I’ve titled this blog entry after the Robin Mark song. It’s about how the only real thing that matters in life is living in the truth of God’s love. There’s a part in the song that goes like this:
When it’s all been said and done
All my treasures will mean nothing
Only what I have done
For love’s rewards
Will stand the test of time
Love. It’s the best word to describe what the Christian faith is really supposed to be all about. Love is at the core of every last thing that Jesus ever did period. I see it in the story of the feeding of the 5000 recorded in Matthew 14:13-21.
I think I have always read the story as simply a miracle, something that proves Jesus is who we say he is. Maybe that’s part of it, but I think it’s way more that just a miracle. There is a lot more going on than just bread and fish being multiplied.
Jesus has just been informed that his family member John (the baptiser), someone who has played a significant role in his life has been murdered. In his grief he decides to head off to be alone, who wouldn’t want to just get away with news like that? Jesus can’t get away though because the crowds follow him. Either they haven’t heard that Jesus has just lost someone, or they don’t care.
That’s when it happens, right at the point where I would be telling the crowd to show some respect, to quit thinking about themselves and their own needs, to get lost and just leave me alone; Jesus turns around and has compassion on the crowd.
Compassion: He felt the needs of the people gathered there around him in the very depth of his being and so he began to cure their sick. Why would anyone do this except for deep, relentless, unfathomable love?
The story moves on and after the disciples try to convince him to send the people away to get something to eat, he tells them that they are going to feed the people. This is where the “miracle” occurs, and sure it is a miracle that a little bit of food became a lot. I think the true miracle is in the love of Jesus for his people, the fact that he meets their need. He didn’t make them line up and declare their faith, he didn’t ask them to sign anything saying they would follow. He just saw the need as it was and chose to feed them, and he calls us to do the same even in the times where maybe we don’t want to.
As I was thinking about that this morning, I allowed myself to really picture what the kingdom of God might look like if it was always based on love. I had a vision of a table filled with many people, the table was long and stretched out as far as I could see, yet at the same time there was no one at that table that was very far from Jesus. Everyone was being fed. At the table were all kinds of people, people who one might expect to see gathered, but also people that we might not expect, or even want were seated right next to each other.
The eyes are the window to the soul, you can tell if someone really loves through their eyes. And as I saw the people gathered around their eyes showed nothing but love for Jesus and for each other. My heart of stone has been ripped from my being this morning, and replaced with a heart of flesh, as it has been in the past and I suspect it will need to be in the future. That’s what the story of the feeding of the 5000 as Matthew tells it, has done for me today.
It lead me to worship: