15 When it became evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the day is now spent; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy meals for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.”
17 They said to him, “We do not have anything here except five loaves and two fish.”
18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.”
19 Then he ordered the crowds to lie back on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, looking up into the sky, he prayed a blessing. After breaking apart the loaves, he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they collected twelve baskets full of the scraps left over.
21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting the women and children.
when serving others is not the plan
The feeding of the thousands was an amazing miracle. It is all the more amazing seeing that it comes at the end of a long day in which Jesus and his disciples had intended to get away from it all. They had been mourning the death of John the Baptizer. They wanted to rest, but the needs of the crowd could not wait.
Finally, the disciples see their chance. It was evening, and they came to Jesus an told him that he had better dismiss the crowd so that they could go find meals for themselves. How tempting this must have been to the weary Jesus. But, no, the Holy Spirit had one more miracle to perform that night, and it would require the cooperation of the disciples. So, there they were, exhausted, simply passing out scraps of bread to the masses. They were probably so tired they didn’t realize what was happening at first.
LORD, whatever our plans for the day, give us wisdom to let you serve others through us. Perhaps you want to do a miracle. Help us to cooperate with your Holy Spirit within us.