I was reading through part of Luke earlier this morning and came across Luke’s account of the feeding of the 5,000 in chapter 9 when my heart was touched with something.
Jesus had commissioned His disciples to go out, preach the gospel, and heal the sick. Verse 10 tells us that when they came back, He took them to a deserted place. Why would Jesus take His disciples to a deserted place? Because He wanted to be with them privately, and there weren’t any crowds there to grab His attention. I don’t know what Jesus had planned to do with His disciples there, but what I do know is this: He and His disciples had just been out preaching the Gospel and healing the sick. They were traveling without any food or money, walking by faith. They were tired, their bodies probably ached, and I would be willing to bet they were looking forward to taking some time to rest and have a meal together. So, Jesus was making it happen.
But, the people in the surrounding areas heard where they were going and followed after them. Jesus ministered to them, talking to them about the kingdom of God and healing all who were sick. Verse 12 tells us that when the day was coming to an end, His disciples came to Him asking Him to send away the crowds. They were tired, Jesus was tired, and they had no food or accommodations for a crowd of 5,000 people in the wilderness. But rather than sending the people off, Jesus told His disciples to feed them! They responded by telling Jesus that they hardly had any food and it wouldn’t even come close to feeding the crowd.
But Jesus didn’t turn away the crowds upon hearing this news (as true and logical as it was). Even though He had just spent the day ministering to the multitude and He and His disciples were tired, hungry, and probably would’ve enjoyed some peace and quiet away from thousands of people, He let them stay. And not only that, He fed them! He became an example of love. He laid down His life for others. He could’ve so easily looked at the people and said something like, “I’ve been ministering to you all day and my disciples and I are tired. Please let us be alone to rest and eat together and I’ll minister to you again tomorrow,” and that would’ve been totally legitimate to do! But He didn’t. He chose to lay down His own comfort and desires for others. He chose to love them.
I don’t know about you, but I wanna learn to love like that! That even when I’m tired, hungry and just want to be alone, He would give me grace to lay down my own desires for the sake of His purposes being fulfilled. I mean, if Jesus sent away the crowds, they wouldn’t have seen Him multiply food to feed 5,000 people! I don’t want my selfishness to get in the way of His glory. I want to learn to love like He loves, that He would have the glory in my life.