Posted by: Jo | January 22, 2016

Feeding Others

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

(Mark 6:37)

image A few years ago, here in Vancouver, during the Christmas holiday season, we experienced an unexpected, severe snowstorm which blanketed highways and roads with heavy snow and in turn, made travelling on them impossible, with motorists scrambling to find Motels or anywhere to escape the storm. Many of our friends and some of our family had very scary stories to share, but the one story that made the newspapers, after life had returned to normal, stayed in my mind. A tour bus returning to the city on a country road became stuck in the snow near a local farm. The farmer saw from his house the dilemma for the people on the bus and fired up his farm tractor and by taking small numbers at a time was able to transport all of the passengers and their driver safely to the house. Probably the bus held about 25 people so being a housewife myself, I thought I know the first question racing through the mind of that poor wife as she witnessed her husband rescuing all the bus load;

How am I going to feed so many people!

This same question was part of the amazing story of Feeding the Five Thousand, when the disciples look at the huge number of people who had been following Jesus all day and realise how late it is, and the remoteness of where they are, they too begin to wonder what to do about a hungry mob of people. Their first solution is a very human response and they say to Jesus;

“Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” (Mark 6:36)

Jesus replies with a startling, but seemingly impossible suggestion;

“You give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37)

image Again a human response was; that would take about 8 months of wages.

As we read this story it is still all too familiar in our present day. We can see need in many areas around us, but it is so easy to say move the poor/ the needy/ the mentally challenged/the refugees out of our sight, so the problem no longer involves us. The disciples next thought is still often considered a solution, it will cost too much money to make any difference, we cannot afford to do anything.

The powerful message in this story brings light to many everyday problems. Jesus first tells the disciples to start actively looking for a solution. The same applies to us. Take the first step. Trust the Lord when he asks us to step out in faith for him.

Even though the disciples came up with such a small amount of food, their efforts were blessed by Jesus to multiply into an amazing feast for five thousand. A little becomes much when God’s hand is upon it.

Hunger takes on many different forms and is not always defined by needing food. Many in our present day society are hungry for friendship, the old/ the shut in/ the foreigner learning to live in a new country/the newcomer to the church/ the single mother/the teenager trying to fit in.

Hunger imagecan also be a great need to know the Lord Jesus Christ. We who know and love him can fill that need by sharing our faith.

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)

When the lady who fed the bus load for 2 days was interviewed and asked how she did it she replied, “Fortunately my house was well stocked with food

If we wish to fill the hungry around us, we ourselves have to be well stocked as well. We need to go back to our source constantly.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)


  1. “From little things, big things grow,” is the title to a song over here and as Jesus showed us, with His help it can be done. Thanks Jo.


  2. Yes, it is so easy to get discouraged and feel we cannot meet the needs of those calling on us for help. Your words give us the confidence to put trust in our Lord – and to go ahead and take the first step. Thank you Jo


  3. Trust and hope are so key to our everyday lives. thank you, Jo


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