of people gathered to listen and it became evident that their hunger for the wisdom of Jesus was not the only hunger that was growing.
Mark 6:35-36 (NIV) 35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
Like the apostles, very often my first inclination in the face of a need is to “be practical”…..yes, the best thing to do is take care of this is by sending the crowd away to get feed their physical hunger. Jesus had a deeper thought in mind……..
Mark 6:37a (NIV) 37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
Again, like me, my first tendency in the face of meeting someone’s needs to take stock of the cost for me to meet those needs…..
Mark 6:37b (NIV) They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
And again……Jesus pulls out all the stops and lands the ball squarely in their court….
Mark 6:38 (NIV) 38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
How often in the face of someone’s need do we look all around, everywhere else, and not even think about looking at what we have or if we can meet that need? You see, Jesus doesn’t want us to look at what we don’t have…..He wants us to simply look at what we DO have! The truth is, no mater where we are in life…..we have much to be thankful for and can find riches in the smallest things. As we follow Jesus, he indeed meets our needs….yet we don’t feel like we have enough, do we? Many years ago I had a friend named Chief Bill. He was, what most of would consider, homeless and lived in a non-operational, small, RV on a property out in the country. I gave him rides to Grace and Grits each week and we became quite close. I remember it being just after Christmas and I picked him up as usual on the way to Grace and Grits. He had a shoebox in his hands. “Bill, didn’t you just get those shoes for Christmas?”, I asked. His shoes were getting pretty road worn. “Yep, but I mine don’t have holes in them yet and I got a friend that needs some pretty bad.” Chief Bill gave away his new shoes. When faced with meeting a need…..Jesus told him, “What do you have, go and see?” Chief Bill looked beyond what he DIDN’T have and looked at what he DID have. Now here is the key to the wisdom of Jesus…….it’s found in verse 42, “They all ate and were satisfied.” When we can apply what I believe is the deepest wisdom of Jesus, indeed, God………when we can trust in His provision in our lives….trust being the key word and action here…..we enter a different real of life…the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven, then kingdom of God. TRUST IS THAT KEY! Jesus shares this with us in what I believe are the greatest realities in life that we can embody…..the Beattitudes found in Matthew 5 at the beginning of his greatest sermon….the Sermon on the mount. Two of these eight basic attitudes that should surround our lives and that bring us to TRUE fulfillment on life are illustrated here:
Matthew 5:3 and Matthew 5:6 (TNIV) 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
The poor in spirit are those who are so aware of their spiritual poverty that they place their full trust in God in ALL things in their life and indeed….theirs is the kingdom of heaven, right here, right now and extended into eternity. The apostles looked at WHAT THEY HAD….and started trusting Jesus! In my mind, they did began to hunger and thirst to simply do what was right………and indeed…..they took the five loaves and two fish that they had and simply fed the people…….and ALL were filled. When we trust Jesus, when we hunger and thirst to do what is right, when we look beyond what we don’t have and adopt a different attitude, an attitude of generosity and trust in God…..we are indeed filled! This is the amazing truth of Jesus! My charge to you is to, “Go and see!”