Day 37: Monday, May 11
When evening arrived, his disciples came to him saying, “This is an isolated place and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But he replied, “They don’t need to go. You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” “Bring them here to me,” he replied.
Then he instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, twelve baskets full. Not counting women and children, there were about 5,000 men who ate.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dispersed the crowds. And after he sent the crowds away, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already far from land, was taking a beating from the waves because the wind was against it. As the night was ending, Jesus came to them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the water they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out with fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them: “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him, “Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water.” So he said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they went up into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
The Scriptures quoted are from the NET Bible® http://netbible.com copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
COMMENT & QUESTIONS
There are two extraordinary accounts in this reading. The first is about Jesus feeding a crowd of thousands. Look at yesterday’s reading and remember what the context was. Jesus was grieving, but He had so much compassion on the crowd that He put His grief aside to help others. Think about opportunities that come your way to serve others when you might think it is inconvenient.
The next account is about Jesus and another storm on the Sea of Galilee (See Matt 8:23). This time Jesus walks on the water to the disciples in the boat. Peter is often the disciple to make the first move. He walked on the water until he saw the strong wind and became afraid. What are some of the things in life that distract us from Jesus? What are some worries that people have that stop them from focusing on Christ?
Many of us live in countries with wealth and affluence. We know that these material possessions are distractions from others and from spiritual realities. Jesus has already warned that the Gentiles seek after things to eat, drink and wear (Matthew 6:31-32). But we are to fix our eyes on the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). The Hebrew writer warns us against letting trials distract us from the promises of God. Instead we are to turn towards Jesus and fix our eyes onto Him (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Pray that we will have compassion on others around us, even when it is inconvenient That we will remember to look to Christ when we start sinking That we will have a strong faith that will not be shaken by the winds and waves of life