Friday, April 20: And the disciples gave them to the people

MatthewWe return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.

Read Matthew 14:17-21

"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.

"Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.


It's late in the day, the huge crowd is some distance from town, and people are getting hungry. The disciples must have thought it impossible that Jesus would prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. However, Jesus not only miraculously provides even more food than the people need, but he also gets his disciples "hands-on" in providing the solution.


God is all-powerful and in control and certainly doesn't depend on our help to meet others' needs. Then why is it so important for us as his followers to serve others? At the times you've been "Jesus' hands" in someone else's life, how has it affected your own spiritual growth? Look for an opportunity today to encourage or help another—not because you're required to, but because blessing someone else also blesses you.

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