Prayer: Teach us through your Word, O God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
If you drop back to Chapter 13, you will see that Jesus was just advised about the death of His cousin John the Baptist. John was one whom Jesus knew and who helped Jesus learn of His mission.
This situation is new to me. I have never connected Jesus’ obvious grief in this situation. Jesus was human, truly human, and he must have been severely saddened by this news. This is why He went away to be by Himself. I mean the big news we have just read is about the feeding of the 5,000 plus women and children, from a couple of fish and a few small loaves of bread. That is what I remember and the many sermons about it.
But our devotion writer points out; “If Jesus is fully human—and we profess this is true—then Jesus feels just as awful as we feel when we’ve lost a beloved family member or friend. Jesus want space to mourn. And, like us Jesus continues to fee a web of commitments tugging at his time.”
So when we mourn, we can be assured that Jesus know exactly what it feels like. And as He as promised, we are not alone during those times, and He is with us.
Prayer: “Jesus, you understand human loss. Thank you for walking with us through our darkest moments. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Feeding the Five Thousand
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.