"You give them something to eat."I find it easy to put a wall around my heart. My deepest joy is in breathing in the breath of Elohim. Even so, for reasons that are difficult for me to understand, the wound I feel when people belittle me for what I do (or fail to do for them) and the rejection they express for my Messiah and his Father, hurts. Being a spiritual beggar is not a burden most of the time. Being dependent on the grace, the loving kindness of an unseen but very real bride-groom is an amazing way to live.
I live in an era when tolerance for others is the demand of the day. The tension of life is that I am not to "shove my religion down their throats." My solution tends to be isolation, living behind the walls of my secret garden, not wanting to lick my own wounds or be responsible for offending others. Except that the way I choose to conduct my life within my walls is not walking in the freedom that Y'shua has called me to. You may well wonder what this has to do with the passage of Luke that is under consideration today.
Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place." But He said to them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people." (For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, "Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each." They did so, and had them all sit down. Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people. And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full. Luke 9:12-17 NASU
Everything in the first half of this chapter received a delightful "Amen" from the depth of my soul. Receiving power and authority to fight the enemy as I proclaim the kingdom is a challenge I willingly accept (though I, like the disciples, did not fully understand it). Becoming a spiritual beggar as I go from town to town without personal means, without a backpack or money to provide for myself seemed like a reasonable challenge. Being dependent on strangers, just as Elijah was upon the widow sounds acceptable to me. But to have others dependent upon me? What do I have to give? And that is just the point that Y'shua is making. Because I have nothing to give but my faith in Him, He is showing me that I have all that I need.
Like the twelve, I feel some level of compassion for those who come to hear the message of life. Let them go and find rest and food in the world. Let them be dependent upon strangers as I have been. But my King, my bride-groom asks me to provide for them. I am sure he said the some thing to the widow of Zarephath. (1 Kings 17:8-16 ) Like her, I look at what I have and realize there is only enough for a little cake of bread for me and mine. I simply cannot fathom how I can feed others. I even protest, "I cannot make others want you my Y'shua." He quickly reminds me that "making others want him" is not in my job description.
But what do I have for them? The little I have in this world is not elegant, it is not desirable. What satisfies me is not the food of proper hospitality so it is not worthy of a buffet fit for guests of a king. But my beloved asks me to trust Him, not the resources. Bring to Him what I have. After all, even what the twelve brought to him was not theirs; it was a gift from a stranger (John 6:9). It was hardly enough for them, but for such a crowd? Surly Y'shua meant to send the crowd to proclaim the Kingdom, to depend upon the hospitality of strangers just as he had sent them to do. The Twelve had come to rest and revel in the accomplishments of the past. Now Y'shua commands them to feed this crowd, to live before them what they have been proclaiming and like me, there is, perhaps, a deep feeling of not being adequate. "You give them something… " Prepare them as if the caterer has arrived, knowing that you have placed what you have in Y'shua's hands. Knowing that there is only water in the jars (John 2:6-11). But I am willing to obey, to be seen as the fool for my beloved. Stepping outside of my comfort zone, I organize the people he has prepared to receive. He has fed their souls, and as his beloved, I will obey him because I have believed him.
It isn't the bread that is broken so much as my heart. He picks it up, he blesses it and keeps giving to the bride, to set before the people. In my broken heart is the secret of satisfaction, the filling of the Messiah of Elohim. His love has both broken and expanded my heart. He breaks down my wall and his own loving kindness gushes out. I give him my inadequate love, my heart, and he breaks it, feeding the many love hungry souls (as I once was) and wonder of wonders, gives me not twelve times what I gave him, but twelve baskets full.
My cup overflows in the valley of the shadow of death. And truly goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life! (Psalm 23)
Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep. John 21:12-17 NASU