Give Them Something to Eat

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: Matthew 15:29-39

I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry. (v. 32)

Throughout the Bible, the number seven represents perfection, achievement, or completeness. The multiplication miracle in today’s story is that seven loaves of bread resulted in seven baskets of leftovers, an amazing demonstration of Jesus’ love and compassion. After healing the multitudes, Jesus could have said, “Now go home.” Instead he asked his disciples, “What can we give them to eat?” He provided his healing touch, but then addressed their physical hunger. The entire crowd ate and were satisfied after he blessed and broke the bread.

Jesus’ generosity in this story reminds me of the reason he came, “that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). He intimately understands our human needs and longs to provide for us as well. Sometimes I wonder whether I have that same attitude toward others. Jesus was “unwilling to send them away hungry.” When I see needs in people around me, do I have that same longing to provide whatever I can?

We may not possess enough resources to feed thousands, but what if we offer Jesus the seven loaves we do have and adopt his compassionate spirit? He will make our offerings perfect and complete and use them to achieve more than we think is possible. —Denise Vredevoogd

As you pray, ask God to give you the compassionate and caring heart of Jesus.