Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jesus' Compassion Matthew 14:13-21

Jesus came on purpose. He came to be the light and to shine into our lives and to be reflected by us into every corner and every hurting place.
Do you ever wonder what God sees as we come towards him.
Does God see the great things you've done?
Does God see the plaques that hang on your walls or the medals you won in 7th grade.
Does God see the hurts you bear and the hurts others bear on your account?
Do you ever wonder what God sees when we come to him? Jesus saw this crowd and in his own pain he met them with compassion. They were hurting at John's death just as he was. Jesus touched the sick and healed them. They came from all over. They came because they knew that Jesus was the one person on the face of the earth who could make things different. Sometimes we can be cruel or harsh with one another. Sometimes we deserve no less from God than anger.
In Jesus today we see that he has compassion for those who seek him out. Come as you are in your sins, and shames. Come to God and open up to him about your failures and your sicknesses of all kinds. Jesus had compassion for those who came to him 2000 years ago by the lake in Galilee and that compassion is still real for all of us today.
Grieving people don't always think about what's coming next. There are times in human grief when we loose track of time and forget to even take care of our own most basic needs. And this crowd who came to Jesus with grief about John's death fresh in their minds weren't thinking about themselves like we might think they should have been. It was getting late in the day and Jesus' friends started to think about feeding this great crowd.
They came to Jesus worried. Jesus we are so far away from anyplace. The nearest town was a couple miles away and the sun would be down soon. Jesus please send them all away so that they can go and buy some food for themselves in the villages.

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:15-16
The people came looking for the light of God; they weren't worried about what they would eat that day. They were in shock and grief. And in his compassion Jesus met them. He saw what they had and what they needed. And that night he looked at the great crowd and he responded to them with compassion.
The disciples didn't like the situation at all. The were nervous even anxious and uncertain. They turned to Jesus and said, “All we've got are 5 loaves and two fish.” This is it. This paltry little meal is all that they had. Jesus said, "bring them to me."
We have moments in our lives as believers like these first disciples had. We have moments when there's no human solution. We have moments when we see only one way out of our messes and God sees limitless possible ways to move ahead. Sometimes its these moments when sin creeps in again and we start to hoard the blessings God has placed into our lives. Sometimes its these moments of fear and scarcity when instead of opening up our hands in order that we might bless others that we hold onto what we have.
As we look at our worlds economic troubles today part of the solution will be found in opening up our hands. It's time to start giving away from our blessings. Its time to invest what we have into new ventures and give away to the neediest that we might may be used for good. God has blessed us to be a blessing to others.
The question here isn't how much have you got. It's how much can God do with whatever you offer either him or to your neighbors.
Jesus took the 5 loaves of bread and the two pieces fish and he looked up to heaven. He gave thanks for them most likely saying an ancient Hebrew blessing
This prayer is traditionally recited over two loaves of bread or challah:
בָּרוּך אַתָּה אַדָנָי אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם הָמ וֹציא לֶחם מן הַארץ
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam,hamotzee lehem min ha'aretz.
Blessed are You, God, Ruler of the unvierse, Who creates bread from the earth.
Then he gave them to the disciples and said start passing this out to the people. And they kept on passing and kept on passing. And everyone ate and every one had their fill.
There are times when we see what we have and we see that it is more that we deserve. We see what we have and we realize that if we open up our hands we can be blessed and blessed again by giving. God's abundant blessings are real in our world. Open up your hands to God and to your neighbors. Open up your hands that you might be blessed and be a blessings.
For God all things are possible and no obstacle is insurmountable. AMEN.

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