What would God have us to do?
The disciples brought a report to
Jesus. The people are hungry, they said. "Send them away, so they can
get food for themselves."
Jesus looked at them and said, "You feed them."
It is interesting to consider what Jesus did NOT say:
Most curious of all, he did not simply say, "Feed them." Instead he made it emphatic, "YOU feed them."
- He did not accept their recommendation to send the people away.
- He did not suggest forming a committee to look at the problem and make a recommendation.
- He didn't recommend forming a study group to learn the techniques of feeding people.
- He did not ask them to go to Jerusalem and lobby the government to feed the hungry.
- He didn't say, "It's their own fault they should have planned better."
Understandably, the disciples registered a quick protest: Lord, we can't do that - it would take a fortune to feed these people!
Jesus said simply, "What do you have?"
"OK, all we have is five biscuits and two salted herrings, that a boy brought for his lunch."
"Tell the people to sit down." Jesus said, as he blessed the food.
Then the disciples began to feed the people. They were amazed as the
big crowd had sufficient food, and there were even leftovers.
You see God blessed their efforts.
Sometimes we ask, "What would God have us to do?" We must take care,
lest the question itself be a way to avoid or postpone doing what we
already know to do.
Way back in Deuteronomy, God's instructions were to feed the poor, a
simple duty that is often reiterated all through the Bible. We need not
ask whether we should be doing this; it's abundantly clear.
This is not our only duty, of course. But it is one that is often overlooked.
Where to start? What is in our hands? If we have been blessed with
time, or goods or funds from God, it is our duty to use some to feed
the hungry. We start from the point where we are at. And God will bless
and multiply our efforts
Caring and Sharing started from tiny beginnings. The little boy's lunch
that was offered to Jesus, is as much as anything we have to
offer:;perhaps it was more, because it was all he had. But God has
blessed and the effort has grown. No qualified person has ever been
turned away from Caring and Sharing.
The great preacher John Wesley said, "Do all the good you can, in all
the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at
all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you
References (paraphrased): Luke 9:10-17, Deuteronomy 15:11