August 25, 2021 — It was not the feeding of the twelve

“I was reading in Luke’s gospel earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “about the feeding of the five thousand, and I was struck by the idea that it could easily have been the feeding of the twelve.”

“Feeding of the twelve?” I responded. “What’s that mean?”

“You remember the story,” Stan said, “about where Jesus was going to get away with the twelve apostles, but the multitude followed and were taught by Jesus about the kingdom of God. As well, Jesus healed those who needed healing.”

“I do,” I replied. “When the day was drawing to a close, the crowd was hungry and that’s when the miracle of the feeding occurred.”

“That’s right,” Stan said, “and that’s the part about where it was the feeding of the five thousand, not the feeding of the twelve. This is a lesson for me, my faith walk, and how I deal with God’s provision.”

“How so?” I asked.

“After the apostles had rounded up what food they had, which was only five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus looked to heaven, blessed the food, and gave it to the apostles.  And this is the point. Jesus gave the food to the twelve, not for themselves, but for them to pass along to the five thousand. And it’s to be the same way with me.”

“What same way?” I asked.

“When God blesses me, which is all the time,” Stan replied, “I am to view the blessing as not for me alone, but to pass on to others. I am to be a conduit of God’s blessings, not keep them for myself.”

“What kind of blessings are you talking about?” I asked.

“All kinds,” Stan replied. “Physical blessings, spiritual blessings, whatever God chooses to bless me with. Those blessings are not for me alone. I am to pass them on in accordance with following God’s leading. I think this is especially true with the spiritual blessing of having the assurance of salvation along with the blessing of being allowed to know God in a personal relationship. I am to pass those blessings on to others, not keep them for myself.”

“This whole thing,” I replied, “sounds kind of like it could be described as the discipleship of being a conduit.”

“In what way?” Stan asked.

“Well,” I said, “the part about denying self could be viewed as not wanting to keep the blessings for myself. Then there is the part about taking up what God has for me to take up. That could be viewed as passing on what He has given to me. Both of these would lead to the third step of following Him wherever He wants to lead.”

“Bingo and amen!” Stan replied.

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Bible verses to consider:

And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the multitude. Luke 9:16.

He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.  Matthew 14:19.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for all of your provision, but especially for your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you when my time here is completed, along with your provision of being able to know you in an ever-deepening personal relationship on this side of eternity.  You bless me with spiritual truth and you bless me with physical provision.  I confess that too often I want to keep, and do keep, your provision for myself rather than being a conduit to pass along your provision to others you bring before me. Please forgive me for that selfishness.  And please, Father, help me to follow every step of your lead in passing on every blessing you pour out on and for me.  Help me to bless others just as you intend.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted by faith God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s standing in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with being a conduit for God’s spiritual and physical blessings to be passed along to others? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense changes may be in order for you to be the conduit God intends, how is that going to happen?

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