The Scripture lessons for August 6 were Isaiah 55:1-5; Romans 9:1-13; and Matthew 14:13-21. Pastor Krause began by talking about funerals and how God feels about death. He used his reflections on funerals and death to move into the Gospel lesson for the day.
In Matthew 14:1-12 we read about the execution and death of Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist. Verse 13 reads:
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
Saddened by His cousin’s death Jesus withdrew by boat to a solitary place, likely to mourn and to pray. However, the crowds followed Him on foot. The text continues verse 14:
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As I read this verse I am reminded of Philippians 2:3-4:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Jesus sets aside His needs and agenda to attend to the needs of others.
As evening approaches Jesus’ disciples want Jesus to send the crowds away so the people can find food. Jesus, however, instructs His disciples that rather than sending the people away, they, the disciples, should give the people something to eat. The disciples are bewildered and at loss. They tell Jesus they only have five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus said “Bring them here to me.”
As they do so, Jesus directs the people to sit down on the grass. He takes the food from His disciples and thanks His Heavenly Father for the food. He then gives the food back to the disciples who in turn gave it to the people. They end up feeding 5,000 men, give or take a few, plus women and children, with twelve baskets of leftovers.
Pastor Krause stressed to us that it was Jesus who did the miracle, but that He allowed His disciples to be a part of the miracle.
As Pastor Krause spoke I was again reminded of other Scripture passages where we read:
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant….
Ephesians 3:20 [He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us….
Pastor Krause assured us that what God calls us to do, He empowers us to do. God is the one who does, but He seeks to do through us.
The question for us at Mt Olive is: “What is Jesus wanting to do through us at Mt Olive at this time?” Then more personally, the question for each of us individually is: “What is Jesus wanting to do through me today?” We are a commissioned people to be co-mission with God!
Amen! So be it!!!
My thoughts, I would like to hear yours.
(All passages are taken from the NIV unless otherwise noted)
Chime in with your thoughts and questions in the comment section!