The Gospel of Luke | Divine Action | Luke 9.15-17 |

by | May 12, 2021

“But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them.y Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Luke 9.15-17

Previously in verse 13, Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” This left the disciples stumped and trying to come up with answers! It’s like when a Professor asks a question that is obviously way over the heads of the students and silence follows. For the disciples, they said, “we have only five loaves and two fish…” Giving no reasonable answer to the question.

Jesus’ divine action saves the day. He instructs the disciples to have the people sit in groups of about fifty each, not sure what that is about- maybe so there won’t be mass chaos when the food comes around. That’s at least 100 groups by the way, how long did that take to get organized!

After they did this Jesus performs the famous miracle — he takes the loaves and the fish, looks up to heaven, give thanks to God with an opened-eyed prayer, and breaks the bread (assuming you don’t break fish). Jesus then gives to the disciples who then offer food to the people. And he didn’t stop. He kept distributing and they kept taking. I Imagine it looked like a slight-of-hand trick being performed before their very eyes. God in the flesh creating something out of nothing. Amazing.

Isn’t this what God does with us? We are nothing, sinners who are saved by grace. Limited in our knowledgeable, understanding and reason. Self-seeking, self-desiring, self-oriented in most things. And then, he comes down to save us. By faith, we believe in Jesus, receive forgiveness, are given the Holy Spirit, and we experience the new birth. We begin to be transformed right before God’s eyes into the image of the Son. We are that common lump of clay shaped into something beautiful.

The disciples were not only the instruments God used to distribute the meal, they were the beneficiaries of his grace. They too shared in the blessing of Christ. And we are no different! We who “believe” are caught up in God’s divine action in the world. And aren’t we thankful!

Just as the thousands of Jews who received the meal of fish and bread were blessed upon receiving, so we, who share in his administration of his grace are blessed to do so.

Jesus saved the day. He provided the meal and he again invited humans to be agents of the divine. I don’t know about you but this is what I want, need and desire. To be used by God to build the Kingdom, for his glory and by his grace.

“O Lord God, you are good. You take me where I am and help me build your Kingdom on Earth. Thank you for the gift of your Son, the move of your Spirit, the redemption in your Name. Come now, Holy Spirit, utilize me for the making of disciples, for the glorification of the Son, for the promise of your Spirit. I love you Lord and thank you for your power and grace. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen