This Sunday we’ll be continuing with our study in the Gospel of Luke, reading ch 9:10-17.
This section is an account of one of Jesus’ more famous miracles. It certainly seems to be important, this miracle and the resurrection are the only events that get recorded in all four gospels.
We’ll be reading about Jesus feeding the 5,000 (men – so potentially more people if there were women and children present, which seems likely).
The disciples come back from their solo mission trip, and Jesus believes it’s time to take a break, so they head off to a remote place to be alone. Imagine yourself in a situation where you’ve set aside some time to rest – how welcome are interruptions to that rest? How do you feel like responding if someone interferes with your plans to relax?
We’re told that people figure out where they are and crash their getaway – and how does Jesus respond in v11? What does he do before he teaches and heals them? What can we learn about our own church culture as we consider Jesus’ response to uninvited guests?
It’s hard to know if the disciples meant well or if they were being understandably selfish when they instructed Jesus to send the crowds away, but his response is the thing that’s supposed to grab our attention. Why do you suppose Jesus tells them to feed the crowds? How might that apply to us as His followers today?
Even in their incredulity they offer him a few sardines and crackers (which John’s gospel tells us they raided a kid’s lunchbox for) – and when it passes to Jesus, incredible things happen. What might we learn about our own resources and how best to use them for God’s Kingdom? Where do you draw the line on what’s possible or impossible for God to use for the good of others? How does this miracle challenge our lines?
The 12 baskets of leftovers are a detail that is included in all four accounts of this miracle. How many disciples did Jesus have? What do you think the leftovers represent, and why would it carry such importance to be emphasized four times?
I’m really looking forward to this study – I hope you can join us as we explore this miracle together this Sunday!