“He answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
Near the beginning of this chapter, Jesus describes what life will be like for his disciples if they follow him. He says, “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts” (Mark 6:8). His followers were to be dependent on the hospitality of others to feed, clothe, and shelter them.
Then, sometime later, they are surprised when Jesus asks them to provide a huge, hungry crowd with food. They wonder, “How on earth can we do that?” Even if they work to provide the money for all the food for these people, they will have to work for a whole year!
Perhaps Jesus instructed them to take no bread or money on their journey so that they could experience not only hospitality from others but also the extraordinary hospitality of God. Maybe he instructed them not to bring anything so that they could acutely experience their own need and realize that they couldn’t rely on themselves for a solution.
Do you ever feel like you are being brought to the end of your ability to do what God is asking of you? Could God be inviting you to see what he can do for you that you simply cannot do by yourself?
Lord Jesus, sometimes we are like the disciples, unsure and confused and without many options. Surprise us with your generosity, and help us to realize that we depend totally on you. Amen.
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