Jesus, You Must Be Crazy!
By Deb Crowley of Urbandale, IA, USA
Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. —Matthew 14:16–19 NRSV
The crowd spent the afternoon on the hillside. There was something so compelling and inspiring about this man’s stories; they wanted to hear more. As night approached, his helpers urged him to send the people home or to the villages to buy food.
But Jesus had his solution in mind. Jesus blessed the food before him, which fed over 5,000 people with twelve baskets of food remaining.
“YOU give them something to eat.” Can you hear the retorts coursing through the disciples’ minds? “Jesus, you must be crazy! It’s been a long day; folks are hungry. There are no fish ‘n chips on the corner! We have no money to buy food even if there were a fast food joint nearby. There are only five loaves of bread and two fish. It won’t feed this crowd. SEND THEM HOME!”
This is a scarcity attitude. The disciples examined everything they did not have and determined they could do nothing. Abundance thinking: Jesus knew there was enough and to spare. How? Some speculate those present had food in their baskets that, when blessed by Jesus, they freely shared with one another. I believe Jesus’ blessing was a miracle—but more than a miracle of food production.
It was a miracle of changed attitudes—a miracle of sharing. It was a miracle of opening eyes to new possibilities—a miracle of understanding that when trusting in Jesus, there is always enough and to spare.
Prayer for Peace
Generous Creator, help us focus on what we do have, and what we can do. We do have the example of Christ, and we can do peace.
Spiritual Practice: Reflection on Hunger
Bring a piece of bread to your worship space and hold it in your hands. Reflect on all the people and work that made this bread possible. See and remember the farmers growing and harvesting the grain, the millers, bakers, shipping workers, and grocers. Offer a prayer of gratitude and blessing for all who have worked to create this bread. Ask for compassion and courage to offer bread to all who hunger.
Today, God, I will think like Jesus and trust in the generosity of your people.