Feeding the 5,000 (Modern Paraphrase)

FeedingJesus went back to the place from which he had come but people still looked for him. Sick, hungry, lonely people. His heart was filled with pity for these people with insurmountable needs.

Jesus’ followers in cities, villages, towns heard about the hungry people. They asked Jesus to meet the needs. They prayed for miraculous harvests in drought-stricken areas. They sought new and equitable economic strategies to replace selfish, profit hungry plans. But the number of hungry people increased.

And then one day, in every corner where these Christians lived, they all seemed to hear a voice: “You feed them.”

“But God, I’m just a farmer in Saskatchewan/Iowa/Nebraska…”

“But God, I’m retired and love my golf games…”

“But God, I’m just thirteen…”

“But God, I’m a single mom in a minimum wage job…”

“But God, my backyard garden is so small…”

“But God, I have cerebral palsy and sit in a wheelchair…”

“But God, if they just worked as hard as I do, they wouldn’t be in this situation…”

And Jesus said, “Bring me what you have and I’ll bless it…”

For every ten acres of grain the farmer sold, he set aside the profit from two and bought baby chicks for women in Zimbabwe so they could become self sufficient, feeding and educating their families.

The retiree challenged his buddies to donate one third of golf cart fees to the city’s rescue mission.

The teenager took babysitting jobs where she had permission to tell Bible stories to the children.

The single mom—who had learned to stretch her meager funds into delicious meals—volunteered to teach other single moms how to shop wisely, how to make banana bread to sell at flea markets, how to make nutritious soup to feed a family.

The backyard gardener gave all her extra zucchini and tomatoes to the neighborhood soup kitchen for the homeless.

The boy in the wheelchair dictated letters to be sent to orphan children in Haiti and Niger.

The judgmental man? When the stock market crashed, he begged forgiveness and had to start over.

Jesus took the money and deeds and blessed them. And all the people ate their fill with enough left over to feed many others.

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